Upgrade IT: Data Center Renovations and Planning

Upgrade IT: Data Center Renovations and Planning

Posted by Rackmount Solutions on Aug 30th 2019

It is always important to give your data center some upgrades to add space or increase efficiency. Whether you are taking over a data center or simply going through data center renovations the following are elements you must consider. We always say “Prior planning prevents poor performance” and that is certainly true when configuring a data center. Here are a few suggestions for some changes that you can implement to upgrade your data center:

New Renovations for your Data Center 

Airflow and Cooling: 

This element is essential for the best performance of your equipment. Optimize a true hot aisle / cold aisle containment configuration. Align the racks to where the air is escaping properly. Install blanking panels. Remove any perforated tiles from your hot aisles (if you have a raised floor). Finally install and improve your cable management. This is your opportunity to get it right so don’t skimp on the chance to start fresh with great airflow and cooling for your equipment.


 Evaluate the power in your data center. Do you have equipment running that isn’t serving a purpose? Do you have older PDU or UPSs that are draining energy rather than improving upon it? Consider an Energy Star rated piece of equipment instead. Between adding blanking panels and aligning Energy Star rated equipment, you can save massive amounts on your energy bills.


If you are renovating your data center, you have to plan for the future. Maybe this is the time to invest in taller racks and increase the available footprint by switching to 45u+ rather than the ones you are currently using or considering the growth of your company lay the foundation for future racks that will be needed.


Is your data secure? With the renovation it could be time to update the locks on your doors or invest in server racks that are PCI Compliant (restricted access from all sides). By re-configuring your layout if you have cameras you want to make sure and update their positions as well.

There are many other aspects to renovating a data center, but these certainly get you on the right track and lay the groundwork for the future. If you need help with your data center renovations talk to our experts at Rackmount Solutions by calling 1-800-352-6631 or submit a contact us request below.

Clear the Air: Keeping Your Data Center Clear

Do you have a dirty data center? Are dust bunnies setting up camp on your equipment? It might be time to check up on the cleanliness of your environment. Believe it or not, data centers actually need more than just a spring cleaning. Keeping an eye on the air quality of your data center is extremely important because airborne contaminants can damage your valuable equipment. These contaminants, including dust, other particles, and gases, can wreak havoc on your equipment and potentially make some equipment inoperable.

Types of contaminants: Particles and gases

It is important to know what contaminants may be lurking in your data center. There are two types of dust that could be resting on your equipment: chemically inert dust and corrosive dust. Who knew that there is more than one kind of dust? Other types of particle contaminants include dirt, soot, pollen, and fly ash. Those aren’t good either.

Gaseous contaminants include sulfur dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, hydrogen chloride, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and ammonia. These gases can mix together and have an even stronger negative effect on your equipment than they would have alone. Talk about a lot of gas…

Problems introduced by contaminants

Damage to your equipment due to contaminants can include reduced airflow through equipment, circuit failure, corrosion, and overheating. The worst case scenario can be complete equipment failure, which is expensive and inconvenient.


Prevention and solutions: Averting and resolving contamination

This all sounds extremely scary. Don’t worry, though. There are ways to protect your data center from particle and gas damage. By following some simple procedures, you can ensure that your equipment remains clean and fully functional.

Prevention is extremely important. It is difficult to eliminate problems after they have already occurred. So, be proactive! Implement these preventative strategies in order to protect your equipment:

  • Install and use air filters throughout your data center. Be sure to use the type of air filters that will filter out whatever contaminants exist in your environment.
  • Keep all equipment and equipment rooms as clean as possible by cleaning frequently. Be careful to only use cleaners that are designed specifically for use around your type of data center equipment.
  • Use protective devices, such as protective cabinets, to prevent harm to your hardware. You can check with the equipment manufacturer to see what protective devices are needed and recommended.

Monitoring equipment and keeping tabs on contamination

It is critical to monitor equipment on a continuous basis. All data centers should have monitoring procedures in place. However, it is even more important for data centers that use air-side economizers to carefully monitor contamination and equipment, since they increase the likelihood of contamination.

