One of my actual activities is to revise and prepare a prosal for refurbishing Data Centres. Most of the time I have found that our customers did not have a very clear picture of what they want as outcome when the project became a reality.
Here some 5 ideas to keep in mind when you start such task:
1st. Look very carefully the project time frame. Most of the projects need more than one year to be finished from planning up to production. If you have a requirement for doing the planning in one or two months; it will be better to shoot your feet byyourself. Planning a refurbish is quite more complex that doing the same task for a new location.
Why? just because you have to get a very good stuff inventory of what are you going to get into the SAME space.
2nd Doing the inventory. A lot of customers says "we have 180 servers, 3 SAN, 25 Lan/wan switches; 14 rout......
But a most of the time they do not have the real information updated or available ( power consuming, model, brand, cards, and so on)
3rd Observe the actual site; Is it a traditional computer or equipment room with all facility structured cabling going into?; does it be placed by the perimeter fence?; has it only one entrance to?; is it located in the basement or has only two water pipes inside the place?
All of this situations ALWAYS arise several and costly inevstments to change them; so keep an eye on where the site is.
4th. How long the DC will be in comission? This is avery difficult decition to take when the planning starts; because a dozen of million investment is not for only four or five years. The TCO has to taken in consideration; it will be a GREEN DC?; the space could be resized in the near future, if so the cost would be...?
5th The designing team. This is one of the most important resources to consider just when the idea of refurbish (or building a new DC) is consider. You MUST have experienced people doing what the have learned & studied; not only the fancy or famous names should be consider but those that have rolled the sleaves to carry out such jobs.
roberto sanchez, RCDD