A data center is a sizable investment, both in initial construction and in long-term maintenance. In a comprehensive 2011 study, Forrester Research found that by leasing colocation space within a multi-tenant data center instead of building, the average enterprise can save more than 25% over a 15 year period.
The cost of building alone is enough to drive companies to squeeze every last ounce of life out of their data centers. In a new article on TechTarget, Robert McFarlane, a data center design consultant, offers up advice on how companies can give their data centers new life. Using small space, power, and cooling equipment improvements, McFarlane suggests that companies may be able to boost efficiency and get an additional 10 years of growth out of their data centers.
Here are a few of his recommendations:
- Use the most of the space you have. Get rid of anything that isn’t in use, remove excess store rooms, and rearrange cabinets and equipment. Your square footage probably isn’t going to change, so efficiency is key.
- Optimize your power situation. Segment the data center, rearrange IT hardware, and closely monitor your data center to ensure you’re making the most of the power you have available.
- Take small steps to improve your facility’s cooling. Block holes, rebalance air flow, and audit your cooling temperature to improve cooling efficiency.
All of these suggestions are good, and we would in fact recommend that current data center owners consider these improvements if they haven’t already. What McFarlane’s advice also does, however, is reinforce another key value point of colocating your data center.
Opting to colocate puts ongoing improvements like these into the hands of your data center service provider who is paid to be an expert. Building your own facility, on the other hand, relies on you straying from your core competencies and building out a team to maximize the lifespan of your company’s data center and manage its infrastructure every day.
When you colocate with a company like Telx, facility level concerns that would be at play if you owned a data center are significantly mitigated. Factors like efficiency, power, security, and cooling should still be top-of-mind, but the colocation partner will help manage the big picture. You don’t have to worry about giving your data center new life, maximizing facility space, optimizing your facility’s power situation, or improving your facility’s cooling. All you need to do is work with an expert who will match services to your needs, and then manage the ‘big picture’ facility issues so you can focus on issues most relevant to your business.
To give your data center new life, try colocating. The benefits extend far beyond cost-savings, but outsourcing the need for additional investment in your data center is a good place to start.