The Perfect Data Center

Dilbert's Scott Adams has a blog post on the Perfect Room and piece of SW that could support this.

You often see rooms that can't be furnished properly because furniture placement was an afterthought. The design of a room should start with the perfect arrangement of furniture and fixtures. I would think that for every budget and set of preferences there are a few furniture arrangements that stand out as the best. How hard would it be to catalog those best arrangements?

I imagine a time when a user can design a home simple by checking boxes on a long digital form. Questions for a living room might include:

1.      Do you want a TV in this room?
2.      Do you want a cozy reading chair?
3.      Do you want a fireplace?
4.      Etc.

Once the user selects all of his preferences for each room, he clicks a "shuffle" button and it spits out a house layout complete with external windows, doors, hallways, stairs, and engineering support structures. All of that stuff is fairly rules-based. If you don't like the first design, click the shuffle button again. In every case, the rooms will have exactly the features you specified but arranged differently. And of course you can walk through your model in 3D mode.

Scott closes with points on the savings and the issues.

1.      Rooms that need plumbing should be near each other to reduce costs.
2.      Orientation to the sun makes a huge difference in heating/cooling/insulation.
3.      Some designs require fewer hallways, which saves space.
4.      Some designs require more support structures, doors, windows, etc.
5.      Some designs have ductwork issues.

Those are just some obvious examples of potential savings. You'd also cut your architect expense by 80%. And you'd save on labor and materials because the building materials would be measured and cut at the factory, including everything from lumber to floor tiles to carpet.

My observation is that the building industry is slow to innovate and fairly disorganized. Builders, architects, and materials companies are all their own little silos. So my guess is that the "shuffle design" program will originate in some sort of online game environment before it gets ported to the real world.

i think this is what Compass Data Centers is attempting to do.

If you’ve ever sat behind a foul pole at a baseball game you know what a pain columns can be. That’s why your 10,000 square feet of 36” raised floor is column free. At Compass, your data center floor accommodates anything from a tape library or a Cisco 7000 with side-to-side airflow to OpenCompute’s new larger rack sizes. This degree of flexibility even extends to cable management to support your preference whether its above the rack, hanging from the ceiling, or below the floor. At Compass, the only option you don’t have is to strand your IT capacity.

Speaking of your data center floor flexibility, can you control how much the software uses of the server and storage capacity? We didn’t think so. The reality of the world is that most software does not drive the full use of the server (virtualized or otherwise). As a result, it’s tough to predict what your actual usage will be from rack-to-rack. Not to mention the patch, network and storage…That’s why your Compass solution will support rack densities that cover the spectrum up to 20kW without containment (from 0 to 400 W/sf). Just imagine what you can do using ASHRAE TC 9.9 best practices including containment.

Although perfection is hard to achieve as once you live in the space you find out things you didn't consider.