How to Effectively Design a Data Center

George / May 11, 2015

Google has made it clear what works for its many data centers, revealing 10 rules to design your own company’s data centers. The many factors that go into a data center design include efficient cooling methods, using renewable energy, taking advantage of newer technology and more.

Here we’ll summarize these rules.

1. Place Emphasis on the User

Data centers should be installed near where users are located. This helps to cut down on the amount of time it takes for tools to work and perform search queries. Considering Google processes 1 billion international search queries a month, it’s really important to make sure their servers are near areas with many users.

2. Do One Thing Exceptionally Well

Google’s massive demand for data centers (they have over 40) indicates that they’ve been able to master the art of locating and constructing data centers. If you can make any aspect of data center design efficient, this is best .

3. You Can Be Colorful without Losing Professionalism

If you look at Google’s data centers, they are far from bland in appearance. Their color-coded recreation room in their data center perfectly aligns with their “work hard, play hard” philosophy. You can create the same kind of environment.


4. Ensure Information is Accessible Where Necessary

Make sure all of your data is stored on the cloud for universal access, and you can even consider making certain data center metrics accessible to the public, including energy usage, something that Google reveals.

5. You Can Get Design Suggestions from Your Environment

One thing Google does differently is use the environments around their data centers to innovatively help their servers. For instance, Google uses cool air and sea water from around their Finland facility to cool the servers. Being inside of a former paper mill, certain pumps and other electrical equipment have been repurposed to help operate the servers.

6. Designing and Building Data Centers Should Be Fast

While it shouldn’t be done sloppily, designing and constructing data centers should be a quick and efficient process, with Google at the forefront of this, having constructed a data center in Georgia within 16 months as opposed to the typical 2-3 years many others take.

7. Always Set Higher Goals

Successful companies will find innovative ways to improve their data center designs, whether it’s using outside weather factors to help cool servers or the facility’s current equipment to contribute to power efficiency.

8. Find Out Ways to Maximize the Effectiveness of Design

Google is always looking for new ways to improve data center designs, avoiding unnecessary energy consumption and designing data centers to accommodate for sufficient cooling. Companies can also discover new products to maximize the effectiveness of cooling, such as energy-efficient data center curtains that can keep them cooled.

9. Make Money without Causing Environmental Damage

One thing Google is known for is their eco-friendly approach, such as recycling wastewater with a water treatment plant in Belgium, making it good for industrial uses for their facility there. You can also find ways to design your data center around ecologically sound solutions.

10. Exercise Web Democracy

According to Google’s rules as shared by Joe Kava, web democracy is effective, but he also stated that it’s difficult to connect this rule to Google’s data centers. Regardless, it’s a brief, simple tip worth sharing.

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