Data centres, contrary to the thought ten years ago, developed one of the most important roles within any IT infrastructure.
With the advent of Big Data, these “data warehouses” now need vast computing, storage and bandwidth capabilities. These places to store data, while not changing in their original definition, are now burdened by increasing data volumes and processing loads.
Businesses, even small and medium enterprises (SME), are required to manage a complex architecture, despite possessing neither the skills nor the resources. Because of this, data centre outsourcing services have increased. This choice has clear advantages, and not just cost-wise. There are benefits also in flexibility and the possibility to access storage resources, as well as better guarantees in terms of security and integrity of information.
It may seem that you’re confronted with the choice of whether to “make it” or “buy it”. But actually, there are three options open to you if you want to outsource your data centre. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each choice.
1. Colocation in a non-carrier neutral data centre
Choosing to rely on a colocator or a data centre outsourcing company brings many benefits. Firstly, costs are reduced considerably. And this isn’t just the direct cost of managing the infrastructure but also the cost benefits from resources that have been made available.
The internal IT team can still be in charge of day-to-day support while business continuity will be taken care of by an external provider. Additionally, information security can be certified by reliable professionals allowing you to also benefit from economies of scale. However, not all colocators are the same. One distinction concerns carrier neutrality.
Non-carrier neutral data centres are affiliated to a single network partner, so they don’t allow interconnectivity with different providers except through the public network. This can have a negative impact on business continuity and connectivity costs as well as on the entire infrastructure flexibility.
2. Colocation in carrier-neutral data centres
What does carrier neutrality mean? In short, a carrier-neutral environment is a system that allows business activities through facilitating interconnectivity. For example, implementing IT traffic exchange points integrating direct and private connections across multiple sources.
For non-professionals, interconnection offers different types of connections, such as one-to-one, one-to-many, and many-to-many, as well as providing access to both private and public networks.
All things considering, interconnectivity isn’t just optional but is now a necessity especially as business becomes more digital. Digital business activities can further improve while ensuring lower costs when implemented on a carrier-neutral IT infrastructure.
Data centre colocation offerings continue to increase and the most advanced solutions now offer, among its many advantages, carrier neutrality, which facilitates interconnectivity and allows customers to change telecom providers without changing the data storage site.
3. Outsourcing services with IaaS or SaaS solutions
Instead of buying space from a physical infrastructure or keeping an in-house data storage system, you can now also rent space on a virtual data centre that can be accessed through the internet. This is done through cloud computing solutions.
Cloud computing may seem very complex, but an easy guide can be followed below:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): The Cloud provider offers rental of its virtualized hardware;
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): The provider offers an online platform allowing you to build applications and services;
- Software as a Service (SaaS): The provider offers access to a software hosted on the Cloud to the software’s users.
As you can see, you can actually outsource your data centre by relying on an IaaS solution through purchasing storage capacity. This allows great flexibility, but it isn’t without its risks. Think from a security standpoint, especially for public Clouds. The pay-per-use scheme also means it’s not straightforward to calculate the costs for this solution. If you also consider that big vendors dominate the market, there’s little room to negotiate contractual terms.
To conclude, you have multiple options when deciding whether to outsource your data centre. While outsourcing services can be a good option, you’ll have to make sure that your provider has a carrier-neutral infrastructure.