The inhouse data center isnt dying its changing

Hardware Maintenance


Parker May 30, 2014

The recent rise of data center hosting solutions like cloud computing and colocation has left many IT managers wondering if they still need to maintain an internal facility. A recent ComputerWeekly report explained that while the cloud and colocation are leading to significant changes in the data center, most organizations will still find themselves wanting to have some internal systems available for specific purposes.

Looking at the move to external hosting models
Having applications, data and infrastructure hosted in the cloud or at a colocation facility can offer a combination of cost efficiency and flexibility that can be difficult to match. In fact, the report said that some experts believe that there are many application and data workflows that do not make sense being hosted in an internal data center. These systems benefit from the flexibility, responsiveness and scalability of the cloud. At the same time, they are not hindered by the performance limitations that are associated with the technology.

Industry expert Paul Hammond explained that with applications and services that fit the cloud it often doesn’t make sense for companies to try and build a data center that can match what providers like AWS offer. Instead, moving to external hosting is making sense.

At the same time, there are also solutions that need the extra edge they may get from being kept within company data center walls.

The case for internal hosting
Hammond told the news source that there are some organizations that are already heavily invested in internal data centers and cannot simply flick a switch to go all-in on the cloud. At the same time, there are also solutions that cannot tolerate even the smallest bit of latency, or benefit from the added performance gains of being hosted internally, and therefore are best maintained internally.

The end result is a situation in which some businesses may be able to get started with an all-cloud or colocation approach, particularly startups, but many companies will not be able to embrace this strategy, the report said

What does the future hold?
Industry expert Clive Longbottom told ComputerWeekly that hybridization will likely dominate the future data center landscape. Longbottom pointed to the fact that some organizations are still using mainframes as an example of what the future will look like. Moving forward, businesses will likely use solutions like the cloud and colocation when it makes sense, but these options will not completely replace the internal data center. Instead, corporate facilities will be used to host systems like mainframes, high-performance applications, legacy solutions that don’t translate well to the cloud and other niche solutions that benefit from internal hosting.

How to deal with a smaller internal data center
Moving forward, IT managers will need to find ways to support a smaller number of internal systems, many of them having reached legacy status, while most of the budget is devoted to external services. Third-party hardware maintenance plans are an invaluable asset in this area because they offer cost-efficient support for systems that can extend well beyond an OEM end-of-service-life date and help IT teams continue to use niche legacy hardware without risk.

About the Author

Parker, Park Place Assistant