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  1. #1
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    How much would it costs roughly to build a data center?

    How much would it cost roughly to build a data center? I am curious because in the future I may build one

  2. #2
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    Depends how big you want it, and your power per sq foot really..
    Yellow Fiber Networks
    http://www.yellowfiber.net : Managed Solutions - Colocation - Network Services IPv4/IPv6
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spudstr View Post
    Depends how big you want it, and your power per sq foot really..
    I am not looking to build a very big one. one that fits a couple rooms and 500-1000 servers.

  4. #4
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    Ballpark figure is $1000 per square foot, but can be many times that.

    That number would include physical construction costs, refrigeration equipment, racks, maybe network infrastructure but no servers.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by fava View Post
    Ballpark figure is $1000 per square foot, but can be many times that.

    That number would include physical construction costs, refrigeration equipment, racks, maybe network infrastructure but no servers.
    1000$ per square foot. Interesting. So roughly 10,000 square foot will cost 1million dollars.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paidhosts View Post
    1000$ per square foot. Interesting. So roughly 10,000 square foot will cost 1million dollars.
    No. 1,000 sq ft would cost $1 million.

    10,000 sq ft would cost $10 million.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paidhosts View Post
    1000$ per square foot. Interesting. So roughly 10,000 square foot will cost 1million dollars.
    Stay in school.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paidhosts View Post
    1000$ per square foot. Interesting. So roughly 10,000 square foot will cost 1million dollars.
    You wish

    Thats just an estimate. Can go up easily depending on what you want how you plan to build it. Location is also an important factor.

  9. #9
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    Yeah, for a smaller facility like that you're not going to be getting the best efficiencies of scale. It'll likely be $800+ per sq. ft., unless you cut some corners or aren't starting from scratch.
    Karl Zimmerman - Steadfast: Managed Dedicated Servers and Premium Colocation
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    Cloud Hosting, Managed Dedicated Servers, Chicago Colocation, and New Jersey Colocation
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  10. #10
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    well yeah if u think u wanna have something like u see in pictures keepa budget of atleast a mil and half
    IPStrada When uptime counts.
    Warren Buffet: Honesty is very expensive gift do not expect it from cheap people.

  11. #11
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    This question is like someone asking how much it costs to build a house. You can't answer it if you don't know all the details.

  12. #12
    The great problem for me is not 1 million $ to build the datacenter itself but the recurring lease for power + connection + staff.

  13. #13
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    I bid $100 per sq ft. Oh wait, isn't this an auction?
    Aaron Wendel
    Wholesale Internet, Inc. - http://www.wholesaleinternet.net
    Kansas City Internet eXchange - http://www.kcix.net

  14. #14
    If you have to ask you don't want to get involved!
    Jason Silverglate jason [.at.] fortressitx.com
    DedicatedNOW Managed Dedicated Servers / | 1-973-572-1070 support ext for 24/7 LIVE SUPPORT
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  15. #15
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    Not only do you have to figure physical costs but personnel costs as well. Unless you are willing to live there 24/7, you will need employees. If you are starting from scratch with 0 clients, expect to be in the red for years to come. I would suggest getting a rack or cage before you start your own facility. At least you will have some experience in dealing with equipment, troubleshooting, etc that you can't learn from shared hosting, dedicated servers or VPS's.

    Training is also very important. Do you understand network layers, protocols, etc? Are you good at diagnosing problems at the hardware and software levels of a server? Unless you have these *very basic* skills, you will need to hire an outsider which can get costly if you can't find someone to do everything. A decent data center will run you $2mil just for the infrastructure.

