We met last Friday with our team at Integrated Design Solutions (ids) and spent several quality hours with their team discussing topics from room dimensions to electrical load projections and everything in between. Lots of great ideas and analysis and we’ll be sharing some of it with you shortly, but one thing that just blew me away was an alternative they present for our flooring. Now flooring is just one of those things taken for granted in the data center. Most everyone is used to seeing the standard white vinyl tile in data room spaces, but those of you who have visited Liberty know that we installed a black rubber floor (affectionately known as flubber). We like it not just because it’s different and not just because it’s a “green” material (it’s made out of recycled tires), and not just because it’s also anti-static, but for some of the other bonus features it offers. It provides more cushion than just standing on a cement base floor, which is the effect you get standing on vinyl tile and, most importantly, it shows the dirt – so if we’ve had a significant amount of traffic, we’ll see it and can clean it up. Seeing dirt on a white floor is almost impossible, so having a black floor helps immensely. Well, the team from ids isn’t about just perpetuating the status quo unless it makes sense, so they are looking at everything and one item happened to be the flooring. So, they described an option for us that just seemed a “little out there” — carpeting for the data room. No, not berber or shag, but Static Dissipative Carpet Tile, as alternative to our flubber. We discussed the pros and cons, and like just about everything, there were some negatives – like the risk of loose carpet fibers getting caught up in cooling fans. But we found it interesting that it comes recommended for data floor installations (kind or like a family room for your servers).
Leads us to wonder — have you ever run into a carpeted data room? If you have, drop us a line, we’d like to hear about your impressions. Or if you have any opinions about this material, take a minute to comment on that too.