Companies have costs, this is a given. These can come in many forms, both one off expenditures and also weekly, monthly or yearly costs such as employee salaries, VAT, and in the case of technology – hosting costs, infrastructure and assets. All of this can add up to an eye watering figure, but as with anything there are ways to cut these costs. In the case of server rooms or data centres there is money to be saved everywhere – although this often requires a larger up front cost in order to save in the long term.
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Let us take the scenario where a company is either being set up or is expanding to the point where they need to build a server room or data centre to house their servers. There are obviously costs involved and the following are areas in which they might be able to save some funds. I am going to ignore the cost of actually buying the servers and will just assume that they have already made provision for this part of technology – along with the wires and cabling that is needed for said servers.
Cooling the servers is an expense that can be decreased if done properly. Like anything, cooling systems can be inefficient and need proper consideration before installing. The servers racks or stacks need to be placed in a way that makes best use of the cooling system – for this example let’s take air conditioning. The air will need to circulate around the servers in the most efficient manner so that the air conditioning unit can be kept at the lowest possible safe setting because clearly air conditioning units require electricity (and therefore money) to operate. This is one of the instances in which buying a more efficient unit may well be more expensive as an upfront cost but over the lifetime of the unit the cost of running it will be significantly lower than a cheaper less efficient unit.
Server stacks are a cost that is easily overlooked. These are speciality units and as such can vary in price significantly. I am personally of a view that if you buy cheap you are likely to buy twice, but at the same time am fully aware that some producers will have inflated prices simply for the brand name. Bear in mind that broken parts might need replacement and that quality products break less often than poor quality products…..obviously! Buying in bulk will provide leverage for negotiation or a discount. So get in touch with the producers themselves and look to see if you can strike a deal.
Companies like Comms Room Services (http://www.commsroomservices.co.uk/) specialise in designing and building server rooms and data centres, as such they often have relationships with suppliers and will be able to buy assets like cooling units and server stacks at ‘trade prices’. Therefore, even though there may be an extra cost in employing companies such as these to design and build a server room they may well be able to offer discounts on parts and also will be able to design the room in the most energy efficient way…another instance in which an initial cost could save money over the lifetime of a server room or data centre.
There are numerous other ways to ensure that the expense of a sever room does not escalate, for example making sure that there is not an excessive supply of servers compared with demand! All factors need to be taken into account and small savings in each area may well amount to significant savings when compiled.
Article by Bency George