Choosing An Optimal Site For Your Data Centre

When the time comes for your business to consider a data centre, how do you choose the optimal site? Obviously, you will want to avoid any potential hazards, but there will be some specific physical attributes you will want to look for.

An ideal data centre should include qualities that allow protection from potential hazards, easy accessibility and should be able to accommodate future growth and change.

Data Centre Zoning

When evaluating a property's suitability for use as a data centre, you will need to verify the property's zoning. Some zoning classifications prohibit a data centre as part of the property's usage. You can request information regarding a property's zoning from the local municipality, council area, or shire in whose jurisdiction the property falls.

If for some reason the property you want is zoned as unacceptable for use as a data centre, then you can apply to have the property rezoned.

Data Centre Site Risks - Natural Hazards

Knowing what potential hazards may affect the property in which you plan to house a data centre can be a huge consideration. Choosing a data centre site in an earthquake-prone location, hurricane-prone locality or in a flood plain will mean making some specific choices about your construction plans.

Another hazard you might want to consider while you are still in the planning stages of your data centre is fire. Factor in the cost or fire-resistant walls and doors. Include smoke detection devices and fire suppression systems. You may also consider including adjustable dampers on ventilation and air conditioning systems so that you can manually prevent air from outside the server environment from entering.

These known hazards will affect your decision about your data centre's design and you should alter your design accordingly to prepare and protect against them.

Data Centre Site Risks - Man-Made Hazards

Choosing a site that is in close proximity to an electrical tower means your data centre may experience significant electromagnetic interference, which can seriously affect a server environment.

Perhaps the area in which you have selected for your data centre is prone to ice storms, which bring about extended periods of power-outages. The need to incorporate a standby power generator will factor highly in your data centre infrastructure.

Pollution and airborne contaminants, like dust, pesticides, or industrial by-products can cause server components to short-circuit or overheat. You should consider including a method of protecting your equipment by controlling the amount of outside air that is cycled into the server room.

Data Centre Accessibility

Once you have assessed the potential risks and hazards of a site for your data centre and you have decided to go ahead with plans, you will need to fully evaluate the physical attributes of the site too.

Easy accessibility to the data centre is a factor that needs to be taken into consideration, along with where the site is in relation to the company's other server environments. When assessing accessibility to the site, look at details such as being visible from a major roadway or multiple routes to reach the property.

You will also need to be sure your data centre is located near large population centres. This can influence how close your employees live to the data centre, but it can also dictate how long it may take an employee to reach the property in the event of an afterhour's emergency.

By: Derek Rogers

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Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For Data Centre design, he recommends Network 24, a leading data centre design company.


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