Vince Arpa, president of Data Center Design (, says:

Start considerations for your data center very early in the overall project discussion. For example, if this involves a relocation to a new facility or a major renovation of the existing office facility, make sure the data center is addressed early. Too often the Data Center negotiation for office space is done prior to Data Center requirements are considered.

Who should be involved?
For help outside your company, look for experts in the field. Get references. For involvement inside you company, start with the CIO and head of facilities. Each should assign a project manager with management authority that is backed up directly by the CIO and Facilities manager.

How can you avoid common mistakes?
Underestimating future needs. Many years ago there was a perception in the industry that the data center would continue to shrink and eventually disappear. That perception still exists today with the development of blade servers an virtualization software. However, the continued demand for more and sophisticated software and online data, the data center has survived, grown and become more sophisticated itself as it has established itself as the most critical real estate in the company.

The Uptime Institute is one organization that has identified levels of criticality as “Tier” levels. The more critical the Data Center is to the operation of the business, the more redundancy and reliability has to be built into it.