The Data Center Dilemma

Why and when should a small business consider moving their I.T. infrastructure offsite to a data center?  

Data Center Dilemma

Here at Modo, we specialize in bringing enterprise best practices to small businesses.  

Why?  Because enterprise companies drive the market and create change that trickles down to small businesses.  In today’s business climate, enterprise companies have created a forecast of “offsite and cloud” for the data center dilemma for small businesses.  

First, what is a data center?  “A data center is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems” according to Wikipedia.

Most large companies have a “data center” on their premises.   This is very costly when you consider the hardware and software costs, the employee salaries and benefits, and the overhead costs of power, cooling, real-estate, etc. 

Enterprise companies wrestle with the same business challenges as small businesses – creating efficiencies for employees, improving customer satisfaction, controlling costs, optimizing their investments in technology – just on a larger scale with the luxury of budgets and dedicated I.T. staff to work on them.

With the advent of Virtualization, applications can be deployed much quicker for business agility with the added benefit of reducing the server footprint in the data center.  And, if your business is using applications accessed over the internet from another company’s data center (the Cloud) then the value of an on-premise data center is reduced further. 

For enterprise companies, according to Gardner, “The Data Center Is Dead, and Digital Infrastructures Emerge”, GARTNER REPORT – Impact for Emerging Digital Infrastructure:

“The role of the traditional data center will be relegated to that of a legacy holding area, dedicated to very specific services that cannot be supported elsewhere, or supporting those systems that are most economically efficient on-premises.

As interconnect services, cloud providers, the Internet of Things (IoT), edge services and SaaS offerings continue to proliferate, the rationale to stay in a traditional data center topology will have limited advantages.

This is not an overnight shift, but an evolutionary change in thinking in how we deliver services to our customers and to the business.”

Secondly, what is the difference between a data center and “the cloud”? If we accept the definition of “cloud” as “someone else’s computer”, then we can determine how best to use a data center to achieve business goals. 

The market has matured to critical mass for Software as A Service (SaaS, Cloud Applications), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and the proliferation of the data center market space.  Therefore, it is cost effective for small business to move their servers to the data center when the business need arises (compelling event). 

The Dallas Morning News indicates that we are the second fastest growing market in the country with 10 new projects on the way (October 2017).

Enterprises have created economies of scale that make data centers affordable for small businesses and they come with tremendous benefits: 

  1. Security
  2. Redundancy – Uptime, Geographic dispersion
  3. Performance – computers need a clean environment (cool, low humidity, power) to run efficiently
  4. Service Level Agreements of 100% Uptime!
  5. New Infrastructure vs. aging hardware 
  6. Compliance 
  7. Virtualization
  8. Cost - Operating expenses vs. capital expenses

Here is a link to study these factors in more detail.

For small companies, a data center is a great place to be and our go to partner is TierPoint.

So, when is the right time? 

The answer is “it depends”.   

It depends on your business model, it depends on a budget, it depends on how your employees access the data they need to do their jobs effectively, it depends on your appetite for risk running your applications on old hardware and it depends on how you intend to manage the devices.

If your company has 25 – 100 employees and more than 3 servers, then it is time to modernize your information technology. 

Modo can help guide you through this decision-making process.  Our network and security assessments, which we offer at no charge, give great insight and answers to many of the questions to help make this decision.  

Please contact us or give us a call at 214-299-8040 to learn more.

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