Data Centres: To Build or Not to Build?

There are a number of triggers such as business growth and office relocation which may cause an organisation to evaluate the adequacy of their current data centre. The decision of whether to outsource a data centre as opposed maintaining one in-house can depend on a number of factors. For businesses with only one location a secondary data centre for remote backup, offsite backup storage or disaster recovery purposes will need to be considered.

The way a business operates should be considered, as an outsourced data centre will work well for organisations where operational expenditure is preferred. If you’re already using cloud storage, online data backup, email archiving or outsourced disaster recovery services this strategy will be complimentary. Building/Upgrading and maintaining a data centre will require significant up front capital expenditure to achieve the same result as a commercial data centre provider. As commercial data centres deal in thousands of square meters of technical floor space there are a lot of savings to be made with that quantity of scale.

An outsourced facility generally will give better resiliency as most commercial providers have at least N+1 redundancy on power and cooling systems coupled with better physical security. The importance of the level of resilience needed for primary infrastructure will depend on the maturity of your organisation’s data backup, IT disaster recovery and business continuity processes.

Aspects such as expand-ability of technical floor space, floor loading, fire suppression and the availability and redundancy of power and cooling infrastructure all need to be considered carefully when assessing the suitability of a solution.