Raised Floors in Data Centers

Raised floor has become an architectural foundation for building modern data centers (DC), but their use is not limited only by machine halls of data centers. Easy upgrade, as well as the ability to quickly add or remove cables, provided with modern modular system makes attractive use of raised floors and other premises.

Today, designers seek to establish Raised floor in different rooms. Raised floor makes it easy to upgrade the installation of various equipment, including ease of installation of new redundant cables, redevelopment of premises for other needs and contributes to their popularity among end users and customers. Raised floor has a broader consumer market. Over the past few years, the SAC upgraded quite significantly, and the construction of raised floors has remained unchanged. Raised floor makes sense to use when you need to run a large number of cables. They are more efficient and much less expensive than systems mounted near the ceiling, using which we must remember that the temperature near the ceiling is higher than the floor.

Instead of pulling cables from the ceiling, installers makes it easy to run cables under raised floors. Existing solutions in this area provide efficient cooling, reducing the number and extent of hidden cables, consolidation of physical ports, and fewer cords to connect the equipment.

Raised floor is a floor consisting of removable tiles that are installed on the supporting structure, because of which, the flooring and floor-base can fit for different purposes.

Raised floor space used for cabling

Among other things, under raised floors form ventilation system that provide cooling wind direction where it is needed. Raised floor is ideal for data centers, where ever there is new equipment or it is rearranged from one place to another, it is easy to reinstall. It also ensure proper maintenance of cable management: The cable is pulled under the floor, and it can be easily accessed, they are also easy to upgrade or shift.

Raised floor can be installed if the customer is implementing or planning to implement new technologies that requires reconfiguration of existing equipment or if he would need in the future. One of the main characteristics of raised floors is quick and easy access to cabling. You can quickly raise the deck and get access to the underground space.

The design of raised floor and the types of raised floors :

Pedestal raised floor construction Floating (movable) raised floor.

In the pedestal design, it support removable tiles that are used at column-fixed-height pedestals. Raised floor tiles are usually made of steel, aluminum or wood treated with flame retardant.

Flooring should settle at a height of not less than 150-300 mm from the floor base (concrete floor).

“Float” design should be built at a height of 460 mm from the floor. Vertical seismic load is absorbed by the dampers and springs that are installed inside the support cylinder. With regard to horizontal displacements, they are neutralized with steel shoes that are Teflon-coated and they are wore at the base of cylinders. Shoes can skim the surface of tiles and can be clamped to the floor. In the typical raised floor systems, they use Slub tile of 0.6 x 0,6 m and 0,36 square area.m size.

In order to supply cooling air to the places of high heat in front of the enclosure, perforated tiles are installed. Tiles for service under the raised floors systems can be removed from the floor and they can be shifted to other places.

Close to the particularly strong heating equipment, the devices that guides the air flow into the holes of perforated raised floor tiles can be installed. When the premises have to change something, tiles are removed from the floor and they are moved to another location.

In the initial arrangement of the room they all want to ensure optimal, as it seems, the balance of computer and communications equipment. But people often do not know at what point they will need this technique in the future, therefore they do not know what changes need to be made in the scheme of its deployment. It is therefore desirable to have a solution that allows you to quickly cost-shift the equipment, introduce new technologies to replace the equipment. If you are completely sure that you will never make any changes and do not need to introduce new technologies, raised floor is not for you.

Raised floor is usually associated with data centers, since a large amount of equipment is much easier to organize the flow of cooling air under the floor rather than from above. But the most difficult problem in data centers is the organization of cooling and access to cables. Often in the field of concentration equipment arise where equipment is overheating, so-called “hot spots”.

This problem is only exacerbated by the extensive use of blade servers. Typical data centers built before 2000, calculated on the heat, is equal to 5 kW per rack. Now, in today’s data centers, this figure could be range from 7 kW to 35 kW per server rack, or even higher because there are a lot of data centers who place more servers in small area, which give correspondingly more heat, so they often have hot spots.

Design Problems with Raised Floor

When you install the raised floor system, designers face a number of standard tasks, including – to set the tiles, to ensure reliable grounding and protection from electrical interference. In areas that are in front of places of racks, stacked perforated tiles. These metal surfaces should not be open, we must exclude them into direct contact with installed equipment. Metal tiles and raised floor is a supporting structure and must be well grounded. Openings for dragging cables to avoid mechanical damage to the latter should not have sharp edges.

