Resource Library

Data Center Footprint

The term Data Center Footprint refers to the physical space that IT equipment takes up within the data center. The data center footprint can be described in terms of the number of cages, cabinets and racks.

A company’s data center footprint, also known as an equipment footprint, is a term used to describe the physical space that IT equipment such as servers, switches, routers and storage takes up in caged environments within the facility. The larger the data center footprint, the larger the costs of acquisition and upkeep generally are. And with ongoing advances that make more capacity available in a smaller space, many companies are partnering with third-party data center providers to “right size” their data center footprint for maximum performance and cost efficiency.

A data center footprint consists of one or more of the following:

  • Rack — a physical framework of slots within an IT cabinet that houses servers, networking devices, cables and more
  • Cabinets — a structure that’s typically enclosed, but made with steel mesh doors in the front and back to allow for ventilation; cabinets contain racks
  • Cage — a secure enclosure containing IT cabinets; frequently found in data centers handling operations for multiple clients