Data Center MythsThe IT department, once a supporting player in an organization, has evolved to adopt an absolutely critical role today, essential to how companies operate and compete. When IT systems are down, core businesses come to a halt, which along with climbing electricity and cooling costs, have left data center managers with heavy responsibilities. Below, we address these issues and more and get to the bottom of the myths surrounding them.

1. Building a new data center or retrofitting an old space is more cost-efficient than going to a co-location Service Provider.

Answer: Myth

Reality: Building a data center is not just about buying and putting together equipment, powering up and activating the cooling function, or installing fire suppression. It involves capital expenses which account for 30% of the cost, and the rest can be attributed to operational and unforeseen emergencies. In situations of critical uptime, enterprises have to engage 24×7 operations within their data center, thereby compromising on economies of scale that only Service Providers have. Unless the data center is of significant size and the company’s cost of downtime is low, a co-location provider will be more suitable.


2. Modern data centers cannot operate at a temperature above 27 degrees Celsius in the cold aisle.

Answer: Myth

Reality: The recommended operating temperature by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is 27 degrees Celsius, when in fact the servers and IT equipment can withstand temperatures higher than that. A major component of cooling within the data center is the amount of airflow and heat exchange that occurs within a server rack.  Modern data centers are designed to optimise air flow through the proper planning of layout and CRAC arrangement as well as an injection of airflow to the cold aisle and heat dissipation.

Singapore Serangoon Data Center (SGDC) operates at 24 degrees Celsius.


3. A Tier 3 data center is inferior to a Tier 4 data center.

Answer: Myth

Reality: Operational efficiency is a primary concern as most outages occur as a result of human error. Physical security is just as important as mechanical and electrical redundancies. In fact, regardless of the tier in which the data center is classified, selecting a regularly audited provider that has the appropriate recognized certifications is most important.

SGDC is a Tier 3 data center that adheres to the stringent data center quality standards of NTT Communications’ Global Data Center. It has also achieved the ISO/IEC 270001:2005 Information Security Management certification and undergone a Threat and Vulnerability Risk Assessment Audit.

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