Network cables run along a ceiling in a server room in New York City. (Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

Network cables run along a ceiling in a server room in New York City. (Photo by Michael Bocchieri/Getty Images)

The Life Cycle of a Data Center

Your data center is alive.

It is a living, breathing, and sometimes even growing entity that constantly must adapt to change. The length of its life depends on use, design, build, and operation.

Equipment will be replaced, changed, and may be modified to best equip your specific data center’s individual specification to balance the total cost of ownership with risk and redundancy measures.

Just as with a human being, the individual care and love you show your data center can lengthen the life of your partnership.

This, best utilizing and tailoring your data center to extend its life cycle, is addressed by Morrison Hershfield Critical Facilities Practice Lead, Steven Shapiro, in his upcoming Data Center World presentation, “The Life Cycle of a Data Center”.

“Life cycle cost, sometimes referred to as return on investment, at its simplest level, is the study of an infrastructure system or component for the data center that takes into account all of these issues to develop a clear and concise means to decide which systems or components to choose that will provide the lowest life cycle cost for the facility,” Shapiro explained.

“The lowest life cycle cost, or the shortest return on investment, is the best investment that can be made for the data center. These studies do not take into account the preferences of the operations staff, or the ease of operation or maintenance unless that ease directly translates into dollars and cents.”

Systems that may be subject to these types of evaluations range from general building construction to each of the mechanical electrical, fire protection and plumbing system in the facility.

By the end of this presentation the attendees will understand the life of the most expensive facility in their portfolio, their data center.

Key questions that will be addressed, and key problems that will be solved in this session are:

  1. What decisions must be made to develop the basis of design for my data center?
  1. What impact do these decisions have?
    • an explanation of Total Cost of Ownership for the various components of the data center infrastructure.
  1. How does maintenance impact my life cycle?
  1. How do I make my facility scalable?
  1. How do my initial decisions impact my ability to grow my facility?
  1. Does commissioning have a place in the life cycle of the data center?
  1. Is it different if I own my data center or if I am in a Colo?

Steven Shapiro will be presenting “The Life Cycle of a Data CenterThursday, March 17th from 10:45 – 11:45am in the ‘Tradewinds AB’ room at Data Center World.

Shapiro will also be presenting “EPMS – What is it, do I need it, isn’t it DCIM?” exploring the value an EPMS system provides when utilized within the data center for operations and forensic applications Tuesday, March 15th from 1:00 – 2:00pm in the ‘Islander Ballroom D’ at Data Center World.

Join Steven Shapiro and 1,300 of your peers at Data Center World Global 2016, March 14-18, in Las Vegas, NV, for a real-world, “get it done” approach to converging efficiency, resiliency and agility for data center leadership in the digital enterprise. More details on the Data Center World website.

This first ran at


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About the Author

Technology writer and editor Karen Riccio spent 15 years as managing editor for Data Center Management magazine, published by AFCOM – a leading industry association whose mission is to advance the professional development of individuals in the field of data center and facilities management. She is currently content editor for as well as its weekly newsletter. Karen also oversees the Industry Perspectives section of Data Center Knowledge. She can be reached at

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