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DATA Centers


Data Center
A centralized location where computer related resources (and data) are stored. The users do not require physical access in order to use the resources.

Physical Layout
A room
Interior room

A section of a building (a floor)

Interior building space

A building, underground structure, etc.

Physical Access
Ease of access to roads Ease of access to the interior
Large oversized double doors Loading dock Ramps Service elevator

Location Considerations
Geography, weather, and climate
Earthquakes Floods Lightning Fires Hurricanes Tornados

Data Center Requirements

Fire protection Weight rated floor Access to power Access to HVAC Access controls
Limited access entry points.

Physical Security
Crime prevention through environmental design:
Fences, walls & gates Natural barriers and open spaces Lighting Surveillance Alarms

Physical Security
The computer room should have limited access: on a need to be there basis only.
Keycards and old fashioned keys and locks. Guests should not be given access without an escort. Proximity badges Biometric Passes

Physical Security
A room may require two people to have access at any one time, so no one can be alone in the computer room.

Physical Security: Surveillance

Cameras (Closed Circuit Video) Motion Detectors Keeping track of entry and exit of each individual

Your power capacity must provide for
Computer equipment HVAC Lighting Security Fire prevention

As technology advances, it takes less space to use equal amounts of power. Power cords, fuse boxes, switches must meet fire safety standards. (NEBs Standards)

Networking Equipment Building System
Floor loading Temperature & Humidity Fire prevention Airborne contamination Noise level EMF

Electrostatic Discharge Lightning protection Electric safety standards Grounding etc

Power Main Categories

UPS Surge Protection Line conditioning

Power: UPS
Consist of ATS (automatic transfer switch) Fire codes require an off switch for UPS. Batteries May include generators for prolonged outages.

Power: ATS
Automatic Transfer Switch Detects when utility power is outside of an acceptable range, then activates the UPS and generators. Detects when utility power resumes, and switches from UPS to utility power.

Power: UPS
UPS must provide power for
Computing systems and other essential hardware. HVAC Security Lighting Separate backup power for any fire suppression needing power.

Power: UPS
UPS may require special requirements for:
cooling, ventilation power Its own special room
Make sure the power is available for this room too! Access is for maintenance and inspection only!

Power: UPS
UPS can be made up of a room full of batteries.
these can be a dangerous fire hazard. Fumes from battery acid are flammable and poisonous.

Power Outage
Statistics show that power outages tend to last for very short periods or very long periods. Most power outages last less than 5 seconds. If an outage lasts more than 10 minutes, it is likely to last all day.

Power Outage
A UPS should have enough stored power to last about 10 min + the required time to safely shutdown. A generator would be required to handle power outages lasting more than 10 to 15 minutes. UPS needs maintenance. Rechargeable lead acid batteries will last about 5 years.

Power: Surge Protection

Required to protect against jumps in voltage from your power source. Can happen when there is a sudden large draw of power. Most likely to happen during power outages. A spike in voltage can damage electronics.

Power: Surge Protection

Data center should be grounded for lightning strikes using lightning rods.

Power: Line Conditioning

A power conditioner keeps the power supply at a constant voltage and frequency. Deals with sags, spikes, surges, and outages.
Surges last longer than spikes.

A step above surge protection.

Power: Fire Suppression

Fire suppression power requirements must be separate from everything else including computer system UPS.

Fire Suppression
Halon Alternatives are used to reduce the oxygen content. (There must be enough remaining oxygen for humans to breathe)

Fire Suppression
CO2 cheap but causes greater condensation compared to other alternative suppressants. If fire suppression is activated: Power down systems. Evacuate personnel Shut off all power and system UPS Contact the suppression experts Maintain a fire-evacuation plan

Power Switches
Fuse boxes, and any other power switch control should be easily accessible and not hidden behind equipment.

Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning

Fans for forcing air flow Filters for reducing the amount of contaminants in the air. Humidity control
dry air leads to more static electricity. Damp air leads to corrosion 40%-60% RH

Water chillers, pumps, compressors

HVAC: Air Flow Management The hot aisle-cold aisle alternating system

Room should have good ventilation. Equipment should be spaced apart to prevent heat pockets from forming. The Amundsen-Scott facility does not require heating as long as the equipment in the data center is running. Water sensors should be placed under AC units, and raised floor.

