There's a standard checklist of items you'll need to
include for a datacentre: raised flooring, easy access to
redundant power supplies, an air conditioner the size of a small
hotel room, but chances are you don't have a kitchen in
Brennan IT certainly didn't anticipate selling culinary
features when it began building its new datacentre in Brisbane
earlier this year. The centre was designed to host both Brennan's
own telephony management equipment and co-located servers for
commercial clients, so there was a kitchen, toilet and shower
facilities connected to the staff side of the building.
However, the kitchen turned out to be an unexpected selling
point for external clients as well, as account manager Sandy
Forster explained when I toured the centre recently.
There's a fit-out room on the premises where visiting techs can
make sure their equipment is working properly, and several clients
suggested that offering access to the kitchen would be a useful
bonus. On the original floor plan, the two were separate, but after
the idea was raised, adding a doorway meant that budding data
centre gurus could also show off their inner Jamie Oliver.
Aside from the minor hassle of needing a security policy to stop
visitors nicking staff member sandwiches, this seems like a simple
and obvious step, but such features are often low on the list.
Reputedly, some large datacentres don't even have toilets, since
they're supposedly meant to be "lights out" facilities. Bet that
makes for an unpleasant carpark.
In the case of on-premises data centres, many are located in odd
nooks of the building and nearly all have high levels of security
by corporate standards, so access to amenities is often awkward.
But if you want to show staff that they're as valuable as the data
they look after, offering a fridge and a microwave is a good way to