I realized a few years ago that all Data Center challenges can be solved with the sufficient application of money.
Need more computing capability? Buy new hardware. Struggling with hot spots? Purchase supplemental cooling infrastructure. Don’t have enough physical space? Pay to expand the Data Center or lease additional space.
More performance means greater cost, though. Some energy saving technologies buck that trend when compared to conventional facilities, but generally the more capability you want from a Data Center the more it will cost to build and operate.
I speak regularly with customers about Data Center design principles – the ones we follow at Cisco when designing our Data Centers and what qualities the people I’m talking to want from their particular server environments. You can probably guess several of the principles – high availability, energy efficiency, scalability, etc.
The final Data Center design principle I invariably discuss is business value. It’s the term I use for defining the relative importance of everything else on the list. For instance, is uptime important enough to the company to warrant the cost of providing redundant air handlers and standby generators? The more accurately someone knows the functionality and performance they need from their Data Center, the better it can be designed. Overestimating leads to overbuilding and overspending; underestimating leads to a Data Center that likely won’t perform as desired.
See below for discussion of how various Data Center elements affect the cost of the facility.