How does your data center grow? And what is the likelihood? If you know you're going to need more floor space, power and cooling because of changes in your data center, what do you do? Or, if you have an unexpected need for growth in the data center, how do you handle it?
Many in-house computer room facilities were built years ago, when the number of servers and the amount of power required were both small. Virtualization and the proliferation of business applications have outpaced the available power and cooling in many in-house computer rooms.
Some companies planned ahead when they built their in-house data centers, including extra floor space, power conditioning and battery backup. Many of these companies even bought a generator for backup power in the event of a utility outage. However, few of these companies had the foresight to build enough power for today's power-hungry server and storage cabinets, which average 5 kW of power and more per unit! More servers and storage mean more power, cooling, generators and battery backup systems as well. Power and data center cooling are often the scarcest and most expensive resource in these company's data center.
Companies that use off-site data center facilities (colocation) often have more flexibility for growth using a pay-as-you-grow model. If there is capacity in the outsourced data center, a company can always buy another increment of rack space along with more power and cooling in the colocation facility
Some wholesale and retail colocation facilities offer private cages so the company can grow in a single, private data center cage or suite in the larger facility. This solves the problem of multiple cabinets in many areas of the colocation facility because of growth over time. Private cages can also solve security and data center compliance problems.
Colocation can also offer much higher levels of uptime. 99.995% uptime (28 minutes of downtime per year or less) requires two power feeds, two telecom entrances, two generators, two UPS systems, and two air conditioners. The cost to build an in-house data center at this level of reliability can reach a million dollars at as little as 500 square feet.
Colocation is flexible. And in-house data centers can be built with the future in mind. Good planning is the key. How will you address growth and change? Call the Midwest colocation and data center compliance experts to learn more.