A monitoring schedule can include frequent visual inspections of equipment in order to check for contaminant build up. You can also use copper coupons to measure copper build-up over time if corrosion is taking place.

Now you know the tips to a cleaner environment, so it’s time to face that dirty data center, and say goodbye harmful gases and killer dust bunnies. Through diligent prevention and monitoring, you can relax knowing that your data center equipment will be reliable and healthy for years to come.

Data Center Planning

Planning your holiday meal for Thanksgiving is hard enough, but planning the growth and utilization of a data center for years to come? Now that’s a challenge. If done poorly you can over shoot or under shoot by a large margin leaving extensive infrastructure issues. To complicate matters factoring in mobility, the cloud, and potential virtualization make calculating the future all the more difficult.

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid

When planning your future data center capacity it’s best to start by keeping it simple. Consider the growth of the business, plan for the requirements this growth will have and the applications that come with it, and don’t neglect how muchpower and cooling that will also contribute to this data growth. If you have a strong history, consider the previous years growth trends and how the capacity has changed year over year.

We can Help

Precisely planning the footprint, power, cooling, and new equipment isn’t the job for a single person. While not all vendors have the resources to help, Rackmount Solutions is willing to visit your site and help you consider the future and the many nuances that you might run into. We’ll also help you establish the capacity for growth, basically providing the ground work for future growth without having under utilization now, or spending more today for no purpose. We’ll help you be realistic and plan a data center than can adjust and adapt for 5-7 years.

Data Center Design – Scalable and Flexible

What are some primary areas of focus concerning data center design?

When planning your data center design, it is important to consider scalability. Whether you use all of the allotted space from the start, or a more modular approach, it is vital to make sure you plan with scalability and flexibility to prevent having to make a large overhaul in the future.

Many facets of data center design and planning attribute to how easily and effectively your data center will be able to grow. Plan for:

  • scalability

  • electrical and mechanical designs

  • location

  • floor space utilization


What changes in data center design, layout, and overall physical infrastructure can we expect?

The switch towards higher density data centers has already begun as the result of increased reliance on virtualization. Virtualization can actually improve power consumption in the overall data center, however the manner in which virtualized servers are typically grouped more often than not creates areas or zones within the data center that require more cooling, which should be a consideration when designing or redesigning a room. You can providespecialized air conditioned server racks for specific equipment or aportable spot cooler if your AC is not uniform, especially during hot summer months.

How do you expect these to impact efficiency and management?

The continuing shift towards higher density racks has benefits in overall efficiency, however in many cases, it will also require a different approach when it comes to cooling. Air cooling will work up to a point, but once enough high density racks are populated, it would be wise to consider a water-based cooling solution. This is generally not much of a problem for data centers that are being built from the ground up, but it can sometimes be troublesome and costly for older data centers that would need to be retrofitted to accommodate it.

Data centers that are not utilizing raised flooring can also expect to see an increase in efficiency when it comes to cooling. One of the most prevalent causes of inefficient cooling in data centers is the airflow obstructions that come along with raised flooring, with cable bundles in the plenum space underneath.

How will these influence the products data center managers buy in the near future?

The move towards high density racks will likely require data center managers to look into purchasing higher density PDUs to save physical space and increase airflow; higher density PDUs allow you to deliver more power with fewer cables thus fewer airflow obstructions. Data center managers might also consider looking into liquid cooling options for their room, in the event that their current cooling does not support the conversion to higher density.

For new data centers, what importance should enterprises place on physical location and taking advantage natural resources available?

Physical location is a very large consideration when it comes to building a brand new data center. Certain geographic locations offer benefits such as cooler climates or natural resources, such as drilling bore holes for local cold ground water. Some companies have begun building data centers in Iceland, where geothermal energy can be accessed at negligent costs. While you probably won’t opt to build your data center halfway across the world, it would serve you to do a bit of research on areas near you that might have favorable year round climate or other resources that can be taken advantage of to assist in reducing costs.

Call us  at 866-207-6631 for your server rack, power, UPS or cable management requirements. We’re happy to assist.