Data center’s are used to house computers which store information.
The information is stored away for ongoing importing and exporting of information, long term safekeeping and storage for future retrieval. Because the majority of this information is “for your eyes only”, the environment has to be secure from others and available to you whenever you desire it.
The information stored varies from personal to business. Banks store financial information, companies store information relating to their business, Facebook has your photos and posts, Twitter holds on to your tweets, Amazon stores your past orders, Apple Icloud stores your photos, your online retailer stores your credit card numbers, your kids snapchat floats in the cloud, this post is stored there etc.
Most people don’t realize where this information really goes or where it is stored. The term ‘cloud’ makes you look up in the sky, like a scene from Avatar, but it is all rooted firmly on the ground in Data Centers.
A Data Center therefore must be a highly secure environment which allows for oneself to access that information on a moments notice. For the most part, it is instantaneous. There are two main scenarios. (1) A company can build and operate their own data center or (2) rent space, called a colocation Data Center. Colocations Data Centers manage the facility, similar to renting space within an office building. The rental of space may be as small as one computer server, a rack which may store a dozen computers, a cage of any size storing 100’s of computers or a room storing thousands of computers. The top 4 Wholesale colocation Data Center providers as recognized by Data Center Knowledge are
- Digital Realty
- Global Switch
- China Telecom
The typical data center is comprised of a large room anywhere from a few thousand feet upwards to 40,000 s.f. The room is supported by a large electrical and mechanical infrastructure to maintain power to the computer servers while keeping them at a desired temperature. Computers use energy which give off a lot of heat. This heat if not removed will build up in a room which eventually will shut down the servers.
The power consumption within a Data Center is similar to how one uses power within our homes. At times, you have peak power when everyone is at home, turning on lights, cooking something in the oven, running our A/C to keep ourselves cool while watching television show. At other times, your power consumption is low, when your not home or asleep at night. Power companies need to supply enough power to handle the peak times a Data Center has when its servers are in heavy demand or else outages occur and clients are not happy. Therefore, data centers are similarly designed to handle higher than expected use so they can ensure that any demand is met. Data Centers use approximately 4% of the energy consumption within the U.S.
The quantity of Data Center is surprising. There are 40+ colocation Data Centers within Arizona and 100’s of privately run Data Centers.
Serbin Studio has been specializing in Data Center Design since 2004. The data center building is usually inconspicuous, not one to stand out and draw attention to. They have a level of secrecy so they can float under the radar. Most projects require the designers to sign a Non-disclosure agreement so the secrecy of the design methods are not shared with the competitors.
Within that 14 year period, we have worked on over 300 data center projects relating to conceptual designs, data center renovations, commercial office renovations, elevator renovations, exterior facades etc.
Our most recent projects in 2018 which I have sworn to secrecy include:
- Master planning for a new facility
- Exterior renovations to enhance an existing facilities tired facade
- Lobby, Customer lounge, restroom, offices and conference room renovations to enhance the customer experience
- Power upgrades to an existing facility