Develop a Co-location Strategy

Successful data center co-location strategies are a function of cost and vendor selection.

Last Revised: July 22, 2010


Your Challenge

  • Organizations encounter significant capital expenditures, when building or updating their aging data center facilities, are faced with a difficult build vs. buy decision.
  • Many organizations are hesitant to outsource the data center because servers are housed outside the facility and not within their direct reach.
  • Co-location services have turned into a commodity where vendor offerings are underpinned by the same basic set of services.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Mid-sized organizations generally achieve a Tier 2 data center environment, at most, due to cost and resources. Co-location facilities generally offer Tier 3 or higher facilities where organizations can realize benefits of higher reliability and availability.
  • A vendor’s engagement practices should be thoroughly examined during the selection process. Because basic services offered by co-location vendors are largely commoditized, vendor selection will often be based on price and service.
  • The decision to outsource often results in a significant decrease in both OPEX and CAPEX (when building or renovating the data center) for facility costs such as power, cooling, standby power, and fire protection.

Impact and Result

  • Justify the build vs. buy decision using business requirements and budget scenarios.
  • Maximize success by aligning business requirements and vendor offerings with predetermined criteria to aid in the selection process for a co-location vendor.
  • Validate decisions and perform due diligence on short-listed vendors by conducting site visits to vendor facilities.

Contributors

  • Federal Air Transport Security Authority
  • United Way of Calgary and Area
  • Municipal Police Services
  • Siltronic Corporation
  • SSAB

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Get to Action

  1. Determine if the organization is a fit for co-location.

    Gather facility requirements and baseline cost information, and validate the build vs. buy decision.

  2. Understand the market and vendor offerings.

    Review the market for basic, managed, and recovery services, as well as vendor engagement practices.

  3. Evaluate vendor offerings.

    Align vendor offerings with business requirements, evaluate vendor proposals, and perform vendor site visits.

  4. Manage the vendor relationship.

    Construct comprehensive SLAs and assess the co-location relationship annually.

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