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Monday, November 10, 2014

Capacity planning for your data center

Business data storage planning
Industry standards help gauge usage requirements
Planning your data center is not an exact science. There are many variables that come into play, and truth be told, this is something you are going to continually analyze in order to determine if you need to grow the data center. However, it does help knowing some specifics that can help determine the right initial data center for you. From there, you can use these specifically to monitor your data center usage and determine if and when you need to upgrade your data center.  

Industry specific regulations

First off, you need to look at the industry specific regulations. You can check out what different companies providing the same basic services that you utilize in terms of data space. While you probably can't just pick up the phone and call one of these companies, you are able to look online for the average data requirement for the general company type.  

This can help you determine how much data capacity you need. Naturally, there are other variables involved with it, including the size of the company, the size of the accounts and even the location of the business, but the industry specific regulations and standards can give you a ballpark number to work with. This way, you know your final number is not just a shot in the dark and it does have some similar figures to work with.

Current data usage

Look over the amount of data you current use. The data center is going to be constructed of 42u server rack cabinet variations, so you do need to know how many server racks to purchase for your rack solutions. It is possible to add up all of your data storage. You can do this by counting up the number of hard drives you use and the amount of information you have stored on each drive.  

If you have been using external hard drives to store your information, this should make it easier to identify the total amount of storage you currently are using. If you store each individual file on the origin computer though, this can take a bit more time determining the amount of space you already use. There are some programs available to you to help identify what files you use for your business, so you do not need to search through every folder on the computer to add up the space.  

Growth of data creation

Determine growth of information. Your business is going to grow in the amount of files it saves and stores. By identifying the growth level of the files created and stored on your current network, you are able to determine how much additional space you need to add to your server. Thankfully, it is always possible to add additional server racks and blades to your data center, so even if you outpace your initial numbers, you should have no problem of actually determining the amount of storage space you need, all while easily upgrading and updating the size of your data center.

About the author+Katrina   is a leader in the IT industry with innovative ideas and custom solution as a product specialist for Racksolutions.com

Image: Timothy Vollmer "Data Center";  CC BY 2.0