Data Center FMs Have Role When Organization Looks to Cloud or Colo

  May 17, 2017

By Edward Sullivan

These days, many organizations are taking a hard look at shifting data center load to a colocation facility or to the cloud. By all reports, construction of new enterprise data centers is way down, while colo and cloud providers are busy adding white space.

But even if an organization decides to go colo or cloud, facility managers responsible for inhouse data center space still have important roles to play.

One rationale for going cloud or colo is because the organization doesn't want to be in the data center business. That thinking amounts to a non sequitur, says Tim Kittila, director of data center strategy at Parallel Technologies. Any organization that relies on the information processing that takes place in a data center is dependent on the data center where that processing takes place, whether it’s inhouse, in a colocation facility, or in the cloud.

That said, there are often good reasons for an organization to go cloud or colo – moving budget dollars from CapEx to OpEx, for example, or finding a location near customers to reduce latency. But even when there is a move to the cloud or a colocation facility, Kittila notes, the in-house facility managers who managed the enterprise data center still have much to contribute to the organization.

For one thing, it’s rare for an organization to eliminate all of its in-house racks as part of a move to a colo or the cloud. That may be because of latency issues, to take one reason to keep some servers onsite. The result is that, while the load on the data center is scaled back, the need for the in-house data center remains, says Kittila.

What’s more, when the organization decides to move servers to a colocation facility, the in-house facility staff are often integrated into the team that evaluates the colo facility infrastructure to ensure that it will meet the organization’s needs.

This Quick Read was submitted by Edward Sullivan, editor of Building Operating Management magazine, Click here to read more about data centers on


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