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Colocation or flying solo?

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Building and operating data centers for a company single-handedly (flying solo) is a huge and capital-intensive task. The use of a server colocation UK provider, however, significantly relieves the facilities’ team of companies and reduces investment costs. However, the IT department remains responsible for ensuring that this important infrastructure is available and that operating expenses are kept within limits. When relocating or restructuring, corporate IT is often put to the test. The data center is a key point here. Modern data centers are highly complex buildings. A company that decides to build its own data center needs vision and strategy as well as a lot of will to assert itself to complete the construction project and put the systems into operation. And even then, a return on investment (ROI) is often unthinkable.

Your own data center

Despite the difficulties, many companies prefer their infrastructure to meet their IT requirements. This “flying solo” concept makes sense, for example, if IT represents a profit center for the company. A well-designed IT environment with the right user experience can be a worthwhile unique selling point for companies.

Having your own data center gives you greater flexibility when it comes to renting colocation space or using external cloud infrastructure. A separate infrastructure may also be required for a company if applications have to be removed from the cloud or the colocation system due to growth. Experts from the areas of real estate, finance, energy supply, contracting, procurement, project management, personnel management, and building management are required for the construction. You need to reconcile the needs of the company and future users. At the same time, the costs should remain within limits and the return on investment should be as high as possible.

In the case of the power supply, in particular, the type of provision and the power supply architecture is decisive for whether the requirements can be met. An intelligent rack PDU (Power Distribution Unit) can be helpful for power measurement and energy management in a heterogeneous environment with a wide mix of components and network providers. When selecting the providers and partners for the design, construction, and commissioning, innovative companies should be selected that can provide a wide range of data center-specific products in the required quantity and with the required features and functions.

But for many IT-oriented companies, transferring their own data center assets to a colocation facility is a logical step if their growth, consolidation, latency, or time-to-market aspects speak for it. By foregoing construction, capital expenditure is reduced. Management can use the capital thus freed up elsewhere.

The pros and cons of colocation

Colocation facilities usually have an extremely efficient infrastructure and offer a maximum of connection options, bandwidth, and redundancy. These exceed the willingness to invest in most companies that have or plan to have their own data center. The know-how of the providers can be assessed very well if, for example, you ask them about the method they use for site-to-site replicate.

However, the offer of the data center providers includes, in addition to the pure space in the “Whitespace”, numerous other services that have to be paid for. This includes the recording and calculation of power consumption or individual adaptations for cooling IT cabinets. Many providers charge these separately if they exceed 5 to 10 kW per cabinet. Remote support, equipment cleaning: Each additional operation costs money. Even if individual items are to be billed in detail instead of a total bill, this costs an extra charge. It gets really expensive when full power path redundancy is required for a business-critical application. This means that the IT operator needs two remote power panels and two power distributors to the rack, two UPS systems, and two generators. Companies often choose to purchase the IT assets for the colocation location and not to move them from the existing data center. On the one hand, the technicians can set up and test the new hardware in advance before the IT department switches from the old systems to the new ones. On the other hand, the hardware is often too heavy and too large for normal transport, does not fit through doors and could be damaged during transport. Older drives, for example, can sometimes no longer be started after transport. And the power distribution boards of the colocation data center may not be compatible with the cabinets. With new facilities, you can start from scratch in the UK colocation facility, with new equipment and architectures. These are usually more suitable for future requirements, work more efficiently and reliably than the aging systems. To minimize the effort for the implementation of the new hardware, it is important to have a partner at your side who guarantees a functioning solution when putting together the various products and services. A wide range and a competent contact person nearby are crucial.

This talk is part of the server colocation uk tt series.

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