Data Center Real Estate Expansion Considerations?

In today’s business environment, more organizations are looking to technical solutions that are stored in or powered by data centers. An increasing number of companies are branching out to expand their on-premises facilities or invest more heavily in outsourced data center real estate. However, in order for a data center project to be successful, there are a few items to consider.

Selecting the Right Type
Data center research firm Forrester stated that one of the top concerns to keep in mind when undertaking a data center project is the cost. If one cannot justify the expenditure with the business case of the organization, the build will not be successful. For this reason, companies must decide whether to build a traditional data center facility or a modular structure, or whether it would be more advantageous to outsource or colocate their data center needs. Each option boasts different costs, risks and benefits, depending on the organization’s requirements.

One of the fastest growing data center real estate options is the modular data center. Forrester analyst Sophia Vargas noted that modular data centers have come to occupy a greater share of the overall market, and a wide range of groups, including colocation providers, have taken advantage of this type of data center. A modular structure allows for rapid deployment, flexible scalability and also enables a risk adverse capital expenditure model. Overall, compared to a traditional build or colocation, a modular data center has a much lower investment cost the first year of operations, and is highly competitive with the operational costs of colocation or traditional facilities in the following 15 years of operations.

Data Center Location
Once the company decides on the type of structure that will fit its needs, administrators must find a suitable location to house the data center. This may prove harder than it sounds.

Inclement weather such as tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes can put not only the structure at risk, but also the sensitive information being stored and powered by the equipment there.

For this reason, some companies opt for a more urban location within a city, although the price of a site like this may be higher. Depending on the needs of the company, administrators must weigh the cost of a city location with the risks involved in a more rural site to decide which best fits their budget and operational requirements.

Brooks also noted that when considering data center locations, companies should also consider the proximity of the local telecommunications provider, as facilities that are too distant from the vendor may experience a bad connection that could affect productivity.

Carrier Neutrality
Following from the previous point, when looking at the connectivity to local telecom, businesses should also look into investing in a carrier neutral data center. In this type of arrangement, the facility is connected with several different service providers. According to Brooks, this can create a more robust data center for the owning organization as well as their clients.

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