Neglected Cost Components in Data Center Planning

The process for drafting indicative pricing for data center IT installations typically follows a predicable path.  First, the configuration of IT kit is examined for expected power dissipation.  With the power estimates in hand, cooling and physical space estimates can be drafted.  With power, cooling, and space estimates, one can propose rack configurations for candidate cabinet power density levels on the computer room floor.  At the end we have what we need to get vendor quotes for the IT equipment and the impact on the data center (or quotes from collocation providers).

Cost Contribution of Cabling

One component that often goes unchecked, even during deeper rounds of data center cost estimation is the cost of cabling.  Cabling costs can be (usually are) rather significant, especially with the escalating price of copper.  While through the 90’s, data center planners considered the cost of copper as data centers require vast amounts in support of “below white space” and “above white space” infrastructure, since 2005 the price of copper has been a dynamic variable that added a new complicating factor to data center implementation budget planning accuracy.