Perhaps this is a strange start to a data center article. But consider these questions – If you had an aching foot, would you rather see a podiatrist or a general practitioner?
If your vintage car no longer ran, would you rather a mechanic well versed in 30-year-old engines or a general mechanic?
If you were running a marathon, would you rather shoes designed for distance running or just any pair in your closet?
Most of us would choose the first option in each one. We would want the specialist.
And the “specialist” mentality is how we approach this next question – Should a business invest in colocation services OR build and maintain its own on-premise data center?
At FIBERTOWN, we’re experts at colocation. It’s our business. It’s our focus. We do it every day. All day.
And because of this laser focus, we’re effective. Unlike a company that’s pulled in lots of directions while building, staffing, and maintaining its own data center.
Below are 3 reasons why you should choose FIBERTOWN’s colocation services.
Reason 1 – Infrastructure is Ready to Go
Ease is the first reason you should invest in colocation services. On average, it takes 6 months to build an on-premise, or “on-prem,” data center. To build requires a specialized architect or engineer because of the redundancy needed for power, cooling, and connectivity. Any single point of failure can cause all of the other redundancies to be ineffective.
And of course, the cost of building, in general, has increased. But for materials and systems specific to a data center, these costs have been rising for the last 3-5 years. It is now 10 times the cost per square foot to build a data center compared to a standard office building. So, a low estimate comes to about $1,000 per square foot to build a data center.
We share these numbers to demonstrate the ease – the lack of hassle – you get when choosing colocation services over building an on-premise data center for your company. Even if time (or money) wasn’t an issue, what about the building know-how.
For example, redundant power (or multiple sources of power) requires different substations, plus generators, switchgear, and battery backup. These must be considered in the planning phase as they are very difficult to correct retroactively.
Redundant cooling doesn’t just happen either. Not only do you need enough chillers to cool your gear, but what if one breaks down and needs repair? Will you have an extra one ready to keep your gear cool while the other is being fixed? It gets VERY hot, VERY fast if the cooling fails.
And like power and cooling, redundant connectivity requires specialized engineering from the onset. A few questions to consider: Do you have more than one Internet Service Provider (ISP) coming into your building? Are those ISPs entering your building at different areas? Do they travel diverse paths directly outside of your building?
All of the specifics about power, cooling, and connectivity are already done at FIBERTOWN’s two data centers. The infrastructure is ready to go, and that makes it easy for you.
Reason 2 – Cost Efficiency
Utilizing the ready-to-go, state-of-the-art infrastructures at our colocation centers in Houston, Texas and Bryan, Texas is cost-effective for your company. (With the numbers we shared above – average time to build, cost per square foot, etc. – we’ve already hinted at this second reason.)
Contrary to an on-premise data center, a colocation center houses the servers and computer hardware of multiple businesses. This shared location also leads to shared expenses. Or, as we like to point out, cost efficiency for your company.
Multiple businesses share the cost to maintain redundancies within the facility (i.e., generators, cooling systems, and connectivity providers). THIS SHARING is what makes co-location work. Because without it, your company builds the center and then hires the people needed to maintain it.
For example, you need a team to run the generators every week, plus conduct load tests monthly. Parts will need to be fixed. Someone will need to plan for replacing equipment, as every piece has a shelf life. Within 5-10 years, most equipment will need to be repaired or replaced. The people and the parts cost money.
Oh, we also should mention insurance on the building, fire systems, utilities cost, and much more.
The good news, though – colocation services already factor in all of these costs and provide the needed services. The even better news – the costs are shared across all of the companies housed at a colocation center. And the best news, yet – a team of experts work at each FIBERTOWN facility. So, you’re not hiring your own data center team and determining health benefits, salaries, and vacation plans (so that someone is always working, which is imperative for a data center).
Simply put, building, maintaining, and staffing a data center is costly. Sharing a facility already equipped with experts and equipment is a cost-effective option for your company.
Reason 3 – Disaster WILL Strike, Not If
Disaster recovery is an important reason for investing in colocation services. At FIBERTOWN’s facilities in Houston and Bryan, Texas, we have backup generators onsite, plus an uninterrupted power supply (UPS). We have N+1 or greater cooling redundancy and house servers in a hot-cold aisle layout. And that’s just for starters!
Our facilities are strategically located away from tornado alley and the Gulf Coast to prevent as much storm damage as possible. BUT, we’re near major highways for easy access and located outside of the flood plain.
Our two buildings were constructed to withstand strong winds, and our equipment is tied to the roof to keep it from lifting off the building in 100+ MPH winds. If antennas, cables, rods, and lights fly off, they can easily penetrate other equipment, leaving a large path of damage.
There’s also temperatures to consider.
We know it’s hot right now (over 100 degrees in Texas in July!). And our chillers are keeping things cool. But, will your on-premise data center run without fail during the cold, like in Winter Storm Uri? Will your generator be ready when the utility power shuts off for extended periods of time? Will your generator fuel line freeze up because you weren’t prepared for temperatures that cold for so long? Will you run out of fuel because you don’t have priority or because roads are iced over? How large is your fuel tank? Will it hold the load for 24 hours or longer?
All of these questions must be considered.
But also note, people often use “major disasters” as a reason for using data centers. BUT, what if a hard drive fails in the middle of the night? That’s a simple fix. Without a designated night team, though, no one notices for some time. That’s where our 24x7x365 on-site staff comes in for the win.
Will you have someone available 24x7x365? Rather than hiring someone to be there when this occurs, use FIBERTOWN’s on-site staff. (And simple hard drive swaps are completely free. Even at 3AM.)
It’s not a question of if a disaster will strike; it’s when. So, be prepared. Our colocation centers are ready for you.
At FIBERTOWN, We Specialize in Data Centers
Data centers are what we do. We don’t buy and sell stocks or fix broken bones. We make sure your computer hardware stays up…so your business continues to run. We’ve been doing this for 25 years, and we’ll keep doing it for another 25 (and hopefully more!).
At FIBERTOWN, we’re staffed with experts. Our two facilities are fitted with the latest equipment and security to keep your servers and hardware safe and running. This is our specialty.
Reach out if you want to talk with us about colocation services. We’d love to speak with you. Use this form to start the conversation.