Tuesday, March 23, 2021

The Key to Cutting Data Center Construction Costs? Use Minimal Infrastructure

The average enterprise data center costs between $10 million and $12 million per megawatt to build, with costs typically front-loaded onto the first few megawatts of deployment. What's more, the typical edge data center costs between $8 million and $9 million. And if data center builders want to keep a lid on ever-rising costs, they need to keep the installation of supporting infrastructure to a minimum from the outset.

That’s the advice of seasoned data center builder Peter Sacco, founder and CEO of PTS Data Center Solutions, who claims that it is possible to drive down costs by around 25 per cent or more, simply by being more disciplined on design.

“When I start working with clients and I ask, ‘What should be the facility’s goals?’ they are clear that, first, it needs to cost less to build. And, not only that, but it needs to cost less to operate, too. And it needs to be deployed faster and it needs to perform better,” said Sacco. 

While that may sound somewhat challenging, the only way in which these potentially conflicting demands can be satisfied is by designing, from the outset, to install “the minimal amount of supporting infrastructure needed to achieve [your desired level of] resilience,” said Sacco. “If you do all that, you improve all four, simultaneously.” Costs, of course, will also depend upon the desire Uptime Institute tier (or equivalent) that the operator wishes to achieve.