Demystifying data centres

By Peter Wolsey

There is no doubt that many companies will continue to host their data centres in-house; however, by maintaining the status quo, these organisations not only face the ongoing challenges outlined above, they will also struggle to meet uptime and reliability requirements, which are an absolute given in today’s data-charged world.

In the rare cases where commercial buildings can support stand-alone cooling systems for data centres, they typically lack the necessary generators to provide resilience that assures system availability in the event of power outages
or downtime.

The implicit assumption made by companies that they cannot afford to use a dedicated facility must be challenged by comparing total occupancy costs over the expected term of their requirements to ensure they are getting the best value in this increasingly data driven world.

However, the rent in premium buildings is typically high, which makes it difficult to calculate a true total cost of occupancy (TCO) that factors in both employee office space and data centre space.

Organisations that house their data centres in commercial buildings also face a host of security risks because their offices may not be safeguarded against theft, damage and sabotage, for example.

Despite this surge in data, companies all over Australia continue to accommodate their own data centres on-site, running the risk of over-expenditure and burdensome inefficiencies.

Structurally, office buildings aren’t designed to house data centres either—they lack the necessary slab-to-slab heights, for example.

While this might seem like an easy, economical solution that keeps data close at hand and allows companies to expand their IT functions as they grow, the reality is that the decision to do so carries a much greater cost than is understood.

The combined hard and soft costs of an in-house data centre can be astronomical, so it is important to properly calculate the TCO before deciding whether to continue with this
model or outsource to a secure, cost-effective and reliable alternative.

As a result, these companies face significant additional costs in terms of power and cooling, often accounting for up to half the cost of running the entire office.

Read more here: Business Spectator


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