Don’t limit your data center’s individual space and connection needs and abilities
By Darren Bonawitz
Many collocation facilities that I have visited with or toured require most customers pay for packaged collocation offerings including redundant power drops regardless of their needs or the purpose of collocating the equipment. That has never made sense to me. An alternative to this, as we do, can to separate and individualize our plans and options, sort of ala carte style, so customers can feel they can tailor to their own needs and sizes with advice and recommendations, not limitations.
The same is true with regard to the space itself. Maybe they only need a half rack today but realistically feel they are going to grow to a full cabinet in 6 – 12 months down the road. At most facilities, there are generally only two options. The first option is that they take a half cabinet and then face the painful task of moving their equipment again in a matter of months. Or they may have to lease and pay for a full cabinet for several months to allow for adequate growth.
However, there is a different philosophy available by trying to tailor individual solutions. Working out to, say, a three year growth plan for a company by creating a schedule that benefits the current needs and future for that company. We don’t want to force a company with a square peg into a round hole. The benefit of course is they know they have what they truly need whether they in fact require redundant power or not. We have found this to be far more advantageous in the long run both for company and us. No one customer is like another so collocation should not be a “one size fits all” business.
There are many options to evaluate and meet your collocation needs and goals with. Step back and see what the provider is really offering you, and don’t think you have to be limited by your unique situation or plan. Is it a packaged “solution” where they are merely your network/data landlord, or are they approaching it as a partner or logical extension of your business with long-term success and a relationship as the ultimate goal?
When our property was purchased five years ago, the building was connected to the city’s steam loop. This steam loop connected to very inefficient steam registers which heated the office spaces in the building during the colder months of the year. So, in an attempt to save money, the ownership group of 1102 GRAND installed two large cooling towers on the roof. Learn more about their affect:
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Companies can make a significant impact in regards to energy usage by updating old, less energy efficient equipment. Here are some ideas on how to do so in an economically affect fashion.
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A critical component of the space in any data center in fire suppression. To make sure your collocation equipment is safe, take a look at this article: 1102 GRAND
Racking and equipment options can start with the basic two-post racks or four post racks and move to the secure full and partial private cabinets. To see more information on equipment, look here: 1102 GRAND
Collocation room needs are different for each company, starting at a few hundred square feet for some to tens of thousands of square feet for others. Plus, some companies may prefer caged space or even private data suites. Not sure what the best fit is for you? Take a look at this article: 1102 GRAND
The following whitepaper presents an overview on types of collocation spaces: 1102 GRAND
KANSAS CITY, MO–(Marketwire – August 24, 2009) – Data centers across the U.S. are attempting to green their IT operations, and a major Midwest Internet hub and thought leader is reviewing its historic landmark building for opportunities. Data center and Internet hub 1102 GRAND is reviewing green IT solutions for their building, which is not likely to be considered truly green without LEED certification, an unlikely option for a historic landmark.
Download the whitepaper on Selecting a Data Center: Space Series Part 1
Read the full press release at Marketwire.
It’s no secret the economy has been tough recently and cost cutting is a natural, knee-jerk reaction during periods of economic contraction. Regardless of the industry, cutting costs can be a potentially dangerous situation if not carefully analyzed and executed. This holds true when it comes to your data management.
Think of it this way: If you change widget suppliers to reduce overhead, quality may suffer leading to increased customer returns, decreased customer satisfaction or worse yet, losing the customer and their future sales altogether. The same is true when it comes to collocation. It is imperative to remember that collocation is not a commodity, contrary to what a real estate broker representing a large tier 1 carrier recently tried unsuccessfully to convince me.
When searching for your next collocation facility, pay heed to some old adages and clichés such as “you get what you pay for” and “if it is too good to be true, it probably is.” The bottom line is that there are real costs that facility providers have to pay whether it is the cost of cabinets, cooling units, or electricity. They can only lower their price to a certain level before it becomes unprofitable. Then they either price themselves out of business or find things to cut corners on like preventative maintenance in order to stay afloat.
The topic of “green” data centers is more than just a fad or marketing gimmick – it is a matter of real dollars. For even small to moderate data center footprints, the dollars saved by being more energy efficient can really add up quickly. Here’s a post by Greener Computing that is right on the mark: To Green the Data Center, IT Has to Feel Some Pain –
Power is probably the single biggest operating cost, besides payroll, for many data center environments. Keep in mind that we are not only talking about the power to operate networking equipment but to cool it as well. Unfortunately, even if an IT executive has a solid grasp of their power draw, from my experience and conversations, they often don’t know how that translates into electric utility costs. Oftentimes the information is not readily available to them due to internal controls, and they are often forced to make approximations if they consider it at all. Organizations need to develop internal strategies to arm their IT executives with the necessary information to make solid operational decisions which hopefully includes making significant strides to become more energy efficient.
It should also be noted that moving equipment into a collocation environment that is energy conscious can be a great way to address issues quickly and cost effectively. Otherwise CAPEX that may not be in the budget may be necessary to implement certain energy efficiency strategies. Furthermore, larger facilities such as 1102 GRAND have far greater ability to leverage various economies of scale resulting in an even greater reduction in operating costs for organizations.