Data centers have become larger, more dense, and taller over the last decade. This growth is fueled by the expansion of data; of course, as every industry realizes how data can be used to improve their processes and every company collects and processes more information than ever before.
But the deciding points of whether to go wider, taller or denser has been debated as land, power, and construction have changed over time as well. And although many data centers have similarities and might even look the same, very few are created equal. The decisions around the balance of up, out and density also revolve around security, flexibility, and the core infrastructure that supports the business needs; however for simplification we will examine the general progress and advice to best suit the overall data center market.
Striking the Balance
When it comes to finding a sweet spot for a data center, there are a number of factors that go into the overall equation to determine the size, height, and density. Governments and developers in many cities and markets have said there has been a need to look into the future of what may be available around us and how best to utilize those resources. The sites and land for data centers is no different, with long term planning already underway by the major data center businesses acquiring enough land to develop large new campuses in the major markets.
Depending on location building higher can yield efficiencies in cost and operations and there can be further savings based on how the power and cooling are provided in a similarly stacked method. However when land is relatively abundant in places with enticing incentives and around plentiful fiber, the need to add even a second story may not outweigh the costs to a single level, perhaps with scooters to glide down those long corridors.
Since the top ten data center owners have banked over 2,700 acres of land they will likely track the pace of development to determine necessitate going up, out, or denser. And naturally they will be able to watch what their neighbors are doing, for cost as well as these factors and more, to evaluate how best to proceed with their next facility.