In the past, data center operators often thought of floor space as the major factor in determining the design of a new data center facility.
Today, data center managers should think about the density of the power, not the amount of floor space they have to work with.
More than 20 years ago, most data center facilities were designed with less than 100 W per square foot and sometimes even as low as 40 to 60 W per square foot. Over the past 10 years, data center design density has increased to between 100 and 150 W per square foot and/or less than 5 kW per cabinet. In recent years, however, the trend toward even higher-density data center environments has been accelerating, as a result of the vast proliferation of virtualization and cloud implementation.
These new technologies demand higher kW-per-cabinet densities that aging data center facilities simply cannot accommodate. When considering either building a new facility or sourcing a new data center provider, owners and operators would be wise to consider smaller, high-density environments over larger, low-density environments.
In addition to being able to support the latest information technology (IT) equipment in a higher-density environment, owners and operators would also benefit from significant cost savings that can be realized when building or leasing a high-density environment (as compared to a low-density environment).