Data Center

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Data Center Build-out Checklist

Data centers must deliver high availability of all their systems to be successful. This checklist outlines the process to setup and install cabling for a data center correctly.

Scope of Work (SOW):

  • General Scope of Work and overview of the entire project
  • Include a description of the services required to complete the build
  • Details included for each piece of equipment
  • Staging requirements
  • Labeling requirements
  • Power up and burn-in requirements
  • Module installation requirements
  • Cabling requirements for each port
  • Cable labeling requirements
  • Logical requirements
  • Packing requirements
  • Shipping requirements
  • Additional instructions for the various build and engineering teams.

Level Of Effort (LOE):

  • Determine the Level of Effort required to complete the build
  • Determine the window of time you have to build on-site
  • Determine how many technicians and engineers you will need for the duration of the project
  • Each task will need an estimated time associated
  • PMs and Project Engineers will include the time required to design and manage the project
    • Receiving, Inventory and asset management
    • Pre-installation activities such as smoke test or
    • Staging, Rack, and stack
    • Cabling and Labeling
    • Logical configuration
  • A total estimate will be calculated for sales

Bill Of Materials (BOM):

Have a detailed Bill of Materials and identify lead times so orders are placed in time to minimize any risk of missing or late equipment.


  • Racks and Cabinets and associated hardware
  • Network, Systems and Storage Equipment
  • Power and Network Cables
  • Other non-serialized hardware

Data Center Location:

Select a Data Center location based upon:


  • Location in relation to users, service providers, historic record of natural disasters and risks of other human events
  • Power reliability, availability, and redundancy
  • Security, both physical and logical
  • Space for current build and future growth

Rack Elevations:

Determine elevation early so the cable BOM will be accurate and the installation team will know how the equipment will be mounted.


  • Excel front and rear
  • Visio front and rear

Cable Matrix:

  • Excel format is recommended for ease of use and making changes
  • Cable labeling requirements
  • Wiring diagrams

Logical Configuration:

  • OS or Firmware upgrade/downgrade
  • Configurations and Logs
  • BIOS Settings
  • RAID Configuration
  • Management IP
  • Automation QA output

Product Information:

  • Product specifications
  • Product or materials special handling instructions
  • Submittals used to sell products to customer

Proof Of Concept/First Article Build (POC/FAB):

  • New rack builds will require a POC/FAB for the best design
  • This may take several extra days to determine the final design
  • For custom length cabled racks a fully built rack can help determine cable lengths without
    unneeded extra slack
  • This is also essential for testing network architecture, configurations or compatibility prior to deployment
  • POC is not required for rack builds that have a proven design

Project Plan:

  • The on-site date required by the customer will dictate the shipping and deployment dates
  • The LOE will determine the project plan working backward from the completion date with extra time to
    mitigate the risk of missing deadlines.
  • The BOM and equipment will need to be ready and in the loading dock, storage area or pre-stage area
    prior to the first day of the build.
  • Any delays in equipment or information may delay the project plan milestones or completion date.

Work Book:

  • Work books are developed as a comprehensive as-built document fore very rack build
  • These tabs/sheets are standard for rack build project workbooks
  • Project Title and Project Team
  • Revision Control
  • Task Checklist
  • Customer Data (provided by customer)
  • Rack Design
  • Rack Elevation
  • Cable Matrix
  • QA/QC Checks
  • BOM/Ship Sheet