TIA-942 Data Centre Standards
The TIA-942 Data Centre Standards describes the requirements for the data centre infrastructure. The simplest is a Tier 1 data centre, which is basically a server within any small to medium size organisation, following basic guidelines for the installation of computer systems. The most stringent level is a Tier 4 data centre, which is designed to host mission critical computer systems, with fully redundant subsystems and compartmentalized security zones controlled by biometric access controls methods. Another consideration is the placement of the data centre in a subterranean context, for data security as well as environmental considerations such as cooling requirements.
A data centre can occupy one room of a building, one or more floors, or an entire building. Most of the equipment is often in the form of servers mounted in 19inch racks or cabinets, which are usually placed in single rows forming corridors between them. This allows people access to the front and rear of each cabinet.
Racks of telecommunications equipment in part of a data centre.
IT operations are a crucial aspect of most organizational operations. One of the main concerns is business continuity; companies rely on their information systems to run their operations. If a system becomes unavailable, company operations may be impaired or stopped completely. It is necessary to provide a reliable infrastructure for IT operations, in order to minimize any chance of disruption. Information security is also a concern, and for this reason a data centre has to offer a secure environment which minimizes the chances of a security breach. A data centre must therefore keep high standards for assuring the integrity and functionality of its hosted computer environment. This is accomplished through redundancy of both fibre optic cables and power, which includes emergency backup power generation.
Data cabling is typically routed through overhead cable trays in modern data centres. But some are still recommending under raised floor cabling for security reasons and to consider the addition of cooling systems above the racks in case this enhancement is necessary. Smaller/less expensive data centres without raised flooring may use anti-static tiles for a flooring surface. Computer cabinets are often organized into a hot and cold aisles arrangement to maximize airflow efficiency.
Data Centre Telecommunication Space
The data centre telecommunications spaces include the Main Distribution Area (MDA), Zone Distribution Area (ZDA) and Equipment Distribution Area (EDA).
The MDA houses the main cross-connect (MC) which is the central point of distribution for the data centre structured cabling solution.
The ZDA is defined as the space used to implement a zone distribution architecture. The ZDA, when used, acts as a consolidation point between the MDA and regional areas or zones within the data centre.
Incorporating this architecture into one’s data centre cabling design allows for a onetime installation of the backbone cabling and provides flexibility to accommodate frequent reconfigurations at the zone, required for moves, adds and changes.
The EDA is the space allocated for end equipment, including computer systems and telecommunications equipment. For optimised performance in meeting data centre requirements, the topology of the cabling infrastructure should not be selected independently; infrastructure topology and product solutions must be considered in unison.