The physical infrastructure of data centers and network rooms is typically oversized by five times the actual capacity at start-up and more than one and a half times the ultimate actual capacity. Oversizing statistics from actual customer installations are presented. The TCO costs associated with oversizing are quantified to be in excess of 30%. The fundamental reasons why oversizing occurs are discussed and an architecture and method for avoiding it is described.

This paper will show that the single largest avoidable cost associated with typical data center and network room infrastructure is oversizing. The utilization of the physical and power infrastructure in a data center or network room is typically around 50-60%. The unused capacity of data centers and network rooms is an avoidable capital cost, and it also represents avoidable operating costs, including maintenance and energy.