Can you simplify your computer room with wholesale data center facilities?

First, what are the benefits of reducing complexity?

  • Less labor required for managing IT and the data center
  • Better reliability; less data center downtime
  • Faster time to resolution when problems arise
  • Better focus on the business issues that IT supports, rather than equipment, facilities and compliance
  • Removal of the barriers to growth and change in the business and in the IT that supports the business.

The complexity of your computer room is largely dependent on the level of computer system reliability that your company requires. This reliability is known as data center uptime. For this post, we’ll assume that your business requires 99.995% uptime, which is 28 minutes of downtime per year or less. Why so high? Because data center downtime can mean lost revenues, lost profits, and lost clients.

How complex is your data center? There are three broad categories of complexity: information technology, facilities, and compliance.

The complexity of your information technology includes:

  • Servers
  • Storage
  • Switches
  • Firewalls
  • Security appliances
  • Monitoring devices
  • Virtualization software
  • Operatiing systems
  • Business applications

The complexities of the information technology alone can be daunting. Since the business applications are what drives all the other information technology components, business applications will be the first factor in determining the level of complexity. More applications mean more complexity. Interdependence of applications means more complexity. Data interchange with clients and vendors adds complexity.

When high reliability (the goal of zero downtime data center downtime) is important, things get even more complex. High data center uptime requires dual power supplies on IT equipment, and duplicate equipment for the most important servers, storage units and network devices. This duplication is known as data center redundancy, and it requires more management, maintenance, capital and operating expense than a less reliable approach.

On the data center facilities side, the complexities include:

  • Hardened data center buildings (F5 tornado resistant data centers in Midwest data centers)
  • Data center power redundancy (two power feeds, two generators and two UPS systems supporting IT equipment
  • Data center cooling redundancy
  • Fire suppression
  • Physical security

Again, higher data center uptime requires more complexity. N+N data center redundancy (two of everything) is the best way to minimize downtime. That means two utility feeds , two generators, two UPS systems and two power paths to all IT equipment . Two air conditioning systems reduces the risk of downtime due to cooling failures, one of the most common causes of downtime in computer rooms. Fire suppression for computer rooms needs to be different than standard fire protection. And physical security can be very complex to administer.

This N+N data center redundancy reduces downtime but greatly increases complexity and costs. Data center capital costs can easily reach $500,000 or more when building an in-house N+N redundant data center. The complexity of owning and managing a data center can be even more daunting that the complexities of the information technology in the data center.

On the compliance side, more regulations are coming as the government seeks to legislate privacy and security in certain industries. The most regulated industries are:

  • Financial services
  • Credit card handling
  • Health care
  • Utilities
  • Government data
  • Life sciences

But these industries are not the only ones requiring data center certifications and compliance. Clients and vendors are requiring SAS 70 certified data centers and TIA 942 compliant data centers. Obtaining certifications and meeting regulatory compliance requirements can add complexity, cost, and additional in-house labor burden.

How does a wholesale data center facility reduce the complexity? With the right wholesale data center, you can outsource the facilities and compliance complexities. Most companies don’t have in-house expertise in power, cooling, sturdy buildings, fire suppression and physical security. handing over these disciplines to data center professionals simplifies the data center and reduces complexity. Many companies are required to maintain levels of data center compliance and certification. The cost of a SAS 70 certification alone can range from $20,000 to $50,000 initially and $20,000 per bi-annual audit. Outsource data centers can also provide information technology support to assist or replace in-house staff.

What’s the benefit of outsource data center? Your IT staff can stop worrying about facilities and compliance problems, and focus on business applications and the information technology to support them.

Looking for a simple data center solution? Call Midwest colocation provider Lifeline Data Centers at 317.423.2591.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.