Have you ever considered the risks and costs associated with maintaining your business’s IT infrastructure in an office building closet? This common setup, with its reliance on a single utility power feed and a sole fiber carrier for internet service, can be a ticking time bomb for operational disruptions. Such a fragile arrangement not only threatens productivity but also exposes your business to significant financial and security risks.
In this blog, we’ll address this critical pain point faced by many businesses and guide you through the complexities of choosing the right data center. We’ll share insights into the often-overlooked nuances of commercial data centers, cloud providers, and the potential pitfalls of each. Plus, we offer an invaluable resource – our free Data Center Checklist – to help you evaluate and compare data center risks effectively. If you need to mitigate risk, ensure continuity, and optimize operational efficiency, read on.
The Risks of Office-Based Data Centers
The reason why most businesses leave their own office building closet for a commercial data center is because of risk. There is a single utility power feed, and a single fiber carrier providing Internet service. Both power and fiber services are typically delivered to an office building via overhead cables. Loss of either service effectively halts all productivity, and storms or trees cause relatively frequent outages.
Most businesses are sensitive to increased operating costs. Margins are thin, particularly in cyclical industries. Questions are asked if employees can’t do their jobs because of frequent outages, so the IT team might be instructed to look at third-party options if the office is unreliable or if the business is moving to new premises.
Evaluating Data Center Options
It’s vital to understand that not all commercial data centers offer the same risk mitigation. Most are housed in repurposed office buildings or former factories that have the same single power feed vulnerability and are also typically served by overhead cables.
It’s very expensive to have the utility construct a redundant power feed. For them to build it costs several million dollars, and for them to bury the power lines is exponentially more costly. Most data centers won’t make that investment.
If a business chooses to abandon their own IT closet to reduce business risk, very often the data center delivers little benefit other than a more robust UPS and access to additional Internet providers. Very few data centers actually offer greater power redundancy and expected uptime.
“It’s vital to understand that not all commercial data centers offer the same risk mitigation.”
Hyperscale Cloud Providers and Financial Risks
Some businesses choose to migrate their data workloads to the cloud, using one of the hyperscale companies, AWS (Amazon), Azure (Microsoft), Google, or IBM. The rationale is that surely the hyperscale cloud providers will have all the various tiers of physical redundancy and reliability, thereby avoiding risk, which to some extent is true.
That simply substitutes physical risk for financial risk. In production, hyperscale cloud hosting costs balloon and vary wildly from month to month. Assuming a business’ willingness to accept those higher and unpredictable costs, they fail to recognize that because of the sheer number of users, hyperscalers are attractive targets for cybercriminals.
The Importance of Due Diligence and Utilizing Risk Assessment Tools
The best way to avoid the expense and heartbreak of unforeseen consequences is to perform due diligence. Don’t accept the claims of reliability and security from a salesperson, or the deceptively small cost of a pilot project with a hyperscaler.
Download our Data Center Checklist to evaluate essential aspects of potential data centers. This checklist covers a range of vital criteria, including facility specifications, compliance requirements, and security measures, helping you to assess and compare the key characteristics and risks, such as security and uptime, of different data centers effectively.
Explore Data Center Solutions with Data Holdings
Risk comes in many forms. A business pays a great deal of money to avoid risk, so it’s worth asking the right questions about redundancy, physical security, cyber security, and usage cost calculations upfront.
The Data Holdings team is readily available to conduct tours and actively engage in application hosting and security discussions as part of a decision process. To learn more, set up a time to talk to us here.