Buy or Build Data Centre Best Practice Guide
by Morris Pentel
For most large organisations there is a growing need for data centre capacity. Shaped by competing data trends, this need has become the heart of one of the most significant decisions for IT Directors. Providing data centre capacity to meet the growing needs of the organisation has become a higher priority and its importance is likely to increase over the next few years. The drive towards the use of Big Data applications and personalised content is shaping the consumer landscape and will see a dramatic increase in the amount of data that organisations will need to manage. With massive growth in data centre capacity being delivered by third party suppliers to meet the increasing demand, the role of the privately-owned data centres is reducing.
Conclusion And Recommendations
In conclusion, data centre best practice nowadays favours working with a third part supplier.
The advantages of scale, reduced Capex and the latest design and technology, high security, a choice
of locations makes this the most compelling option. Shown below is a basic best practice checklist:
- Buy v Build decision – Ensure that you have a clearly articulated build requirement that you have costed realistically before making contact with suppliers.
- Best Practice – Get advice from third party suppliers on how they benchmark, and the various standards they have to meet.
- Business Continuity – Has proper consideration been given to service interruption and how has this been articulated to you?
- Design – A good design should demonstrate security, diverse routing, power efficiency and consideration of customer needs such as customer facilities and flexible offerings. Where possible visit as many third party data centres as you can to get design ideas.
- Length of contract – most suppliers will offer a range of contract lengths. Ensure that you take the one that meets your needs for stability with opportunities for review.
- Location – Your staff will probably have to spend time in the data centre so what are the transport links?
- Penalties – Ensure there are financial penalties built into the SLAs for any service interruption or security failure.
- PUE – It is important to understand your stated PUE and that of your supplier and whether it has been achieved. It should demonstrate good design as well as the latest and most efficient technology.
- Security – Use common standards to define what is the right level for your needs. Paying for unneeded levels of security can be expensive. Remember physical security is as important as IT security.
- Growth – Ensure that possible future growth is considered and built in to your business case. This additional space should be delivered on flexible terms.