Buying vs. Building a Data Center: What to Consider

June 11, 2014 3 min Read

With the ever-changing enhancements taking place in today’s technological landscape, in-house data centers are continually met with the challenge of providing enough space, power and cooling. And when these data centers do finally reach their limits, the CIOs and IT managers are then faced with that all important decision: Does it make more sense to invest in an in-house data center, use a colocation center solution to house their hardware, lease data space from a data center provide, or start seeking the services of the cloud?

If you are currently exploring this Build vs. Buy scenario, the following checklist can serve as a good starting point. Use this list as you weigh the pros and cons between building internally and seeking the services of an external data center provider.

What is the cost of 100% uptime?

Everyone wants 100% up time, but what is really involved to accomplish this internally? For a small to medium sized business, this can mean over investing in an internal staff of IT professionals and resources, causing you to reduce spending in other areas of your business.

What are the costs of staffing?

Staffing is an often overlooked cost. Not only are you paying the IT staff’s salary, but you are paying for healthcare, 401(k), computing resources, licensing and training.

How flexible is your industry?

For some industries, such as the healthcare and the financial industries, stringent regulation may limit your ability to share resources publically. However, options such as virtualized colocation and private cloud computing offer a number of scalable cost saving benefits while also providing the security and privacy you need.

What do your customers expect?

Regardless of your business, your customers want to reach you when and how they choose. Can your internal-ran IT infrastructure guarantee this? Or, do you require the services of an always staffed and always available data center.

What is the cost of downtime?

40 percent of companies suffering from a major network disruption go out of business within two years. Is your data center prepared to ensure continued information availability?

How much will building cost?

On average it costs about $1,500 per square foot of raised floor to build to a 100% inclusive, redundant work space. Note: This does not include staffing.

For a more accurate way to calculate your costs of Build vs. Buy, check out this interactive calculator on the Intel Expedient Co-Sponsored site.

Ed Dzurko Ed Dzurko

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