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Planning for Growth

There is a bit of wisdom that is often given in leadership conferences, screenwriting classes, project management courses, and countless other disciplines—begin at the end. Have a clear idea of what goal you want to achieve or situation you want to be in when you start a task. This advice applies equally well to organizing a server environment. You want servers and networking devices to be distributed across the Data Center so that the room is easy to use, equipment is logically arranged, and demands upon the infrastructure are even and manageable. To accomplish this, assign space in your Data Center—from the beginning—with an eye toward how you want the fully-occupied room to be. Anticipate future equipment growth. Besides setting aside a dedicated growth path outside the server environment, leave empty rows throughout the Data Center as you assign space.

For example, say your newly-opened, completely-unoccupied Data Center contains ten server rows—one after the other in ascending order—and there are three business groups that need hosting space. Group A has enough servers to fill most of one server row, and doesn't expect any future growth. Group B has servers to occupy one row, but can't predict whether it is going to need a lot more hosting space in the future or none at all. Group C has servers to occupy one server row right away and is expected to fill a second row over the next twelve months. That is a total of three rows that need to be allocated immediately, with at least one more row definitely needed for growth.


  

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