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Data Centers: Build vs. Buy

Ben Gonyea
August 26, 2014

As companies grow and scale, it’s nearly a forgone conclusion that they’re going to need more data center capacity. Companies across a variety of industries—from healthcare, to financial services, to retail, and everything in between—are all amassing large quantities of data and evolving capabilities that need serious computing power. That, of course, is where the data center comes in.

The question then is whether a company in need of a data center should build or buy (outsource). In building, companies have complete and total control over all aspects of the data center. In buying, companies get many of the benefits of having a data center without taking on the massive resource investment necessary to build their own.

A new article from Data Center Knowledge recently addressed this question: should companies build, or buy, their data centers? The article does a great job of highlighting some of the benefits and downsides of each, but what we like most is the list of questions that Data Center Knowledge compiled for companies in need of a data center.

Here are a few of the questions they recommend asking:

  • Your own organization’s present level of experience operating a data center
  • The scale of your proposed site and how it compares to your other data centers
  • The scale of your proposed data center—is it 10,000 or 100,000 sqft?
  • Have you built a data center before, or is this your first time?
  • If mistakes were made, would you be able to avoid them next time?

Building your own data center is resource-intensive and requires a good bit of experience. And that’s not all—once your data center is built, you also have to manage the upkeep, updating, administration, and management of the data center, all of which can be incredibly complicated throughout the life of your data center. With high-energy costs and complicated management for inexperienced companies, the task of building your own data center can be an overwhelming one.

There is, of course, a solution: outsourcing to a trusted provider. Not only is outsourcing more cost-effective than building your own data center—outsourcing is also more scalable and flexible than building your own data center, and it mitigates risk and can assist in compliance and security. Outsourcing to a data center services provider that you trust gives you nearly all of the upside of having a data center without the resource drain you’d find in building (and managing) your own.

In asking yourself these questions, think not only about the short-term costs but also the long-term costs associated with owning your own data center. Many times, outsourcing is a more viable solution—and for a wide variety of reasons, not only limited to those we covered here.

If you’d like to learn more about Telx’s outsourcing solutions and how they can fit your business, please reach out to us via the contact page of our site, or by Facebook or Twitter.

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