Approach for Developing Data Center Facility

May 21, 2018 6:13 am | Published by Prime-DCS Editor

4 Approach Options for Developing Data Center Facility

Not all sizes, approaches, or methods can be applied to everything, especially when it includes the development of data center facility. Approaches by making uniform method, design and construction are not always applicable because geographic differences, functions, budgets and other factors adapt to specific project specification needs.

That’s why there are various approaches that can be an option in planning the development of the data center along with the excellence and challenges of each approach.

  1. Tender Data Center Development
    The first way that usually done is conventional construction. This method is specifically used to build large-scale data centers. With this approach, the owner chooses a separate design team and data center contractor. The selected data center contractor in the auction method will discuss together the planning, design, and development steps with the design team and consultants.
    The main advantage of using this method is that almost everyone is involved and understands the design and construction of the entire data center facility to be built. Due to a separate design and construction team, they should always check and balance to control the quality and design they want. The owner takes control of the project, monitors control of all aspects of the design and how it is implemented. This encourages the contractor to provide the best to meet the needs and demands of his clients.
    The flip side of this approach is the owner must have the expertise and resources to manage the project team to help solve problems related to design and development. Not only that, the owner must take responsibility for any changes or errors in the design. Generally, there will be inputs and changes in the design during construction from the builder and this results in longer processing and overlap between design and construction activities. These factors can also affect costs when changes occur once construction begins, such as the cost of changing orders and the impact of the scheduled pullback will also affect.

  2. Development by Company that Offer Data Center Solution
    Company that offer data center solution usually provide design and build data center as professional services. This kind of contract offers a one comprehensive team approach to architecture, engineering, and construction. The design and construction team work together from the beginning toward a goal to meet client expectations.
    The main benefit of this approach is that the design and construction team jointly manage the project and solve various problems. Owners focus on performance specifications, design reviews, and general project progress. This initial coordination can lead to more efficient schedules, fewer order changes, and more innovation when teams work together to solve problems.

    In this system there is no conventional check and balance approach so the owners need to pay attention to performance specifications throughout the development and understand the project scope and risks agreed upon by the design team. In other words, the representation of the client’s interest in the program is the client’s responsibility; the design-building contractual relationship limits the design team’s distinctive advocacy towards the client’s interests. With this approach, competition may not be as strong as fewer companies have the experience and expertise to manage large-scale design development programs.

  3. Modular or Prefabricated Data Center
    The beginning of the idea of making prefabricated data centers is to make it easy to build data processing facilities in difficult or remote locations, usually for the military. Today, with more manufacturers and materials to choose from, clients can choose to create data center or modular data center containers. For modular components based on containers using ISO-standard containers. Meanwhile, for modular data centers, the components adjust to the needs of clients. Its modular data center components are manufactured in the factory and shipped in sections.
    The most obvious advantage of this approach is the faster data center development time. With standard design and repeatable implementation processes, owners get products consistent with highly efficient use of space and infrastructure, typically exceeding 20kW per cabinet and PUE in the range of 1.2 to 1.5. Using this scalable approach, owners also have the ability to expand facilities as needed.

    This standardization has disadvantages as well, in some cases, the lack of options may result in less than optimal capacity or significant problems in swapping or moving components when needs change. Also, because the topology and capacity of mechanical and electrical systems are determined by the manufacturer, they can be integrated in modules and ownership, making it more difficult to combine with existing facilities. These modules are also usually sent overland so that equipment can be exposed to vibration and G force which may affect the performance of the equipment.

  4. Lease Data Center Facility
    Since the data center real estate industry has experienced exponential growth over the past few years, the number of real estate developers with a particular focus on the identification, development, and marketing of data center properties has also grown. In this approach, developers manage the process, creating a move-ready facility for data center users.
    With this option, the work is basically done to the owner, apart from input to the user’s specific needs. This option also gives the owner the flexibility to consider all types of locations, while delaying capital expenditure. Developers can also offer incentive services from leases to operating and maintenance agreements.
    The main drawback here is the potential of inconsistent tier requirements and reliability. Clear and detailed documentation of requirements and peer review of design prior to signing any contract will help protect the investment, as well as a detailed Service Level Agreement. This approach also gives developers an advantage in lease term extensions as developers know that relocating or replicating a new data center is a complex and costly process.

As we can see, each of these options has advantages and disadvantages. The consideration of advantages and disadvantages clearly depend on the needs and conditions of each project and owner. Nevertheless, understanding the options and how each can affect the final product will greatly help towards a successful data center development process and ultimately, affect the outcome.

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