Building a data centre

Building a Data Centre: What Factors Should You Consider?

At INFINITI we appreciate that you may be unsure in determining your specific needs when looking to establish a data centre. As a result, we’ve developed a brief run through of some of the aspects you should take into consideration when deciding on the right build for you.

Location of data centre build

Location – One of the first variables to consider is working out where you want your data to be. Below are a few examples of how you can store your data: 

Onsite build consists of having your data at your disposal right on your doorstep. For companies that require quick ease of access to their data, they will want to consider this route. If you’re the paranoid type, it is also a great option if you want to make sure you know exactly where your data is at all times. Having your data available first hand can be an important part of the process for a lot of businesses but do expect a lot of in house maintenance to keep your data centre running as efficiently as possible.

Co-location – consists of having your data at a location that is not your own. Typically, a co-location (aka colo) is built to provide a rentable space for business’ looking to store their data in a tangible location without sacrificing onsite facility space. However, be prepared for a potentially large asking price, as well as the inability to access your data as easily as you could with an onsite build.    

Cloud A good majority of business’ have moved towards cloud technology to store their data. However, we feel it is always worthwhile in having a tangible data centre if you can afford to do so. However, if you are looking for internet dependent storage that doesn’t break the bank, then cloud is for you. Objectively, the cloud is highly reliant on an internet connection to function and can only be accessed online. As a result, you want to make sure that your connection is top tier to avoid any possible downtime or interruption.  

 Edge – Edge data centres are an emerging form of data centre – allowing for a variety of both in house and colo services. Edge data centres become worthwhile if you require a whole lot of flexibility for multiple sources for data. However, as it is an emerging tech, expect high levels of turnover and uncertainty for the next few years whilst the technology is being perfected to match industry changes. 

What factors should you consider?

Reliability – making sure you have a reliable data centre is something that shouldn’t take a backseat. When deciding upon your data centre, you need to make sure that your decision is fully encompassing of how important your data is to you.  If you are focused on going down the physical route, consider that reliability doesn’t just mean having powerful hardware. You must consider a mixture of variables to avoid any future discrepancies. For example; be sure to consider your exact power needs, methods of cooling, UPS (uninterruptable power supply), and methods of ventilation to name just some of many variables.

If you’re more focused on pursuing the digital route, consider that you need a highly stable and reliable connection to maintain your data stream. You should also even consider a potential back up – in case there comes a time that you cannot access your data through your online systems.  

Data Centre Security Lock

Security – Like all aspects listed, security is an integral part of any data centre. Data is an asset, and at this point it should be treated no differently than a chest full of jewels. Data is a priceless resource that has become critical amongst modern business practice looking to stay on top. However, it has also become a hot commodity for hackers to get their hands on for ransom.

Because of this growing importance and interest in data, maintaining high security protocols have become more important than ever before. Keeping your data under close surveillance takes precedent over most. After the initial identification of your location, look to then identify your options for keeping your location secure. Consider the key points of access to the premise, consider surveillance methods i.e. is the building under 24-hour supervision, do you have access to CCTV, does the building have embedded security systems, have you considered obscuring your location to reduce risk? These are some of many factors that should be considered when assessing your data centre’s security.

Once you have considered the physical measures, you must then consider the digital measures. Is your data well encrypted and kept under a secure network? Is your data stored within an internal portal?

Although maintaining strict security protocol can come with a big price tag – the price to pay if you are struck by a data breach will be even bigger.


Data Centre planning model

Infrastructure – Whilst network infrastructure is often important, physical infrastructure can often be overlooked, resulting in a problematic and tedious logistics process for both yourselves and your potential engineers. Make sure that your chosen location provides the correct capacity and facilities needed for your centre to function appropriately. Don’t plan for a 20 rack build when you’ve only got the capacity for 16 racks.

Backup – As we’ve already briefly touched upon, making sure you’ve considered a powerful back up system for your data. Obtaining a powerful and reliable UPS with at least a 6-minute fail safe, a back up generator and static transfer system will be the recommended go to start point. In times of disruption, a generator will act as your data centre’s life force until the problem is resolved. As the generator kicks in, the UPS will begin fulfilling its role, giving you time to address the situation quickly without the risk of losing your data.  

Safety – Safety is no less important than any other aspect listed. Maintaining a safe environment for your data centre is crucial in your resounding success. You should consider key variables such as the need for security doors that fit your requirements, the need for fire rated walls, earthing your data cabinets to avoid any unwanted surges and risk of electrocution, effective fire suppression systems, etc. again, some of many variables to consider. 

At INFINITI, we are focused on being able to provide you with services that are fully encompassing of the information provided above to make sure you are fully prepared. If you are interested in finding out more about building a data centre, contact us here: enquiries@infiniti-it.co.uk 


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