Data Centers having become an integral part of the digital economy with DATA generation set to grow with more people transacting online with IoT connectivity furthering this growth. Therefore, the Total Cost of Data Center operations will rise too. However if this cost is justifiable with improved business outcomes and user satisfaction for viability to businesses.
Since in a co-located data center the focus is on operational costs, it is prudent to know the cost elements involved so that a proactive approach can be taken to maximize your spend versus the value addition to your business.
Key Cost Elements:
- Rack Space
- IT Equipments
- Power Draw
- Server Management (IT Security, Backups, Disaster Recovery& Failover)
- Facility Location
Therefore, we can group the costs into IT, Power & Process Management at a broad level. The first aspect is the Rack space and with one or many slots as needed. The Unit of Measurement is “U” which is 1.75 inches in height. The idea is to choose a space that is required with an added margin of a surge in demand across all touchpoints. Planning that extra space will prove cost effective in the short run and give peace of mind too.
The second part of the cost element is to do with the key assets of the data center, the IT infrastructure (hardware and software) including the interconnections and bandwidth. For a robust and incident-free operation of a Data Center, IT equipment plays a key role and the choosing the right equipment reduces all the associated costs including power consumption. The categories include Servers, Storage devices, Network, monitoring and cooling equipment.
Preparing the RFP involves taking into account, the business needs and flexibility so that the company can focus on growth. An important aspect of the IT procurement is to have a multi-vendor contract and scalable IT architecture and as such the cost containment is proactive and not a knee-jerk reaction.
Power is normally the second biggest line item in the cost sheet, apart from its usage cost; its non-availability/outage can cost a lot more and requires a judicious investment. Co-location service providers have various plans and the right plan can cut costs significantly.
Since power usage is dependent on the right type of equipment, please refer to the Department of Energy’s Best Practices for a Data Center Design to get an idea of what goes on into planning energy efficient Data Centers and therefore its impact on your co-located server’s power consumption efficiency.
Ensuring business critical uptime for your Servers requires proper management of the IT infrastructure in terms of timely backup provisioning, best in class security to prevent data loss or theft and lastly a disaster recovery and failover plan to ensure continuity of business operations – “Business as Usual”.
Co-location data centers provide an opportunity to scale/relocate data to Low Cost Data Centers in the US, with a history of low power costs and incidences of outages. Location therefore plays a key role not only for the above reason, but also for administrative closeness to your offices for ease and cost of operations.
Deploying your IT in either a colocation data center or your own, the major difference is the spending, which recurs every day/week/month, and as such planning the OPEX will ensure a better ROI from your time and investment.
To sum it all up, the future of data centers depends on the vision that the founders of such centers have. One cannot rule out the role of robots and underground DCs, even more efficient techniques for efficient and cost-effective cooling. The emphasis should be on sustainable, renewable energy and sufficient on-site power storage capabilities. Making the impossible possible, takes going the extra mile.
About DataCenterAndColocation: ( www.DataCenterAndColocation.com ) has been providing retail and wholesale colocation consulting to major companies since 2009 offering data center colocation and hybrid colocation services. They are one of the largest no up-front-fee, non-bias colocation and cloud consulting companies in the United States with a long list of satisfied clients ranging from hospitals, manufacturing, financial and the service industry.