I recently had occasion to read a white paper that Schneider Electric put out some years ago about the mistakes companies make in data center planning and was surprised at how little has changed over the years.
The number one mistake named in the paper, titled “The Top 9 Mistakes in Data Center Planning,” was failure to take total cost of ownership (TCO) into account. As the paper explains, the fundamental issue is that companies often neglect to calculate a 3-7 year operations and maintenance (O&M) expense budget. Such a budget would cover the estimated costs for elements ranging from OEM maintenance contracts to the staff needed to run the data center day-to-day.
It’s an issue I continue to see today, although the equation has changed somewhat. The energy efficiency of much of the data center infrastructure has improved over the years, in some cases dramatically so. Of course the most efficient equipment may be a bit more expensive than other options but taking TCO into account will quickly determine whether that additional upfront investment is worthwhile.
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