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Step 2: Reserve a location

Here's Step 2 of the eight key steps you need to consider when building a data center or server room.

In any new building, every department wants to have first choice for office space. Politics aside, the physical location of the server room is critical and IT should have priority for space location when possible.

With your data center size requirements in hand, scout a position that takes into account its horizontal and vertical aspects. Your location should be centrally located, since that will minimize cabling costs and lengths throughout the building.

You should try to stay away from basement and ground floor levels, where you run the risk of flooding in the basement and roof leaks on the top floors. Server rooms that border outside walls can make temperature and humidity control difficult, especially if they have windows. Look for areas where you could expand if you needed to.

You will also want to avoid areas where plumbing runs directly across the ceiling of the data center, or areas where a bathroom is overhead on the next floor. Consider re-routing some pipes if necessary. In addition, avoid areas of the building with high traffic, for physical security reasons. For instance, I would not recommend placing a data center near a lobby, cafeteria or other publicly accessible area. Scout the areas adjacent to the server room and areas anticipated to be cable runs for problem areas that may generate large electrical or magnetic fields such as elevator shafts.


  Home: Introduction
  Step 1: Determine size requirements
  Step 2: Reserve a location
  Step 3: Power Requirements
  Step 4: Environmental concerns
  Step 5: Rack solutions and cable management
  Step 6: Flooring: choice of materials matter
  Step 7: Security
  Step 8: Finalize the layout

Bernie Klinder, MVP, consultant
Bernie Klinder is a technology consultant for a number of Fortune 500 companies. He is also the founder and former editor of, a comprehensive resource index for IT professionals who support Microsoft Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 and BackOffice products. For his contributions to the information technology community, Bernie was selected as an MVP (Most Valuable Professional) by Microsoft. Copyright 2004 TechTarget

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