IT Best Practices: Data Center Site Selection

February 20th, 2014 |
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IT Best Practices: Data Center Site Selection
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IT Best Practices: Intel IT and Corporate Services, working as a team, have identified a range of factors to consider when choosing a data center site. When Intel experiences growth that requires investment in data center facilities, the project team uses this set of factors to select a site that maximizes Intel’s return on investment.

These criteria help optimize construction and sustaining costs while meeting internal customers’ computing and services requirements. They also assist in choosing a site that can accommodate future needs and concerns.

When selecting a site, we consider three criteria to be the most important:

  • Environmental conditions. The region’s climate and history of natural hazards.
  • Wide area network. The availability and cost of fiber and communications infrastructure.
  • Power. The availability and cost of electrical power infrastructure.

We also evaluate the following:

  • Site-level criteria. The factors associated with land acquisition, proximity to threats and resources, and the construction environment.
  • Socioeconomic, workforce, and governmental criteria. The factors associated with the social and economic stability of the region, the availability of a construction and sustaining workforce, and existing regulations, taxation, and incentives.

The perfect site does not exist, and examining all the relevant site-selection criteria is challenging. However, we have found that a well-defined site-selection process and a quantitative analysis of factors and tradeoffs can transform raw data into useful information and insight, enabling informed decision making. The result is a site choice that offers the most advantages, beginning at the preconstruction phase and continuing throughout the life of the data center.


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