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Choosing an Optimal Location for Your Data Center

Chapter Description

When a company buys new land, it is important to consider the property's suitability to house a server environment. Failing to do so often means having to spend more on Data Center infrastructure, either to add what's missing or to overcome shortcomings on the site. The most desirable type of location is one that supports the Data Center's mission to safeguard server equipment and accommodate growth and change. This chapter will help you assess your server site for suitability.

Confirming Service Availability to the Data Center Site

Arguably more important than what infrastructure already exists at a potential Data Center site are what utility services can be provided to it. It is fairly simple to have a contractor come out and install data cabling if a property lacks it, for example, but you still can't communicate with the outside world if there's no service provider offering connectivity. Make sure that the property has—or can be provided with—adequate power and data connections for the Data Center, along with the standard water, telephone, gas, and other utilities that any office environment requires.

Aside from power outages that can be caused by natural disasters, some parts of the world simply have less reliable electrical infrastructure than others. Brownouts or momentary dips in power might be common in these regions, which increases the need for your Data Center to have dependable standby power. Just as a car engine undergoes the most stress when it is first started, so too does a standby power system experience the most strain when a server environment's electrical load is first placed upon it. Frequently cranking a car's engine—or transferring a Data Center's electrical load—causes much more wear and tear than if the same equipment ran continuously for an extended time.

The corresponding local service providers can tell you what power and data lines exist on and around a property. When talking to the electric company, ask if it is possible to have the Data Center fed by more than one substation or power grid, thereby providing your facility with another layer of redundancy. When talking to the Internet service provider, determine what types and quantities of cabling are in the ground, both on the property and in the surrounding area.

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