Paul Massie(Senior Director Operations and IT, YouSendIt)
I would start with understanding the business plan, followed by the technical architecture plan and then move into actual data center planning. Like any project, success is heavily dependent on defining the requirements to ensure the final deliverable meets those requirements. In this case the requirements are driven first by the business and secondly by the technology. What is the projected or likely growth for the next year? Two years? Five years? Are there any new business directions expected? New products that might lead to different requirements? What about geographical considerations - is the company going to start focusing on Europe and thus need a data center there? All these types of things must be understood at least at a high level just to have a basic understanding of the requirements. Next is technology considerations. Are the new servers going to have similar power considerations? How much space will be needed for the equipment, based on the type of equipment and business directions? For example, is the company going to shift from large servers with light power density to blade servers with high density? Is there going to be large storage appliances installed? How about networks? Is there a requirement to have greatly increased bandwidth? Network connections between data centers? All these sorts of questions need to be answered. These areas are where I'd start. Once these questions are answered you should have a good idea of what you need. Then you can figure out what needs to be in place to meet the requirements and begin the planning to implement.
1 Additional Answer
John Bagdanov(Chief Technology Advisor, IT Answers 4U)
I agree completely with Paul, everything has to begin with a plan. The one thing I would add is to first break out of the traditional data center paradigm. Companies continue to plan their business around what their data center can provide. We must stop allowing IT to drive our business models. When you formulate your plan think outside the traditional data center box. Technology is far more capable than it was when the data center model was created yet companies continue to invest around that model.
When you begin your planning, envision what you want technology to do for your company and design your new data center to meet that vision. Don't be afraid to create a new IT model that supports your business even if it doesn’t align with legacy IT models.
I published a brief on this topic. You can find it at the link below.
If your current staff is stuck in the legacy IT paradigm and is having difficulty thinking outside that model then get outside assistance. An IT Advisor will guide your existing staff in developing a plan that takes advantage of new technologies and will transform your company.
A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant...