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Revisiting Cisco's newest data center

John Dix | March 6, 2014
We were last in Cisco's new data center in Allen, Texas, in the fall of 2010 when the company was just putting the finishing touches on the 160,000 square foot building with 35,000 square feet of "raised floor" (they still use that lingo even though this facility doesn't use raised floors).

The maximum kilowatts per rack for the center is 21kW, and "we're averaging anywhere between 8kW and 13kW," Cribari says. "UCS server racks are probably seven to eight, Nexus network equipment and some of the higher-density network components are in the 13kW range."

"In the art of data center capacity management, the goal is to fill it up, but you don't want to fill it up to the point where it's inefficient," he explains. "The trick is to make it so your power, your space, your network ports and everything else maximizes at the same point."

How long before Allen fills up? "Three to five years, based upon the trajectory we're on," Cribari says. "When we hit 80% in this data center, we'll probably start talking about expanding into Phase Two. We have acreage next door, we can add another 5.25 megawatts, so we think we can double this footprint. In fact we already have some of the infrastructure in place — some of the pads are already there, some of the conduits are already there."


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