Multiple thermostats may be required for larger rooms. Alarm to alert when temperature/humidity is outside a safe operation range.

Power HVAC Hardware
Server Disk Backup

Selection Floor Layout Contents

Racks help manage space efficiently. Racks are needed so that equipment is not literally stacked on top of each other. (build up of heat) Racks also provide cable management. Racks help manage HVAC

Rack Selection
Two Posts usually for lighter communications hardware. Four Posts for heavier hardware.

Rack Selection
Height should not be too tall that access is difficult or gets too close to the roof. Heat rises and equipment at the top will be subject to higher temperatures.

Rack Selection
Computer hardware standard is 19 inches. Networking hardware NEBS standard is 21 inches. Network Equipment Building Standards.

Rack Selection
Must be deep enough for your equipment to fit plus enough space for vertical and horizontal cabling. Cables and equipment should not protrude into aisle space. (check fire codes)

Rack Selection
Extra deep racks tend to create unused space.
Over packed racks lead to cabling complications and heat build up around equipment.

Rack Selection
Some racks have built in fans. Bottom mounted fans may require perforated raised floors. Bottom mounted equipment can restrict air flow. Doors on racks restrict air flow when closed.

Rack Placement
Allow racks to be far enough apart for easy access to equipment and cabling. Racks placed too close will build up excessive heat and cause access problems.

Racks: PDU vs Power Strip

PDU - power distribution unit connects different sockets into different circuits.

Non-rack equipment
Not all equipment is rack mounted. Be sure to have enough space for non-rack mounted hardware.

Power Data
Networking cables Hardware connection cables

Room Cabling
Heavy power cables are best suited for under the raised floor. Cable tracks hang from the ceiling. They are designed to handle both power and data cables. Lighter data cables can be above the drop down ceiling.

Keep power cables and data cables as far apart as practical.
EMF from power cables can adversely effect data cable performance.

Room Cabling
In some instances, the floor may collect water and not be ideal for power cords. A leaking roof is also problematic. Water sensors should be installed under a raised floor near the AC units.

Cable Management
Use twist ties to keep cables in place. Put labels on both cable ends. Color coded strips are ideal.
Consider what will happen if you unplug the wrong piece of equipment.

Cable Management
Data and power cables should be color coded.
Thick black and gray cables are usually power cables. Networking cables are often red, yellow, blue, etc.

Collect cables in different lengths. Try to use cables of the correct length to avoid large cable loops. If cables are too short, maintenance on hardware is more difficult. Use plastic twist ties for bundling similar cables. Dont bundle power and data cables.

Cable Redundancy
Wire the data center for different AC power sources. Create different pathways for cables. In other words not all cables should go through the same path. If a path is submerged in water or on-fire, you want alternative pathways.

Label racks Power cords at both ends. Data cables at both ends. Hardware
Disk drives Tape drives Servers Front and Back

High port density equipment is difficult to label. Be creative with your labels. Some cables are molded with labeling on them.

Data Center Communications

Data centers are noisy due to fans, disk drives, and the AC. Phones are hard to use.

The data center is not a good environment for working at a console.
Too noisy Insufficient space To many servers to have individual consoles for each. Tends to be cold and drafty

Keep a minimal number of consoles in the data center. You want to discourage unnecessary console usage in the data center. Use a switch box for accessing the individual servers.

A laptop computer or serial console can be placed on a moveable cart. The cart can be positioned and connected to any server.

Should be grounded. Grounding wrist bands should be attached to the bench. Should have multiple power sockets. Should be in close proximity to the data center floor. Work rooms generate dust and should not be in the data center.

It is very difficult to keep track of tools. Tools are borrowed and never return. Consider using an inventoried tool box and checkout policy. The best tool box has drawers in a cart.

Miscellaneous things to have:
Dolly Vacuum cleaner Brooms and brushes.

Spare parts
Keep spare parts in a special area. Use bins or drawers to organize. Cables of different types and lengths. Fans Power supplies. Anything else you cant afford to do without.

Network Equipment Building System is the documented standards for
Room space planning Floor loading Temperature and humidity Fire resistance Installation procedures Airborne contamination

NEBS (continued)
Acoustic noise levels Electric safety EMF Electrostatic discharge immunity Lightning protection DC potential difference Grounding

Used by the telecommunications industry. Creates high reliability standards.