    Good luck in whatever you choose!
    Mean Servers - Mean Business
    █ Web Hosting | Reseller Hosting | VPS Virtual Private Servers | Dedicated Servers | Managed Services
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  16. #16
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    It's almost impossible to say how much it would cost because there are so many different ways you can design it. When your talking about breakers that cost 20,000$ to 40,000$ each and gear that costs millions, a single change can be a increase of millions.
    Jordan Jacobs | VP, Products|SingleHop| JJ @SingleHop.com
    Managed Dedicated Servers | Bare-Metal Servers | Cloud Services

  17. #17
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    Practically speaking, the OP should be able to drastically reduce his costs by finding a dark facility that can simply be renovated. Spread your dollars farther by getting used / surplus equipment examples: surplus, new 20 ton condenser water liebert for under $20K shipped vs $50K+ brand new. Surplus 160kVA UPS for under $30K vs. $60K for brand new. Used cabs for less than $200/ea vs. $1200-$1500/ea. It's actually amazing how it's possible to reduce your costs when it's your money (not investor money) that's paying for everything. Go into a multi-tenant building that's got chilled water or condensed water facilities already, etc, etc.

    Moreover, not everyone needs 2N+1 facilities. Most of us do not such a high level of redundancy and, quite frankly, will face more downtime due to server hardware, operating system maintenance, or application level troulbe over the course of a given year, than we will due to the catastrophic failure of electrical and mechanical data center systems.

    - 1000 servers / 20 distribution switches / 2 core switches / 2 border routers = approximately 180kW electrical load

    - 225kVA UPS with two battery cabs and maintenance bypass cabinet.

    - 500kW genset with 800 amp ATS. Additional 800 amp MTS outside to all for quick connection of rollup genset. 1000 gallon tank / weather enclosure.

    - 4 20 ton upflow units

    - 3 75kVA PDUs

    - Electrical panels, breakers, whips from PDU.

    - No raised floor.

    - 40 cabs or breadracks

    Depending on the dimensions and if you are going to do all breadracks or all cabs, you're looking at 1250 - 1750 sq ft of space. Unless you buy everything brand spankin' new, such a facility is not going to cost $1m-$2m. You can get all the equipment for about $350K and then you're probably looking at another $250K for engineering, electrical, mechanical and data cabling work (way more if you are in a union building). If you want to add in a dry pipe system, add in another $100K. $600K-700K rough estimate, which puts you at about $500/sq/ft.

    But do your home work, beat the street, and you will find pre-conditioned data center space that is rough around the edges and you can bring operational for $100-$200/sqft.
    Jay Sudowski // Handy Networks LLC // Co-Founder & CTO
    AS30475 - Level(3), HE, Telia, XO and Cogent. Noction optimized network.
    Offering Dedicated Server and Colocation Hosting from our SSAE 16 SOC 2, Type 2 Certified Data Center.
    Current specials here. Check them out.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Suds View Post
    Practically speaking, the OP should be able to drastically reduce his costs by finding a dark facility that can simply be renovated. Spread your dollars farther by getting used / surplus equipment examples: surplus, new 20 ton condenser water liebert for under $20K shipped vs $50K+ brand new. Surplus 160kVA UPS for under $30K vs. $60K for brand new. Used cabs for less than $200/ea vs. $1200-$1500/ea. It's actually amazing how it's possible to reduce your costs when it's your money (not investor money) that's paying for everything. Go into a multi-tenant building that's got chilled water or condensed water facilities already, etc, etc.

    Moreover, not everyone needs 2N+1 facilities. Most of us do not such a high level of redundancy and, quite frankly, will face more downtime due to server hardware, operating system maintenance, or application level troulbe over the course of a given year, than we will due to the catastrophic failure of electrical and mechanical data center systems.

    - 1000 servers / 20 distribution switches / 2 core switches / 2 border routers = approximately 180kW electrical load

    - 225kVA UPS with two battery cabs and maintenance bypass cabinet.

    - 500kW genset with 800 amp ATS. Additional 800 amp MTS outside to all for quick connection of rollup genset. 1000 gallon tank / weather enclosure.

    - 4 20 ton upflow units

    - 3 75kVA PDUs

    - Electrical panels, breakers, whips from PDU.

    - No raised floor.

