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October 20, 2022 | Matt Pacheco

Your Guide to Data Center Consolidation vs. Relocation

Data center consolidation or relocation: What should you consider?

As businesses and their workloads outgrow existing infrastructure, data center consolidations and migrations are inevitable. They will eventually need to migrate to keep growing, typically due to the need to increase capacity or unveil new features and services. Changing infrastructure requirements require a shift away from an on-premises environment and moving to a new colocation provider.

According to trends, the time to start your digital transformation is now. The global colocation market will hit over $62 billion by this year, doubling from $31 billion in 2017. By 2025, Gartner predicts that 80% of enterprises will have shuttered their traditional data centers.

Plus, by 2025, 85% of infrastructure strategies will integrate colocation, cloud, on-premises, and edge delivery options – increasing from 20% in 2020. Businesses abandon the traditional on-premises data center model or single solution for a mix that works best for them.

To ensure a smooth transition and business continuity, companies must implement robust and detailed migration plans. If you’re trying to formulate your data center consolidation plans or relocation strategy, here is what you should consider first. 

Data center relocation considerations

Data center relocation is when a company moves from an existing data center to a new data center location or provider. This may be to a building the company owns or a facility owned by a provider. The kind of relocation may come down to budget limitations, data loss concerns, poor network latency, or scalability needs.

Budget limitations

Before you move, you should ensure you have the budget available to do so. When mapping out your plan, consider the following costs of:

  • Power
  • Cooling
  • Staffing
  • Networking
  • Replacing equipment

Additionally, keep in mind the real estate costs of the data center. If you can afford the operating expenses of running a data center (OPEX), there are still other expenses you may incur. For example, the major purchases (CAPEX) needed may be too much to take on at a time. This is especially important to consider with the recent chip shortage and the subsequent rising cost of technology.

Leadership may also be pushing cost-saving directives to allocate to other initiatives. It’s hard to open a data center with leaner budgets. Why? It may be harder to hire the staff to run the data center successfully or manage the migration.

Data loss concerns

Data outages can sometimes mean the difference between a productive business day and a disaster.

Did you know large enterprises lose an estimated $400,000 of revenue after just one hour of downtime? Unfortunately, 35% of businesses that size experience an outage every month. It is easy to imagine how an outage could impact your organization. However, if you want to do quick math:

  • Take the number of employees you have
  • Multiply by their average hourly pay

The result is what the labor costs would be alone.

Security breaches can result in lost data too. The typical cost of a data breach increased by 10% between 2020 and 2021. An average ransomware breach costs $4.62 million, and each record of personally identifiable information (PII) costs $180 on average. Additionally, when data is lost, you’re not only likely to experience a dip in revenue and lost reputation. If the outage lasts too long, it could potentially result in the end of a business.

As an organization grows, its need for reliable uptime and security measures increases too. This need is one of the reasons why more organizations turn to cloud hosting – state-of-the-art data centers can provide security and compliance to minimize the risk of data loss.

Scalability concerns

A move is often spurred on because a company has outgrown its current on-premises setup. Sometimes, this may mean buying additional equipment for your infrastructure. Why? You may lack the proper scalability with your network, power, compute, or data storage.

Data center consolidation considerations

Is your business growing? Or have you been running workloads out of multiple data centers or a combination of on- and off-premises facilities? You may benefit from a data center consolidation project.

Much like it sounds, data center consolidation is a strategy designed to reduce your data center footprint. Better yet? It can streamline your workload in a way that results in big advantages. When you work to consolidate data, you can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Cost savings
  • Improved security and risk reduction
  • Energy efficiencies
  • An improvement in productivity

Cost savings

With proper planning, data center consolidation projects can reduce your costs considerably. To attract more customers and effectively compete, data center providers have reduced their rates for leasing.

Additionally, when you consolidate your workflows into a colocation facility, you can reduce the resources for inefficient operations.

Improved security and risk reduction

When you spread out your data, your risk increases. Here’s an example. Say you’re a business that’s spent the last decade on acquisitions. You now find yourself with data in 10 locations with different security standards. In the event of a security breach, you may find yourself in a tangled mess.

Data center consolidation means you can also monitor your data from a central point. This is true even if your workloads are hosted in multiple centers run by the same provider or if you’re computing on the edge. Third-party data centers have in-house data security experts who offer services that will best protect your data.

Energy efficiency

You probably need to upgrade to more energy-efficient equipment when switching to new infrastructure. Consolidating your workflows also means efficiencies in data processing. That also results in reduced energy consumption. Only pay for what you need by moving to a colocation facility.

Improved productivity

Imagine the effort it takes to pull one lever in three different locations. Now imagine the effort it takes to pull it in one place, even if you have to do it three times. The more you streamline your processes, the more you save time and money while improving productivity.

With a third-party data center, you also have options for managed services. These services will help you augment your team with onsite data center experts. That benefit can free up significant time so your team can focus on strategic revenue-generating.

How to ensure a successful data center relocation

If you think a data center relocation is right for your business, make sure it comes with the following:

Data center services

A good data center service provider should offer a service level agreement (SLA) that promises…

  1. 99.99% uptime availability
  2. 100% uptime guaranteed for data center infrastructure components
  3. HVAC systems
  4. Power systems
  5. Managed bandwidth with redundant connections

Professional IT services

The staff at a colocation data center can help you achieve a successful migration. Professional IT services should provide end-to-end management. This process starts with design and testing to data movement and redeployment, then includes:

  • Device care
  • Port mapping
  • Cables
  • Packing and unpacking
  • Insurance
  • Transport
  • Racking
  • Certification
  • Data transfer
  • Testing

How to ensure a successful data center consolidation

You may have similar concerns when undergoing a consolidation project. However, the additional steps associated with consolidation may make it more complex.

Data center services

Consolidating from multiple locations to a new one is complex and requires considerable time and effort. Companies should select a migration option that best suits their needs while allowing them to focus on doing business. For example, the provider would project manage the move. That includes engaging services and vendors to smooth the bumps in any consolidation plans.

With that, when searching for a provider, look for one that offers the following services:

  • End-to-end management, including everything listed above in professional IT services
  • State-of-the-art data centers

Professional IT services

Data center consolidation is a major change to your IT infrastructure. And it’s a project that requires expertise and planning to mitigate risks and downtime. An IT consulting service should help you benefit from new technologies and adapt your IT infrastructure to meet new business requirements. Professional help with consolidation strategies means you’ll get support for:

  1. Physical and cloud migrations
  2. Security consulting
  3. Disaster recovery
  4. Business continuity planning
  5. And cloud readiness assessments

Which route will you take to data center success

The right data center approach is a key component of your overall IT modernization strategy. Looking at your entire IT infrastructure to find the right optimizations will help you achieve your modernization goals. Read our guide on IT Modernization and Optimization to find resources to help you learn more and achieve those goals.

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