Data Center Journal

Volume 31 | April 2014

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16 | THE DATA CENTER JOURNAL Customizable... For 25 years, our fl exible and scalable busway systems for data centers have been proven to deliver a lower cost of ownership, while allowing easier installation with faster expansions and additions. Yet STARLINE Track Busway is designed to be completely customizable to meet the specifi c needs of our customers. To learn more about the simple and versatile STARLINE Track Busway, visit or call us at +1 724-597-7800. Y E A R S B U S W A Y W hile IT professionals of- ten disagree on design and implementation strategies for their data centers, there's one item on which most agree - these are costly investments. From expenditures on equip- ment to power and cooling, IT infrastruc- tures are among the most significant costs associated with running a business. at's why colocation has emerged as a viable option for small-to-midsized companies – ensuring the reliability, security, and availability of the data center via a third- party service. Colocation providers (colos) are in a competitive sprint for new customers and their success depends on offering signifi- cant levels of uptime while keeping costs low. While colos might be tempted to keep initial investments in facilities and power infrastructures down to save money, this is a woefully shortsighted strategy. Smaller infrastructure investments up-front could translate into bigger costs later – as the colo tries to keep pace with customer demand for availability, reliabil- ity and uptime. It's important not to get caught up in a design that could translate into big costs in the end. COLOCATION: A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE Data centers today are big – and getting bigger. According to analyst firm Canalys, the data center infrastructure market is expected to be worth $152 billion by 2016. ese investments in servers, storage, networking, security, and virtual- ization are up from $120 billion in 2011. But not every business has an abil- ity to spend millions on state-of-the-art infrastructures. Enter the colocation provider. Colocation allows companies to place servers in a provider's rack and share the bandwidth as their own. e provider handles all management, power and cool- ing – opening the door for significant cost reductions. Typically, there are several benefits to choosing this alternative: • High Bandwidth: A low-cost, limited bandwidth business-grade DSL line runs about 200 dollars. Service providers are able to offer greater bandwidth and redundancy for network connections at the same price. • Outage Protection: To avoid costly outages colos have secure sites with multiple forms of power and data storage back-up. • Scalability: Colos can easily keep pace with business needs by scaling up or down based purely on their customers' expansion plans. • Security: With multiple layers of physical and data security, colos guarantee customers' data safety. • Cost-Efficiency: Costs associ- ated with power usage, data center footprint expansion, new staff and downtime are removed. It's estimated there are more than 1,000 colocation data centers in the United States alone. Analyst firm Research and Markets calculates the market will grow to almost $45 billion in 2018. Core drivers include increased efficiencies and lower costs. But this success also depends on a plan to deliver a facility customers can benefit from today – and grow with tomor- row. Providers must take a long look at initial design before jumping in. is includes not only IT components, but the power infrastructure behind it. IN THE BEGINNING When the market first emerged, colocation was driven by price. To quickly attract customers and build out the busi- ness, solution providers architected sys- tems only meeting current customer needs – without room for growth. is oen meant developing just enough foot-print to handle small-to-midsized businesses with a fairly rigid infrastructure to power future operations. Analyst firm Research and Markets backs up this claim. e firm believes one of the major trends continues to be winning business based on price points. Companies squeeze margins and offer Careful What You Wish For: Poor Colocation Design Could Cost You DESIGN CORNER BY DAN KLASEN

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