Tough Data Center Decisions: Colocation or Cloud?
Whether onsite or off, the facility manager still has a critical role in data center decisions.
Many companies these days are making the very difficult decision to move data center operations off site to the cloud or a colocation facility. At the same time, companies are wrangling with how to manage data onsite and, if it makes sense, to move it to the edge.
Whether driven by finances, disaster recovery planning, or just simply wanting to focus resources on core competencies, more and more companies are moving all or a portion of their data center operations off-site (or even to the edge). Depending on a company’s business drivers, colocation is often an attractive alternative to maintaining an in-house data center and all that goes with it.
These aren’t simple decisions. Often these choices will transform the shape and future of an organization — from top to bottom. To ensure the right action is taken, the decision-making process must weigh many considerations, including how it will impact operations as well as various internal and external stakeholders. Unfortunately, one of the key stakeholders is often overlooked: the facility manager.
It’s obvious that the facility manager has a critical role when the data center is on-site. The same is true when the discussion is about a possible move: The facility manager should be a key player involved in that dialogue. When decisions are made, facility managers are on the front line of implementation and management and can provide essential insight and perspective on current data center operations as well as issues and opportunities when implementing any adjustments to the company’s data center strategy.
Even if the decision is to move data center operations off-site to a colo, facility mangers still play a vital role in the data center strategy and operations. In fact, most data centers today are still on-premise, and most organizations continue to have some kind of in-house computing. While many new data center applications fit nicely in a cloud environment, not all do, depending on requirements (latency, security, regulatory needs, etc.). One of the facility manager’s main jobs in the evaluation process is to determine if there is really no longer a need for an on-premise data center.