When designing the raised floor, you have to make sure that:

* You have a sufficient powerful air conditioning system for cooling all the equipment;

* You have to consider the limitations of mechanical load on the raised floor and concrete floor;

* You should check that there is enough free space to install the equipments available;

* You should address the needs of areas for future development

When the layout of equipment will be ready on the floor, arrange appropriate stencils surfaces for installation of equipment and markup the input and output of cables.

With the development of cable technology and expanding the scope of raised floors, designers are facing new challenges. Twenty years ago the premises of data centers were the largest of those premises, which used Raised floor.

Now raised floors are installed in huge halls like a library, “clean rooms” for different industries. The use of raised floors allows customers to abandon expensive ceiling mounted systems, cables, besides, it does not require punching holes in the building constructions to liner cables.

That is what made Raised floor an attractive technical solution, and brought them outside the computer rooms of data centers and server rooms. Now the technology of raised floors, which was developed mainly for the latter, is largely growing demand from owners of office for general purposes.

Choose the flexibility to install

The modern office environment is characterized by frequent change of place. Update equipment and implement new technologies quickly and conveniently.

In the 90 years of last century, the main motivation of the raised floor is to access the power cable, telephone and computer system as fast as possible. Today more and more users are turning to such solutions for arranging other facilities. They clearly understand all the benefits that are promised by improving the quality of ventilation and air conditioning, as well as the ability to quickly rebuild the cable infrastructure, which in turn leads to a reduction in operating costs.

The increasingly widespread use of raised floors is logically correct for the tendency of enterprises. If you need to update equipment or alter the jobs in offices, but there is no raised floor, you have to deal with time-consuming and expensive process of transfer of cable lines. It is often required to drill floor and walls for dragging cables in new places, as well as withdraw hung ceiling for shifting air ventilation and air conditioning.

But if you have a raised floor, you only raise tile flooring, change the routing of telephone cables, data transmission network and power supply, then put the tiles on the space, enter the new office furniture or rearranges old , plugging the plug – and you are done. It would be unfair architecture, if you designed a raised floor and not drawing attention to other systems, an organic combination that provides a cost-effective operation of the building.

There are many different systems and therefore, in order to regulate costs, it is important to choose the right product. In order to present the conditions that make the building cost effective, they need to use flexible systems that can be reused or reconfigured.

Complex design issues with raised floors

As the scope of raised floors beyond the data center, it complicates their design and installation. If there is a need for reorganization or modernization, we propose that a system should be able to reconfigured. Additional difficulties are technological change and cable preferences.

In the data centers, raised floor can be installed without problems. But when installing such floors throughout the building shifted doors and elevators. We need to reconstruct the entire building to install the raised floor, and sometimes it can be done, and sometimes it can not.

The challenges of providing customer service and the restructuring of structured cabling systems (SCS).

As Raised floor is used in other areas of the building, installers are facing with the challenge of providing technical services and reorganization of the SCS in the office premises. One possible solution is to use raised floors and quickly plug cable systems, which reduces the time of the initial arrangement of office space, and enable rapid restructuring of jobs.

We need to know how long it takes for a permutation, the introduction of new technology, or changes to reconfigure the equipment.

Contemporary Raised floor must be equipped with removable grille, which could be moved during the permutation, extensions or changes. These systems must have strong support structures that will support the floor tile raised floor and provide easy access to cable household.

In the design of cable channels of the office premises, it is important to consider different outer diameter and the physical characteristics of pull cables. We need to lay cables in a certain way, because we can not just throw the cables on the floor. The outer diameter of standard Category 6 cable is much larger than the diameter cable category 5e. Shielded Category 6 cable can have a diameter of 0.251 inches, and unshielded cable enhanced category 6A could have a diameter of 0.315 inches.

Interferences under the raised floors and electrostatic electricity in data center

Another problem is the pickup, when the cables are twisted and the pair is laid under the floor. Static electricity is also produced in the underground systems. These problems may occur because of the abundance of microscopic whisker crystals of zinc, a side effect of the molecular pressure. Filamentary crystals of zinc are produced by friction on the metal surface, such as frames for raised floors.

They break the electrical contact, conduct electricity and can disrupt electronic devices, entering the electrical components and causing a short circuit. If the standard protection system could not deal with these electrical problems, it is necessary to take appropriate measures for grounding raised floors.


5 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    Really great post. This answered the majority of my questions. When I read this I actually opened up a word document and started taking notes haha.

  2. Vintage Concrete Co

    Hey, Im a long time fan and reader of your blog, first time commenter. Just wanted to say this post really hit home with the stuff I’ve been looking into. Thanks man!

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