Buy or Build? Beware of these “Invisible” Costs of in-house Data Centres

Sachin Bhardwaj

By Sachin Bhardwaj, eHosting DataFort, Director, Marketing & Business Development

Sachin Bhardwaj
Sachin Bhardwaj

In today’s business environment within the large, medium and small enterprises there is an unprecedented growth of data. Coupled with increasing use of web services, mobile applications and the Internet of Things, businesses must create and manage an IT infrastructure that will tackle their computing, networking and storage capabilities to match their current and future requirements. This increases the need for additional storage and server infrastructure and in turn the need for more efficient data centres.

Companies can either choose to build, buy or look at data centre colocation. In building or buying data centres, technology advancements brings along its own set of complexities and challenges for businesses to architect and manage their IT infrastructure. They must make informed, analyzed and strategic decisions to either own or outsource their data centres to suit their individual needs.

Larger companies are financially capable of building their own data centres and are able to support them with 24/7 professional technical staff who maintain the infrastructure and monitor the data. They allocate large budgets to ensure that their data centres are powered and cooled efficiently to reap the benefits of the facility. Building a data centre has its advantages with the knowledge that the company has incorporated strict security guidelines and measures and also, that, they are in total control of their data.

Company growth has a direct impact on the rate of data growth and thereby pushes the capabilities of the data centres. Therefore organizations must be prepared to face the challenges of determining the right size of the data centre which has to meet the current needs but must also be able to address the future requirements. For example, should an organization foresee their data centre requirements over the next five years and build a suitable facility, in the first instance; initially the data centre will be over capacity with huge maintenance expenses. Over time, the facility will be outdated and will be unable to leverage the newer advancements for performance and energy consumption.  At the same time under-building the data centre can have a huge impact on the capital expenses if the capacity of the facility is used up sooner than planned.

In the case of smaller organizations, depending on the size of the company some may already have their solutions in place; other like start-ups may also have smaller facilities. However, in both cases, the cost for maintaining, scaling and securing their infrastructure is extremely high. They also need to take into account other expenses entailing qualified technical staff, ensured connectivity and put in place robust disaster recovery systems and processes.

Given this IT environment, more and more enterprises are now looking at collocate their data centres and stand to gain in many aspects. These include:

  • Scalability – Depending on the growth phase of a business their data centre requirements need to match the needs. Data centre colocation enables a smooth transition to either upgrade or downsize the capabilities in a more flexible manner without the investment of sophisticated infrastructure and matches the most demanding IT scenarios.  
  • Lowered total cost of ownership – When data centre colocation is part of the IT strategy it has a direct impact of the CAPEX due to the leasing of the facilities. It thereby lowers up-front costs, minimizes data centre staffing needs and comes with timely upkeep and upgrades of the equipment.
  • Higher security levels – Data is crucial to businesses, and organizations are now spending more of their security needs. Data centre colocation provides 24/7 security in its physical environment with strict systems for physical access control. They also implement security solutions that offer visibility into the network to help in proactively mitigating cyber security risks.
  • Professional teams for greater reliability – IT is becoming more complex and requires skilled teams to handle data centres. Experts who maintain and monitor the network at the collocated data centres ensure overall efficiencies making it a much more reliable proposition.
  • Business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) – The cost of IT downtime can be disastrous for businesses. It is therefore important for organizations to have a resilient BC/DR. Data centre colocation providers are capable of offering a higher level of availability in case of man-made or natural disasters compared to in-house facilities.

So irrespective of the size of an organization, data centres are form an integral part of the business to meet the growing need to have higher cost efficiencies, greater scalability and higher security. More importantly organizations need to focus on the core business objectives, and can gain tremendously by placing their requirements into the hands of data centre hosting services providers who are geared to bring about operational efficiencies .