The Whens And Whys Of A DataCenter
Most of us go on about our daily lives in business without a care or concern about how our computer systems work, where the applications run, or where our data lives. We don’t know or care whether it lives in a closet within our building or somewhere half-way around the world.
So what are the telltale signs to look for and when within your business that you should care about this thing we call a “Data Center”?
- Before your power goes out
- Before your users “must” work from home
- Before someone in your company recommends building a datacenter
- Before you move to new office space
- Before you do the same thing you’ve been doing because you don’t think it’s broken
- Before you write next year’s strategic business plan
- Before you buy any computer hardware
- Before you refresh any computer hardware
- Before you renew or choose an Internet Service Provider
- Before you evaluate or change any major software application
- Before you write or change your disaster recovery plan
- Before you buy a generator for your building
- Before you hire or promote someone to the CIO position
But if you are a shareholder in a business or one of the key executives that is compensated on EBITDA, revenue, profits, or have an MBO related to operating and running a business, then you should care and here’s why.
- It cost less to rent space, power, and cooling from a co-location provider than building your own and running it yourself. The value proposition is much the same as that of cloud computing and the total cost of ownership has long since been debated and decided upon. Renting your utilities is faster, better, and less expensive that building your own. When renting, you get the most highly available pieces and parts of the equation for a fraction of the cost as the do-it-yourself model. Things like staffing, training, turnover, compliance and the ownership of all the pieces and parts just don’t make sense, especially when you consider that you’re not in the business of building and operating a datacenter. Today’s most progressive CIO’s and CTO’s know they need to concentrate on the pieces and parts of the business where they can add value, and the datacenter is not one of them. Renting is a better use of capital and operating expenses – hands-down.
- It’s better than you can build. The datacenter business has been around as long as the Internet and companies that focus on building and maintaining these utilities do it very well. They’ve been doing it long enough to make all of the mistakes that you’ll make as you try to do it yourself and build your own wheel. Even if you are a manufacturer, you don’t make your own electricity anymore. Yes, those days are long past. Even if you were to contemplate building your own, you would likely miss budgeting, planning for and building in all of the redundancies you have come to expect with a modern datacenter. There’s redundancy for power, cooling, fire suppression…and the list goes on.
- It’s faster. If you’re an executive running a business, you’re running at Internet speed, so speed to market is now more important than ever. It takes anywhere from 9-18 months to build a datacenter. Why wait?
- It’s compliant. Security & Compliance are complicated and costly – and these issues are never going away. Why would you spend the time and effort doing those pieces that have already been done by someone else? By renting, you check that box from the start and you won’t have to worry about the changes from year to year.
- It’s flexible. You never really know how much you’ll need in the coming years, so capacity planning is nearly impossible. Computing changes too much, too fast. Most do-it-yourselfers will significantly overbuild either space, power, cooling or network items and be faced with underutilization. In either event, whether it be underutilization or over utilization, the budget projections used to build a datacenter are by default – wrong.