Affordable colocation: does raised floor add anything but higher costs?

The top two issues companies talk to us about with regards to outsource data centers are uptime and cost.  Yes, carrier neutral data centers, compliance, and hardened data center facilties are part of the decision, but companies are going to a data center to improve or maintain critical computer system uptime, and cost is always a decision point.

So what role does raised floor play in uptime?  None.  It's a design consideration that is a holdover from the 1960s when equipment was cooled from the bottom up.  ASHRAE professionals are acknowledging that in high electrical and heat density data centers, raised floor presents airflow problems.  And raised floor costs average around $50 per foot to install, and the maintenance costs are much higher than solid floor.

So if your looking for affordable colocation, raised floor may not be the way to go.  Disaster recovery colocation facilities often uses solid floor.  More enterprise data centers have moved to solid floor.  It may be better to focus on the other features of the provider, i.e. hardened facilities, carrier neutral data centers, SAS 70 data center compliance.  These features can have a positive impact on uptime, which is the real value that an outsource data center provides.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.
Alex Carroll