How to Restructure Data Center Capacity Planning

Capacity planning is an integral part of any data center business and presents some of the most important—and challenging—questions data center teams face: Do we have the right people and tools in place? Can we maintain uptime while pushing computing resource? How do we keep our projects on time without increasing cost or risking outages? 

Data Center Managers are tasked with establishing a workflow that answers these questions. In trying to establish such a workflow, many Data Center Managers face the following scenario:

  • A business unit would like to update their application.
  • The IT department investigates an alternative solution that will run on the standard platform. Regardless, hardware is ultimately purchased, and the project begins.
  • The Data Center Manager receives the project request, which will need X amount of power and Y sq. ft. of space. 
  • The Data Center Manager is concerned that the project requirements cannot be met due to density constraints. 
  • Either Facilities Management will need to be involved to re-engineer the space to accommodate the equipment or the equipment must be relocated to another area in the data center.
  • Solving the dilemma will likely result in project delays, increased costs, and outages. 

While the above sounds less than ideal, it seems to be a surprisingly common occurrence in the data center industry. This blog shares an alternative workflow using a digital twin of the data center.

Establishing a Cohesive Capacity Planning Workflow

Establishing a smooth, cohesive workflow is easier with the right tools in place. Implementing a digital twin of the data center solves the dilemma of the above scenario before it occurs.

The new workflow would look like the following:

  • A business unit would like to update their application.
  • The IT Department checks with the Capacity Manager to see if the equipment can be installed using the 6Sigma Digital Twin.
  • The Capacity Manager simulates the impact of the new equipment on the data center’s power, space, cooling, and airflow capacity. 
  • The Capacity Manager informs the IT Department of the results and whether Facilities Management will need to be involved. 
  • The cost and timeline of the equipment install are finalized. The Capacity Manager informs the Data Center Manager.
  • The new equipment is delivered and installed with no delays, unexpected costs, or outages. 

This scenario is noticeably smoother, and the teams are working together more cohesively. The primary difference between the two scenarios is that the teams in the second scenario know exactly how their data center will behave when new equipment is installed. This data makes all the difference.

Data Center Capacity Planning with Digital Twin Software

Being able to test new equipment virtually using digital twin technology and see the equipment’s impact on power, space, cooling, and airflow capacity removes guesswork and risk. Teams are better equipped to make informed, data-driven decisions that can easily be conveyed to one another on one platform.

Want to learn more about the 6Sigma Digital Twin? Check out this video for an introduction on how digital twin technology enables risk-free capacity planning decisions or access our recent case studies to learn how other data center teams are currently using the 6Sigma Digital Twin.

If you would like additional information on how Creative Facility Design is using this tool to empower companies like yours, check us out here


Guest blog written by: 

Paul Brin Paul Brin, CEO, CDCDP, CDCEP, Creative Facility Design

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29 July, 2021

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