How to build your own datacenter?

I am making some business plans and having an independent datacenter is one of them. Certainly it isn’t easy as leasing a space, and buy some stuff. Some of the things I have to watch out for are network activity, getting bandwidth support, power supply, get an engineering company to design the facility and a lot of stuff.

Are there any companies who handles all that? What would be the specific steps to accomplish my agenda?

Also, in what areas we can save money and such?

Is this independent datacenter just for your OWN company’s use (like Citibank have their own DC)?..or is it to host external customers’ sites (like

It is to host external customers. Some examples would be Ipowerweb, ThePlanet.


What’s your budget? and for how many racks? and how much power per rack?

Building a quality facility doesn’t come cheap. There’s things like CFD to be done (if you want to make sure your layout is going to be friendly to your cooling). Then there’s all the electricals, fire suppression, cooling, generators, ups, not to mention the maintenance. Unless you’re going to be building out to a large size it is often far far better to rent space in an existing carrier neutral facility.


Datacenter is a building firts of all and that is the most difficult you need to do first.

Raised Flooring, Fire Suppression, security systems, backup power generators and others are what you need to consider in your costing as well. It really depends on the size of the DC, it can cost from as low as 200k to 200 million.

Overall, if you are starting might be less of risk just to hire some cabinet/rack space and grow from there. Also, gives you an idea of what a DC would need.

When Protection One moved its Data Center from Southern California to Wichita, it had a budget of $50 Million. Though that included a triple redudant AS/400 server setup with 64 processors and 1 terabyte of RAM on each server as well as a triple redundant data array with over 5 terabytes of storage each. That was $10 Million right there. Software licensing was another $10 Million. So $30 Million for the facility which had to have 100% uptime no matter what happened. Its the only data center project that I ever worked on so its the only reference that I have.

If you live near a major city, there is probably a facility that does colocation and will allow you to house some machines in their racks to start. You gain the ability of being in a first class datacenter but are on your own switch and have access to your hardware in case anything goes wrong.

TBH I’d hate to see the facility built for $200k, that’s not going to buy a lot of anything, unless you’re just doing a small room in an office building for a couple of racks.

That would be better to start with and see how it works.

Yes Karl you are right. But if someone invest for building… Why not. Separate building always good sign

Its not so difficult. For keeping DC u need System admin. High Configured Web server. Need to use some security hardware and also software. And Check with your ISP they will provide the bandwidth u want, public IP etc.
Note: better is make server and keep it with ISP

There’s an awful lot more to it then that I’m afraid. For example, do you know about Zinc Whiskers?

You are Right! if you dont have deep pockets then dont do it, what you can do is start out in another data center to get your company off the ground.

For an example, we needed a new AC unit in our small data center, it cost 50k just to cool down a few thousand square feet of servers.

It all depends what you want to start with. As many will suggest, it’d be best for you to start small first.

Cooling/power will be a major pain in neck, as it’s hard to supply enough power for a well enough cooled place.

There’s a lot more that goes onto making a world class NOC however. Take a peak at this doc

I disagree that this is so expensive. I think you could build a host like ipowerweb for very cheap. You can put a webserver up in your garage for about $100 bucks plus a computer.

The most expensive part is your control panel license for customers. Web server software that you need is available in open source. You need a static IP from a cable modem provider, and some sort of control panel for your users to use.

Millions of dollars for a hosting service is insane. You might be able to get away cheaper, however, by opening a reseller account. Search on ebay for web hosting… you can buy reseller accounts on there sometimes for under $10 per year.

I speak from experience on this too. I just build up a small data center for fun a few years back. Did it with a cable modem and some stuff in my temp controlled garage. Worked fine, I hosted about 15 websites of my own on it. I always got the same clock speed as I do from shared hosting, both of these ran on just like Pentium II computers.

Google runs of very basic machines and linux, granted they have hundreds of thousands of computers, but you have to think outside the box, thats the only way to make it in business, deliver it different than someone else.

This is absolutely terrible advice. The OP is researching a serious business venture and you’re equating that to a machine stuffed in a closet at home. Your requirements are the understatement of the year.

A real datacenter costs millions of dollars. You need a (special) building, racks, switches, routers, firewalls, cooling, power, backup power, fiber needs to be added on both sides of the facility from multiple carriers, you need a security system with cameras and a 24/7 staff to run and maintain everything. One million dollars will not even get you very far in this respect.

Datacenters are expensive, period. For the vast majority of businesses it will not make sense fiscally to build your own DC. Co-location is significantly cheaper until you require a very large commit, or have a lot of funding with immediate plans to fill the space.

Hope you consider “greening” your data center. I mean energy-friendly servers and general infrastructure. Also if possible on an environment-friendly building or structure. That’s the welcome trend rising now on data centers. It is easier to set up a green data center at the initial stage, then when having to comply at some later stage.

The minimum of four full time staff to ensure that there is always at least one on site monitoring things so as to rectify any problems before they are noticed will cost at least 2000 times your estimated total figure just by itself and that doesn’t include the cost of any hardware or services at all, just the people you need to operate an absolute minimum data centre setup.

Even assuming that the cost of the people is the highest part of the cost you would be looking at about 1/4 million per year as a minimum budget. Your hundred dollars would cover at most 3.5 hours of operation assuming the cheapest possible setup. With any decent setup it will probably cost more than that $100 for every hour of operation.

I believe that is why I said to search for reseller on ebay. Web hosting like ipower and crap is way to competitive to even try to build your own multi million dollar data center. You would never make your money back. For simple web hosting though, this is possible I ran data off pc’s for years. I had a ping that sent me a text message if the thing went down, and I could remote access it from just about anywhere.

If you were going to run a multi million dollar revenue site I would say go for it and invest in your own data center, but web hosting is not worth building a data center, the market is too saturated.

So no I wouldn’t say the entire post was the understatement of the year, I was stating that if you are going to do it, it is possible to do it cheaper this way or find a reseller account.

Don’t you think it is a little silly to tell someone to spend 10+ million a year to open a datacenter to run a web hosting service?

Hello Roosevelt,

I do know a designer who has built out at least four commercial DC’s over the past few years and is familiar with the required specifications. While he is currently in the middle of laying out a new 20,000 sqft project I would think he would still be interested in discussing your requirements.

If you are still interested and looking into this please contact me directly and I will be happy to see about putting the two of you in touch but you should also be aware that this is a professional service and that beyond the initial consultation a retainer would be required.