Should I Use a Service Provider? Or, Should I Use a Data Center?

If you’re reading this, you have already identified the need for data center “space.” The question that should continue to be asked is “Can I justify this?” at every step along the way.

You can choose to select a local data center and sign a contract for a ½ CAB, Full CAB, or several CABs of space. The data center will provide you with empty cabinet space, power, and connectivity. Most data centers can rack, and connect your equipment (for a fee). You are responsible for everything else.

Before any device is racked, these questions should have already been addressed:

  • What power do I need? 120V, or 208V?
  • Do I need A/B Redundant Power, or a UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply)
  • What type of PDUs (Power Distribution Units) do I need? Should they be Metered? Monitored?
  • What Router is needed?
  • Do I need a Network Switch?

Once again, the question that should continue to ask is: “Can I justify this?”

  • Can I justify (3) additional salaries (System Architect, Database Administrator, and at least one (Systems Administrator) to create and manage my network?
  • Can I justify the hardware (Full CAB of servers can range anywhere from $75K – $1 million)?
  • Can I justify the MRC’s (Monthly Recurring Costs) within a data center?
  • Can I justify the Ports to connect to Upstream Providers – $1K-10K/month + Data Center XC (Cross Connect) fees $100-200/month?
  • Can I justify the Connection Fees ($150-300)
  • Know what you are getting, and what you are not.
  • Can I justify this, or can I go with a Service Provider who has already built and paid for this?

There are Service Providers that own and operate private cages within data centers, offering as little as 1U of space, or several cabinets. Their services include everything the data center offers, for a lower cost. They can also provide more robust services on their network, that data centers don’t have.

Data centers are in business to sell space, power, and connectivity. A quality Service Provider has designed, built and successfully manages, and supports their own Bare Metal, Colocation, or Cloud network with solutions that include:

  • DevOps – the collaboration of both software developers and information technology (IT) professionals
  • Scripted Playbooks –  a way to send commands to remote computers in a scripted way
  • Orchestration Tools – used to optimize processes
  • High Availability –  systems that are durable and likely to operate continuously without failure, for a long time
  • Load Balancing – distribution of network or application traffic across a number of servers for more consistent performance
  • Multi-Geo – multiple locations across different regions
  • Redundancy – increasing reliability by duplicating critical components or functions of a system>
  • Firewall – a network security system using rules to control incoming and outgoing traffic
  • DDoS Protection & Mitigation – tightly-integrated, multi-layer defense against (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks
  • IDS (Intrusion Detection Service) – device or software application that monitors a network or systems for malicious activity or policy violations
  • WAF (Web Application Firewall) – filters, monitors, and blocks HTTP traffic to and from a web application
  • Disaster Recovery – a set of policies and procedures to enable the recovery or continuation of vital technology infrastructure and systems following a natural or human-induced disaster

After your research is complete, there are only two questions you should have left…

“Why should I use a Service Provider, instead of a Data Center, for Colocation Services?”

“How can I justify not using a Service Provider?”