    - 40 cabs or breadracks

    Depending on the dimensions and if you are going to do all breadracks or all cabs, you're looking at 1250 - 1750 sq ft of space. Unless you buy everything brand spankin' new, such a facility is not going to cost $1m-$2m. You can get all the equipment for about $350K and then you're probably looking at another $250K for engineering, electrical, mechanical and data cabling work (way more if you are in a union building). If you want to add in a dry pipe system, add in another $100K. $600K-700K rough estimate, which puts you at about $500/sq/ft.

    But do your home work, beat the street, and you will find pre-conditioned data center space that is rough around the edges and you can bring operational for $100-$200/sqft.
    So at a cost of about $700k that works out to be 17.5k per cab. If the facility was to pay for itself within 5 years, that would work out to be about $300 per cabinet per month before: Power costs, rent, staff, fuel, maintenance, batteries replaced once in that 5 years etc (4 staff @ 40k/year = $14k/month ($350/cab) call everything else $100/cab.

    So at about $8/amp for power, (your using CRAC units not CRAHs so alot higher power usage your looking at another $300 for power.

    Now we are up to over $1000/cab/month for what? A facility with half the redundancy for the same amount of money? Why bother? There is simply a point where you need to just colo.
    Jordan Jacobs | VP, Products|SingleHop| JJ @SingleHop.com
    Managed Dedicated Servers | Bare-Metal Servers | Cloud Services

  19. #19
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    Who says you are only going to make $1000/mo/cab? Do dedicated hosting and make $5000-$10000/mo+ per cab. Now your 40 cabs are grossing 3.5 m/yr. And $700K is high for rolling it this way. That's worst case. Find an existing data center that needs a lot less work. It's really not rocket science ... don't even sell colocation. Not worth your time or money at that scale.
    Jay Sudowski // Handy Networks LLC // Co-Founder & CTO
    AS30475 - Level(3), HE, Telia, XO and Cogent. Noction optimized network.
    Offering Dedicated Server and Colocation Hosting from our SSAE 16 SOC 2, Type 2 Certified Data Center.
    Current specials here. Check them out.

  20. #20
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    Jay you missed my point, I am not saying that you can't make money, simply saying that you can pay the same at a colo facility or even less.

    Why spend the 100s of 1000s of dollars to build a subpar facility when you can simply pay the same to be in a colo facility with better security, redundancy, and reliability?

    A better question, is what are you going to do once you have filled up the 40 racks? Make another low end datacenter?

    Why not just pay the same, colocation in your own cage, then when you expand or need more space add an extra rack, when you need more space add an extra rack etc.

    My point is there is simply an economy of scale to building your own datacenter.
    Jordan Jacobs | VP, Products|SingleHop| JJ @SingleHop.com
    Managed Dedicated Servers | Bare-Metal Servers | Cloud Services

  21. #21
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    Hi, Paidhosts.

    If you are talking about 25 to 50 racks at medium density, then you are looking at specialty real estate, unless you already have a site with some amenable power features. San Francisco has approximately 200 buildings with 3+ networks pre-deployed, with no local loops, but when you cross-reference that list with power availability, suitable sites dwindle. If you don't need Tier III, then your cost to build is actually about $400 to $500 / Net-SF, possibly less depending on what you start with. The vast majority of regional banks, telco infrastructure, and Enterprise data centers have been Tier II and performing very well, but if you are a single-site hosting service provider, then you will likely need something more. Another option is to look at difficult-to-find properties, like enterprise data centers that are being abandoned or space adjacent to existing telco pops that can be improved. It's possible to lease this kind of space at near to office rates (e.g. $30 to $40 / SF / year), as opposed to the $40+ per month you will pay at a retail site, but it's not easy to find and typically it's a lot bigger or smaller than the exact size you may need. Lastly I would say you are getting close to wholesale scale (say from 250 KW), which means you could also look at a turn-key solution. Whichever way you may want to go, a licensed data center real estate professional can help you sift through all these options very quickly and place you in the most suitable site...and they will also help you plan for growth, conduct "what if" evaluations, etc.. It's what we and others like us do every day. Specific to WiredRE, we also run our own data center listing service, which means you can find some of those sites, for free, at www.wiredre.com. I'm betting most of the folks on this platform have never used a real estate broker, so let me add that a licensed data center real estate broker's fees are paid by the property owner. Whether you use a broker or not, those fees are baked into the deal - I worked at Equinix, and we paid fees - so it's as close to a free resource as it gets. With that, good luck - ET

