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Data Center Handbook by Hwaiyu Geng

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11Electrical Design in Data Centers

Jay S. Park and Sarah Hanna

Facebook, Inc., Menlo Park, CA, USA

In order to design an optimal data center, one must go through the process of determining its specific business needs. Planning and listing the priorities and the required functionality will help determine the best topology for the data center. Outlining the key ideas and concepts will help structure a focused and effective document.

To adequately define the basic functionality requirements, business needs, and desired operations of the data center, consider the following criteria:

  • The facility’s uptime
  • The electrical equipment to be deployed
  • The electrical design strategy

The basic requirements, business needs, and desired operations are collectively known as the backbone requirements.

11.1 Uptime

First, determine the required uptime of the facility. Can the system incur some downtime?

If it can, you must address how much downtime can occur without affecting business operations. Due to the criticality of their businesses, financial institutions, colocation facilities, or institutions directly related to revenue generation require the highest levels of uptime. Less mission-critical organizations have the flexibility to lower their uptime requirements significantly.

11.2 Electrical Equipment to Deploy

Next, consider the electrical equipment that will be deployed in the data center and used by the servers. It is necessary to answer the following questions:

  • How is the power ...

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