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Man Conducting Data Center Testing

Anticipating the additional data center loads needed to cope with the ever-increasing demands of new technologies is essential to future-proofing your data center. These five tips can help you minimize downtime, reduce costs and provide cost-effective alternatives to time-consuming upgrades.

1. Cabling and Infrastructure

Installing more cabling and infrastructure capacity is key when designing a future-proofed data center. Maximize your upfront cabling investment by designing your data center to support application demands for the next 10–15 years. Future-proof cabling recommendations:

Copper Cabling

  • Category 6A or higher
  • 500 MHz usable bandwidth for extended headroom
  • 10 Gigabit Ethernet support

Fiber Cabling

  • ISO/IEC OM4 cable
  • 10 Gigabit Ethernet distance – 550 meters
  • 40/100 Gigabit Ethernet distance – 150 meters
2. Power and Cooling

As energy costs fluctuate, building sustainability and efficiency into your data center gives you the best chance to protect yourself against future price increases. Installing the right power and cooling products can help you achieve significant energy efficiencies.

  • Right size power equipment to the IT load to add flexibility to expand when needed
  • Install power conversion-free products when possible.

Improving airflow in your data center can affect cooling and at many times is a lower cost alternative than installing additional air conditioners. To improve your cooling efficiencies, follow these best practices:

  • Adhere to published industry standards best practices
  • Deploy a hot and cold aisle data center layout
  • Install fully ducted containment solutions
  • Use variable speed, fans, pumps and chillers
  • Take advantage of free cooling by using air and water side economizers
  • Use:
    • Passive containment solutions
    • Hot and cold aisle containment
    • Close-coupled in-row cooling
    • Enclosure-based heat exchangers.
3. Racks and Cabinets

The proper racks and cabinets will help increase efficiency as well as sustainability. Your base racks should have the ability to bear increasing density demands over time and support the addition of accessories such as cable or thermal management.

Recommendations to maximize your investment:

  • 78 percent perforated doors
  • Width to fit Cat 6A cable and cable management
  • Extensive cable management
  • Security system with locks and audit trail capture
  • Conversion of four-post racks into enclosures
  • Capacity to accommodate up to 2,500-lb. payload
  • Grounding kit
  • UL Listed 60950.
4. Physical Security

The physical security of your data center and its critical assets should be as rigorously planned as the data center itself. We advocate a four-layered approach that includes the following:

  • Perimeter security
  • Facility controls
  • Computer room controls
  • Cabinet controls.

Addressing each of these layers provides comprehensive and integrated protection from the facility’s perimeter to the cabinets in the data center.

5. Management and Monitoring

Monitoring your environment (such as temperature, humidity, power and cooling) along with efficiently managing your power load can help you optimize your infrastructure resources to meet your business demands. By effectively monitoring and managing your data center, you can right size your equipment to extend its life span while increasing energy and cost savings.

Learn more about future-proofing your data center with our ipAssured for Data Centers program.

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