Rising data center complexity means that for many companies, continuing to support an in-house data center is rapidly becoming unsustainable. Spending on data center infrastructure management services and software is expected to top $4.5 billion by 2020, according to Navigant Research, and many organizations are already feeling the pinch on a local level.
Organizations that want to maintain an on-premises facility will likely fall into one of two paths: The first is to enter a cycle of massive spending on everything – new equipment, management tools, software upgrades and IT staff – to handle an otherwise bloated IT environment. The other is to keep costs down by restricting expansion, which could have significant problems for continuity, security and the company's competitive advantages. Neither situation is preferable as both have a fairly high potential for confusion, mismanagement and far-reaching operability issues.
Outsourcing data center needs, either through colocation or managed servers, enables an organization to gain control of its data center spending while retaining access to top storage, network and security technologies. It also offers companies scalability, which is incredibly difficult or highly expensive to come by in the on-premises facility. As an organization requires additional server space, network bandwidth or software support, it can work with the data center provider to increase available capacity. This way, it doesn't pay for what it doesn't use, and can depend on complete IT support for every aspect of its investment.
Data Center Journal contributor Yuri Rabover compared continued on-site data center development to reorganizing one's garage: Although space is at a premium, the realities of equipment size and non-expert human planning likely mean that it won't be used as effectively. Instead of playing a never-ending game of data center Tetris, hemorrhaging resources at every turn, it makes sense to eliminate an otherwise ongoing problem with a decisive, conclusive act. Outsourcing data center infrastructure and its management helps enterprises avoid the spending sprees that can curtail their competitive advantage.
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