Analysis conducted in 2009 by commercial real estate specialist Grubb & Ellis forecast that data center vacancy rates will reach an all-time low in 2010. The projections, in part, reflect difficulties businesses face in trying to keep up with growing demand for data storage, networking, and high-bandwidth applications.
For businesses requiring more data center power, space, and servers to meet growth, tight budgets create an even more acute challenge. Data center co-location facilities can provide businesses ready access to scalable power, space, and bandwidth without capital investment. Before shifting IT infrastructure requirements to a co-location facility, a business should:
1. Conduct a growth assessment evaluating anticipated IT infrastructure needs to determine if they can be met with existing network, space, power, and reliability.
2. Calculate the true costs of operating your own data center environment. Account for current and growing major expenses including real estate costs, maintenance contracts, utility costs, insurance, network expenses, staffing, and capital expenditures.
3. Perform risk analysis to identify critical points of failure within the existing IT and physical security environment. Determine costs of mitigating (and not mitigating) those risks within your existing IT environment.
4. Thoroughly research and compare prospective co-location providers’ power density, network connectivity, security, staffing levels, and service reputation.
Steve Merkel Director of Solutions Engineering Latisys Denver