In 2012, the New York Times reported that an industrial scale data centre could use as much electricity as a medium-sized town.
Facebook is the third biggest website in terms of traffic. It has some of the biggest data centre properties in the world to manage the data generated by the 1.2 billion active users who log on to the site every day.
The company has good reason to invest in its own, industrial-sized data complexes located in the US, Sweden (conveniently situated near the Arctic Circle for their natural cooling system) and Ireland. These centres house tens of thousands of servers and engineers ride scooters around them to manage their size. The amount of data stored is mind boggling.
But most companies won’t need similar data storage capacity; many emerging businesses are adequately served by small, relatively affordable servers hosted locally on-site during the startup phase.
Enterprises could take the same approach on a larger scale, but the costs of building, equipping and staffing custom enterprise-level data centres – as such those required by a financial institution for example – far outweigh any benefit of hosting data themselves.
The answer is to outsource the data centre, and here are six financial and operational reasons to do so:
Focus on business growth
Outsourcing data management services to an ICT (information and communications technology) partner allows your business to develop and market its offering at a competitive price, unencumbered by infrastructure-related CAPEX expenses.
Data centre management is complex. It requires particular expertise. The risks associated with managing a data centre, while trying to serve company and customer needs, increases the risk of failure in both areas. By focusing on your core business, you can better manage company requirements and customer service while an experienced connectivity partner takes care of your data. Your SLA protects you by specifying service levels that guarantee data centre resiliency. Consider too that the physical distance between your company and its data reduces the risk of a single event crippling your business.
Outsourcing your data centre means you benefit from economies of scale. The cost of hosting your data elsewhere will be far less than the operational, equipment and maintenance expenses associated with a self-owned data centre.
You need additional data storage capability today. Building or upgrading a data centre can take years. Increasing the capacity of your outsourced data centre will take a couple of hours.
CIOs with in-house data centres must deploy IT team members to keep the data centre running, reducing their capacity for more strategic tasks. They may not have specialised security or data centre engineers in-house, whereas reputable data centre providers have invested in precisely this kind of expertise.
Most data centres will allow customers to manage their own servers or use a managed option. The customer can regulate their data services based on usage and demand patterns throughout the business year.
Outsourcing data centre operations aligns IT requirements with business objectives while protecting your budget. When benefits include better financial and operational efficiency, proactive monitoring, and professional management of IT infrastructure, partnering with an established wholesale data centre connectivity partner makes sense.