Rittal Blog

Smart Ways to Maximize Your Colocation Space

April 29 2022 by Kyle Fragala


Colocation Facility Managers have a full plate:

  • Meeting the uptime needs of dozens of customers, each with different specs.
  • Quickly adding new customers into your data center.
  • Deterring physical break-ins.
  • Determining a cooling strategy that handles rising thermal loads.
  • Making design choices about power and network connectivity.
  • Finding the best IT cabinets.
  • Ensuring security/privacy of IT enclosures.
  • And, that’s just a start.

As data storage and management needs continue to expand and density pack increases, more and more businesses are offloading IT infrastructure to colocation. That is putting even more pressure on colocation Facility Managers.

One area that requires constant evaluation: having the space to accommodate customers’ specific needs. After all, real estate is your #1 asset — you do not sell hardware, you rent out space — so it is vital to continually evaluate the performance of your facility.

This article explores ways to maximize this precious asset to the fullest.

Easy to deploy. Quick to adapt. Stress-free to manage.

Of the five distinct purposes all data centers should fulfill …

  1. Reliable performance
  2. High-efficiency operation
  3. Proper utilization of resources
  4. Maximize sustainability
  5. Optimal space management

… proper use of space is often the most challenging.

It can be difficult to manage “stranded space,” or unused space, both throughout the data center and within IT cabinets. Low-footprint infrastructure helps minimize wasted square footage as well as optimize white space — the area housing IT equipment (servers, network equipment, storage units, PDUs).

Gray space, the area with backend infrastructure (switch gears, transformers, generators, UPS, chillers) can be combined with white space to make the best use of space in a colocation facility.

An added bonus: consolidated spaces show improved operational efficiency and availability. The capabilities of a colocation facility can always be increased with additional adaptability and flexibility.

Within IT cabinets, the manufacturer should offer ideas about “stranded space,” making it easier to manage or fit more within the same space. Also, ask about accessories to make life easier and products to help ensure reliability and performance.

As has been proven by Edge deployments, a data center’s efficiency also greatly depends on how the connected devices evolve along with the increasing demand of Internet of Things, network technologies (5G wireless, for example), and artificial intelligence.

Support a Reliable, High-Performance Environment

The goal of every data center is to perform as expected without surprises. For colos, the added challenge is having different specs for different customers; sometimes dozens of customers.

Because IT cabinets occupy a lot of floor space, it is important to fill them wisely and efficiently. Don’t just think about growing your colocation facility horizontally, grow vertically by using server racks with more capacity, density, and U space.

Also, consider how many “zombie,” or comatose, servers you may have. These running servers consume electricity but serve no useful purpose. Some estimates say a typical data center is 30% zombie servers.

Speaking of out-of-date equipment, replace traditional tools with tablet-based applications (wireless readers/scanners require limited space), and use fast, energy-efficient, compact SSDs instead of disk-based storage systems.

When selecting cable management, choose wisely (and with the future in mind). Aspire to a solution that supports current cable density, offers growth space, minimizes airflow constraints, and uses both copper and fiber media. Space-saving cabling systems with smaller outside diameter sizes free up a lot of rack space. Some compact designs that use fewer cables and a revamped structure alo make room for more processing power and memory.

The Demand for More Rack Space is Inevitable

Even with wise use of space, you will inevitably need more space, and a flexible rack enclosure system is a great solution. A well-designed, configurable server rack system handles current requirements and can handle whatever customer specs come in. That means peace of mind.

The goal of “future proofing” your infrastructure is more attainable when flexible and scalable network/server racks are used for scaling a facility.

Rittal’s core competencies — designing IT cabinet infrastructure, building a solid frame, providing power distribution, managing cabling, offering climate control, selecting an appropriate security system — complement the ability to seamlessly and creatively integrate systems into a facility’s existing interface.


TS IT Pro Line

The TS IT Pro network/server rack enclosures from Rittal are designed with space in mind. They have the capabilities colocation Facility Managers need to quickly adapt to increasing installation densities.

  • Proven Rittal frame construction offers the highest level of sturdiness and installation strength to meet the critical demands of a “ship loadable” system.
  • TS IT Pro is pre-configured with common accessories (cable management, power management), and additional accessories can be pre-installed and shipped rapidly.
  • A wide range of dimensions ensures installation capability for critical IT components, and scalable performance supports higher installation and thermal densities.
  • Easy to configure and order, these U.S.-made enclosures are ready to provide hassle-free installation and seamless integration for any IT environment.

You have a lot on your plate, so take a load off your mind. The TS IT Pro cabinet platform from Rittal, the global leader in IT enclosures, ensures you are ready for today and the future.

Discover TS IT Pro features and benefits here, or simply contact us at +1 847-240-4630 or email us at rittal@rittal.us



Categories: Data Center Solutions

Kyle Fragala

Written by Kyle Fragala

Vertical Market Sales Manager - Colocation (Multi-Tenant Data Centers)