Jan 23 2019

The cost and overhead of running multiple data centers can be a significant portion of your IT operational budget. If you want to bring those costs under control, you have a couple of options — consolidate your on-premise data centers together, or move to a cloud-based infrastructure. We’ll explore both options, together with the benefits and drawbacks of each.

The Overhead of Multiple Data Centers

Many large, mature organizations have added extra IT capacity and data centers as they have grown. As these businesses continue to expand into new markets or launch innovative products and services, there’s a need for more powerful, capable infrastructure.

Unfortunately, adding on new data centers and locations introduces a lot of fixed costs into the IT expense base:

  • Additional employees to manage the data center and infrastructure.
  • Rental and property costs for maintaining the building.
  • Energy costs for power and environmental controls.
  • IT networking costs to link data centers to each other and the rest of the business.
  • Other costs like additional security, travel, on call, etc.

Reducing the Number of On-Premise Data Centers

One option to reduce your overhead and IT administrative costs is to consolidate and reduce your existing data centers down to fewer on-premise locations.

The Benefits of Consolidating On-Premise Data Centers

Here are the key benefits to moving to fewer data centers.

Lower Employee Overhead

With fewer locations, the number of engineers and technicians you will need will go down. This can also lower your on call costs and allows you to provide better cover for the data center if you have incidents or problems.

Lower Property Costs

Renting, managing, and maintaining less property will reduce costs further. Additionally, energy costs for overheads like cooling will also go down as you’ll be able to make more efficient use of the space.

Legacy Software and Infrastructure Support

Some software, data, and infrastructure  relies on being on-premise to work. This type of software will continue to function in a consolidated data center.

The Drawbacks of Consolidating On-Premise Data Centers

There’s one major drawback to consolidating on-premise— the costs of doing so. There are substantial up front capital expenditure costs, including:

  • Project management and support for data center consolidation.
  • Purchase of new property, servers, networks, and other IT infrastructure
  • Overhead costs for moving applications, infrastructure, and data.
  • Continued operational expenses costs for energy, employees, etc.

Move to Cloud-Based IT Infrastructure

Another option for consolidating your data center is to move to a public or private cloud. This can also provide several benefits over a multiple location data center approach.

The Benefits of Cloud-Based IT Infrastructure

Here are the key benefits to moving to a public or private cloud.

High Availability

Cloud-based infrastructure is designed to be resilient with high availability levels (typically 99.999% uptime or above). Much cloud-based infrastructure can be engineered with data backup and failover for uninterrupted services.

Flexible and Scalable Infrastructure

Cloud-based infrastructure can be deployed based on business, employee, or customer demand. This gives much greater control over demand and capacity planning.

Safe and Secure Environments

Modern cloud-based infrastructure is designed to be secure. For extra reassurance and mission-critical systems, you can also opt for a private cloud.

Better Cost Control

Cloud-based infrastructure has very low up front costs as you only pay for what you use. This on-demand pricing gives much tighter control over IT budgets. All of the ongoing energy, location, and employee costs for using a cloud-based infrastructure are built into that pricing.

The Drawbacks of Cloud-Based IT Infrastructure

Although a cloud environment is a great choice for many businesses, it’s important to be aware of its limitations.

  • Legacy software may not function correctly in an online environment, so it’s important to only migrate apps and data that will work in the cloud.
  • You will need to substantially upgrade your networks to handle all the traffic between the cloud and the business.
  • Moving to the cloud can be difficult without the right expertise and support, but we can help with that.

If you want to reduce your IT overheads and consolidate your data centers, get in touch. We can talk you through your options and let you know if an on-premise solution or a public or private cloud infrastructure could be right for you.