Home > Articles > Networking > Storage

This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Data Center Configuration

The physical configuration of your Data Center—where you place it in a building and how you arrange its physical infrastructure components—provides another opportunity to make the facility more efficient. Strategies to consider include the following:

  • Situating your hosting space at the center of a building rather than right against an external building wall provides some isolation from outside temperatures, for instance, so your cooling system won't have to work as hard on hot days.
  • Placing cooling infrastructure near heat-producing hardware, a practice known as close-coupled cooling. Compared to traditional Data Center designs, where large air handlers attempt to cool large sections of the hosting space, close-coupled cooling requires less fan energy to project cooling where it's needed and reduces unwanted opportunities for chilled air and server exhaust to mix. This approach and the inefficiency that comes with mixing Data Center airflows are covered in Chapter 5.
  • Streamlining your structured cabling design by adopting a distributed physical hierarchy. A distributed design uses significantly fewer cabling materials and improves the cooling airflow. This design and a detailed look at the reduced length of cable runs it offers are presented in Chapter 6, "Cabling Your Way to a Greener Data Center."

Building Exterior

The outside of your Data Center building will be subjected to a variety of weather and temperatures during its lifespan. So, in addition to the green characteristics you want for other building elements—durable and preferably made from renewable or recycled content—look for external building components that can mitigate those outdoor conditions.

For instance, you can lower the temperature of your building and reduce how hard your internal cooling system must work by using surfaces that have high solar reflectance and thermal emittance. That is, they efficiently reflect sunlight and shed absorbed heat.

Both solar reflectance and thermal emittance are typically expressed as either a percentage or as a value between 0 and 1. The higher the number, the less a material absorbs and retains heat. To qualify for an Energy Star label, for example, low-slope roofs must have an initial solar reflectance of at least 0.65 and after 3 years at least 0.50. Steep slope roofs must have an initial solar reflectance of at least 0.25 and after 3 years at least 0.15.

Roofs with high-radiative properties, often called cool roofs, make your building greener not only because they conserve energy, but also because they decrease heat islands. Heat islands, where urban areas have higher temperatures than nearby rural ones, can increase peak energy demand on an electrical grid, possibly leading to brownouts or blackouts, and contribute to the creation of smog.

Heat islands are caused by the reduced quantity of trees and foliage in developed areas, airflow restrictions created by tall buildings, and exhaust heat from motor vehicles and buildings. Many cities can see a temperature difference of as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (5.6 degrees Celsius) above adjoining rural areas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

A subset of cool roofs, also known as green roofs or living roofs, employs live vegetation atop conventional roofing. In addition to the temperature-reducing benefits of other cool roofs, green roofs reduce storm-water runoff, act as additional building insulation, and are credited with nearly doubling a roofing system's lifespan by shielding the surface from sun and rain. Green walls or living walls, which apply the same mechanism to a building's vertical surfaces, can also be employed, although are much less common.

Whether applied to a roof or wall, a living surface requires careful engineering. Simply allowing ivy to grow up the side of your building does not equate to a green wall. A proper installation involves a protective membrane to prevent either moisture or plant roots from penetrating to the building, a drainage system to keep foliage from being flooded by pooled water, a soil layer to anchor plants and absorb nutrients and, of course, the vegetation itself—typically plants that are fast growing, drought tolerant, and low maintenance. The entire system needs to be lightweight so as to not pose structural problems for the roof.

External building surfaces are also, obviously, prime locations to install photovoltaic cells—devices that convert solar energy into electricity. These can include solar panels mounted on rooftops or walls or even building integrated photovoltaics, in which components are embedded within the envelope of the building. Building integrated photovoltaic systems can take the form of roofing tiles, spandrel panels (opaque glass used between floors in commercial building facades), awnings, skylights, sunshades, walls, and more.

Photovoltaics today typically generate 5 watts to 15 watts per square foot (50 watts to 150 watts per square meter) when in full sunlight. You, therefore, need from 65 square feet to 200 square feet (6 square meters to 18.6 square meters) of photovoltaics to produce one kilowatt of power.

Exactly how much energy can be harvested by a solar array varies by product, because some are more efficient than others, and by environmental conditions, including the following:

  • Latitude: Various parts of the world receive more or less sun exposure than others, which affects how much solar energy can be collected.
  • Climate: Overcast or stormy weather reduces the amount of sun that a photovoltaic system is exposed to. Nearby snowy surfaces can actually boost performance by reflecting more light onto a solar array, but only if the array itself isn't covered with snow.
  • Orientation: Photovoltaic components should be installed to receive maximum exposure to the sun. Avoid obstructions to the system such as trees or other structures especially during peak collection hours, when the sun appears highest in the sky.
  • External air quality: The more contaminants in the air, the less solar energy that reaches a solar array.

If you install a photovoltaic system and employ a cool roof on your building, clean their surfaces frequently. Any dirt or debris that covers them reduces their efficiency, reducing how much energy you collect.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020