Floor space planning is a critical part of any colocation project. When considering colocation, companies will work with their data center provider to determine the optimum rack layout based on density, phasing and availability required. This is one the first steps in colocation planning. Let us dig deeper.

Many users do not understand how critical the floor layout is to the performance of a data center. The floor plan strongly affects the following characteristics (and your monthly colo bill):

  • The number of rack locations that are possible in the room
  • The achievable power density
  • The complexity of the power and cooling distribution systems
  • The electrical power consumption of the data center

Number of Rack Locations

Ideally, you want to maximize the number of rack locations on the data center floor. Careful consideration must be applied when designing the floor plan including:

  • Hot/cold aisle design
  • Location of air conditioners and power distribution units
  • Location of walls and stairs
  • High power density environments

This is a key element for colocation customers, as the monthly bill is tied to the amount of occupied square footage.

Power Density

Colocation providers establish zones of different power densities within the data center, which are determined by equipment layout. The floor plan becomes a key element to regulate density. A poor layout can create hot spots and reduce data center efficiencies.

Power and Cooling Distribution Systems

The data center floor plan can significantly impact the power and cooling systems. Specific arrangement of racks increases efficiencies and ensures proper airflow and power pull.

Electrical Power Consumption

The power and cooling systems are closely tied together. An inefficient floor plan up-regulates the cooling systems to maintain temperature and dehumidify the air, which increases electrical power consumption and your power bill.

It is important to consider these elements when sourcing colocation providers. Many will work with you to determine the best space plan for your environment in order to meet efficiencies and budget requirements.

Our Colocation Checklist provides a starting place for evaluating providers. Download here.

Data Center Houston

*Source APC Data Center Projects: Establishing a Floor Plan