The data center is a critical element of a business's infrastructure. As a business grows, committing to a long-term IT strategy becomes mandatory. Medium-sized businesses require a full-scale data center solution and their decision today will affect their IT infrastructure for years, if not decades. Before a business irons out the details of their IT plan, they must make a decision which will be the foundation of their entire strategy. Should they build a full-scale in-house center or utilize a colocation facility?
Benefits of a Building a Data Center
The primary reason medium businesses choose to build a center is control. They want complete control over their IT operating environment. They get to choose who has access to their center, who works there, and even what temperature it is kept at.
Another benefit of having an in-house center is there is little risk of being forced to move. When a business relies on the 3rd party, there is always a chance the 3rd party won't be available at some point in the future. When a business has their own center, they know it will always be accessible.
The final benefit of building a data center is the entire IT staff works near the data center floor. With off-site solutions, only a small number of IT staff will be at the facility on a regular basis.
Benefits of Colocation for a Medium-Sized Business
The biggest benefit of colocation for medium businesses is the ability to expand at a moment's notice. Colocation centers provide a level of scalability an in-house center cannot match. Businesses have the ability to increase their capacity as the need arises. With an in-house center, there is a maximum amount of available infrastructure. If the business is not operating at maximum capacity, they are paying for space they don't need. If they exceed maximum capacity, they cannot continue to grow until they improve their center.
Another benefit of colocation is medium-sized businesses don't invest time and resources learning how to build and maintain a data center. All of the day to day operations are managed by the colocation provider. Colocation centers are run by proven professionals who know what it takes to run an efficient center and eliminate downtime risks.
The final benefit of colocation is financial. Colocation allows medium businesses to operate with a predictable expenditure model. The costs are easier to estimate and will increase at a consistent rate as the business continues to grow. With an in-house data center, overhead varies from month to month based upon maintenance schedules and surprise infrastructure repairs.
In-House Data Center or Colocation
There is no solution which is perfect for every situation. A majority of medium-sized businesses will benefit from choosing colocation over building an in-house data center. It is a more cost-effective, predictable solution which can be sustained over the long-term. In-house centers do provide several benefits, however there are also significant risks which cannot be ignored during the decision making process.