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by porcupine View Post
    Stay in school.
    mate, don´t be unfriendly.. he might have slipped his finger into the wrong numbers

    Quote Originally Posted by KarlZimmer View Post
    Yeah, for a smaller facility like that you're not going to be getting the best efficiencies of scale. It'll likely be $800+ per sq. ft., unless you cut some corners or aren't starting from scratch.
    karl when I read your posts is like reading little extracts of the bible ( except I don´t say amen after reading your posts ).... very very rich content of posts as always.. thanks for your help to the community!!!

  23. #23
    DC costs dramatically vary based on geographic location (preparation for natural disasters and price of land in that area), size of building (multi-floor?), size of dc space within said building, use of AC or DC currents and density.

    You will have to decide quickly as your small and starting if you'll use variable output equipment or not. For example you're going to be running multiple cooling units and you will want them to automatically adjust to your heat load else while you are small you'll have too much cooling and run the risk of producing static electricity if the humidity goes too low. We did not do this the first time and found ourselves managing multiple data centers as we encroached on various capacity issues.

    From the above you can make a great spreadsheet and play with the numbers you obtain from various suppliers to find your fit.

    My advice -- Owning a DC should not be your only line of business, and supplement your costs with ancillary businesses. I would begin with a small strip center - smaller than a dozen suites and clients - in a close proximity of where your intending to open your dc. You'll gain a lot of experience with real estate, dealings with the local governments and various commercial building codes -- I can't stress the importance of working with those entities to prove yourself reputable. Such strip centers are easier to sale and walk away from if the headaches become overbearing.

    For myself - it's a great ride -- enjoy!

  24. #24
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    500-1000 servers, probably makes more sense to colocate at that point...

    Assuming 1000x1U servers, being conservative and saying 30 racks, 15 square feet per rack is 450 square feet, grabbing a random colo provider (UberBandwidth) cage space is $18 per square foot, so $8,100 per month. That seems a lot cheaper than building out a datacenter. If a DC costs $1000 per square foot to construct, it wouldn't pay itself off for ~5 years, and operating costs would probably be higher than colo due to the small size...

    Not that I know anything about this. But it seems like cage space makes more sense for this volume of servers.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guspaz View Post
    500-1000 servers, probably makes more sense to colocate at that point...

    Assuming 1000x1U servers, being conservative and saying 30 racks, 15 square feet per rack is 450 square feet, grabbing a random colo provider (UberBandwidth) cage space is $18 per square foot, so $8,100 per month. That seems a lot cheaper than building out a datacenter. If a DC costs $1000 per square foot to construct, it wouldn't pay itself off for ~5 years, and operating costs would probably be higher than colo due to the small size...

    Not that I know anything about this. But it seems like cage space makes more sense for this volume of servers.
    Just to hit a few notes on this:

    #1 - Cage space rarely includes any usable volume of free power
    #2 - $18/sqft is pretty darn cheap, and wont be "premium" space in any regard typically speaking
    #3 - In relation to #1/#2, the "quality" of the facility, will often entail the power density they can accommodate. This means for 1000 "typical" servers, you're going to be buying a LOT more then 450sqft, because the power density is not going to accommodate this.
    #4 - Very few people will sustain 15sqft/rack, or 30 servers to the rack in any amount of density. Both are quite viable, but it's rarely achieved with both (ignoring point #3 here)
    Myles Loosley-Millman
    Priority Colo Inc. - Affordable Colocation & Dedicated Servers.
    admin@prioritycolo.com
    http://www.prioritycolo.com

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