Decommissioning Your Server Room or Data Center

Decomm Image 2

Given the accessibility and cost-effectiveness of today’s cloud services, it is no longer necessary for every business and organization to own and operate a server room in every office. Trends were already moving briskly towards the elimination of on-prem hardware/software even before COVID-19. Now that many of us have relocated our workspace to the dining room table, this movement has only accelerated.

Migration away from owning hardware to occupying a chunk of cloud capacity is leading to a glut of unwanted data centers of various shapes and sizes ranging from small server rooms to enterprise-sized facilities. What does one do with a server room that is no longer needed?

In Washington, DC, and other large cities, where office space leases cost north of $50 per square foot per year, the decision is easy. The smart move is to optimize the physical footprint occupied by your server room by consolidating into as few IT cabinets as possible. At the same time, you can reduce your UPS size and eliminate large cooling systems. This will instantly lower your electrical utility charges dramatically. Finally, you should populate your remaining IT cabinets in an efficient, but dense, fashion with only the devices that must remain to ensure connectivity throughout your organization. Move everything else off-prem.

Such a transformation can recover up to 90% of the floor space that was previously occupied by empty racks, cooling systems, batteries, miles of abandoned network cables, and under-utilized access floor. As an example, consider a legacy server room measuring 30’ by 40’ (1,200 SF). It is not unreasonable to right-size the critical hardware and support systems into a 10’ x 12’ (120 SF) room. This is made possible, in part, due to today’s highly efficient, and small, UPS’ and in-row cooling systems.  The value of the recovered space is enormous.

In this example, repurposing 1,080 SF of floor space will enable the organization to “find” usable office area that is worth $50 x 1,080 = $54,000 per year, without expanding beyond the existing walls.

Decommissioning enterprise data centers can be equally fruitful and even more financially impactful. The landscape is dotted with buildings that were originally conceived as data centers. Consolidation of the access floor and supporting infrastructure areas into a more condensed footprint will bring tremendous value to the occupants. We have even seen customers eliminate data centers entirely. Some have recovered entire buildings that can be reconfigured for any purpose.

Compu Dynamics has been building, renovating and optimizing data centers since the early 1980’s. We understand how to design new IT facilities, and how to decommission old ones. If you would like to discover hidden value in your IT environment simply by right-sizing your data center footprint, we can help you explore the possibilities. Call us today to set up your complimentary consultation.

Related Posts