Step-by-Step: Build a Data Center

Executive Summary
  • 42% of IT leaders will face a data center build or upgrade in 2010 - one of the most expensive and complex IT projects, it can cost up to $1.6 M for a 1000 square foot data center.
  • Each data center project is unique and should have its own detailed budget. Planning up front and establishing a clear project scope will minimize expensive changes in later project stages.
  • Industry benchmarks are not always accurate – the absence of a budget risks cost overruns by 22%. Hidden costs for landscaping, permits, and security can increase capital investments. Ongoing operating expenses must also be budgeted, as they represent 65% of the total costs associated with building a data center.
  • Accurate estimates of facility requirements are a critical input to the project’s budget.
  • Power and cooling supply requires careful estimation to accommodate future growth yet avoid unwarranted costs.
  • Fire protection is mandated by law and comes with real consequences as it can impact life safety.
  • Site selection should identify any potential issues that may lead to additional construction costs, especially in an existing building.
  • Hire a specialized general contractor and avoid those who build office spaces only. Data centers have more stringent, unique code requirements. Use specialized talent to avoid costly retrofit later.
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