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June 2009 | Volume 12 / Number 6
Ask the Colocation Expert

How to Extend the Life of Your Data Center

New applications, server sprawl, massive storage requirements and changing demand have put more pressure on data center space. In the past, when you got close to running out of space in your data center, you would build a new data center or augment the one your have. You would design the new space for longevity, ensuring you have adequate floor space for growth and making sure you have all the redundancy and power you could afford. This plan often over-provisions power and cooling and has a high upfront cost. Also, capital constraints may limit your ability to build new capacity. So what can you do to extend the life of your data centers?

  1. Put high density pods together. This allows more efficient use of power. Doing this can save 20 percent of costs.
  2. Augment your space by using a colocation facility. A colocation facility is more efficient in terms of power and space because all of this is shared among customers and the space can be configured so that high density users can be put together. This will allow you to support new services while lowering the upfront capital needed to build out.
  3. Because capital is tight, look at ways of saving space in your present facility. For example, in our Phoenix data center we were able to get 10+ new cabinets in our present space by looking at the way the space was configured and making changes such as moving walls, reconfiguring the space, building a few cabinets near hallways, etc. This can extend the life of your present center.
  4. Look at Server Virtualization. Often servers are under-utilized. Per Quocirca. Ltd., servers are often used only 10-20 percent of capacity. So go to fewer brands/sizes, use server consolidation, virtualization and blade servers. If you go to virtualization you can better utilize your servers and thereby better use your space.
  5. Utilize Cloud and SaaS (News - Alert) services. This allows more efficient use of your space for critical applications and thereby saves space and power.

Rose Klimovich is Vice President, Product Development, Telx ( Reach her at

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