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Location, location, location…

What are the three most important factors in retail? Location, location, and location. Now this same question about location is creeping into the conversations of CTO’s and IT data center managers alike. Where do we put our next data center? In years past there was an easy answer, in the same office as the employees. But now that is becoming harder to justify with the increase in data center costs. According to U.S. Department of Energy, data centers can consume 100x more energy than a standard office building. Often, less than 15% of original source energy is used for the information technology equipment within a data center. (http://www1.eere.energy.gov/femp/program/dc_energy_consumption.html )

Another factor is the transformation of a work force that doesn’t need to be “in an office” to be productive.  With remote access getting easier and easier, the need for a desktop computer is becoming obsolete.  Without desktops, the question becomes whether or not the data center needs to be located in the office?  This is a tough question to answer.  While access might be getting easier, auditing and security concerns are growing at a fantastic rate.  Is this where clouds come into the picture?  Maybe,   cloud solutions are growing, and as Gartner pointed out with its’ latest data center trends, they are not going away.  If anything, one of the major trends will be how IT will manage “Hybrid” datacenters.  The hybrid datacenter, as the name suggests, is a mixture of private and public clouds both on and off premise.

Choosing the correct solution, whether it’s a public, hybrid, or hosted datacenter needs to be based on application and business needs, not the physical location of users. When choosing a datacenter partner, choices are paramount. A single solution or cloud will not fit every application or every business need you have. The last thing you want is to get locked into the wrong data center strategy. Having a cloud partner that will work with you to assess your current environment and help you move into the correct data center strategy is key. Just having a cloud offering is not enough. IT data center managers need choices and solutions that are flexible and they need partners that can help them navigate the new hybrid data center landscape. Remember, choosing the wrong datacenter strategy can be disastrous. You don’t want to end up having your datacenter in the wrong location.

 

Mike Kleid, FCCE Manager, Office of the CTO, OnX

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