Should you lease or build your own data center?

Building your own data center facility gives you complete control over your IT deployment, but control comes with many burdens.

When that rack of servers tucked away in your back office just won’t cut it anymore, it’s time to consider whether it makes more sense to build your own data center or lease one from a trusted provider.

As your company grows, your operations will inevitably demand more IT resources. However, there’s a lot more to scaling your operations than adding racks. You’ll also need the expertise to keep your operations running smoothly. Maintaining business continuity under any circumstances is a complex challenge requiring careful planning.

Building a facility of your own provides complete control over your IT deployment, but control comes with the burden of responsibility. Instead, it may make more sense to lease. Here are some of the reasons why hundreds of companies have trusted Sabey Data Centers to build, own, and operate their data centers for the past 25 years.

The risks of building your own data center

When you build your own facility, you take on all associated risks and responsibilities. From the moment you pick a location and break ground, there are many financial risks to consider, such as inaccurate cost estimates that can negatively impact capital expenditure budgets. In fact, the total cost of building may quickly outpace the cost of outsourcing to a data center provider. Consider, for example, the additional costs of materials, contractor services, building permits, taxes, real estate fees, and insurance premiums.

Time itself is a financial liability, as the “costs of carry” mount amid unforeseen red tape problems with permitting, supply chain interruptions and other unforeseen delays.

Lack of experience with construction projects may put your organization in a position where it cannot fully realize the latest efficiency and sustainability models. In addition to choosing a geographic location with an available source of reliable, cost-effective energy, you’ll need to find a construction partner that understands green building best practices. At this stage, time itself can be a major liability, as permitting and supply chains delays can take longer than the uninitiated realize.

Once the building is finished, you’ll be responsible for setting up the IT infrastructure, including connectivity via the best carriers, and supplying on-site personnel. From an operations standpoint, it will be your responsibility to develop policies and contingency plans to maintain business continuity under normal to extreme circumstances. Plus, getting the right carriers to your center may be an additional headache.

The benefits of leasing a data center

When you lease a data center, you have greater capacity to scale your operations as your business grows. Depending on your needs, you could rent space in a colocation data center, lease a powered shell data center, or leverage vertical integration to design and customize your own build-to-suit data center. Providers can work with you to identify your needs, map your growth trajectory, and find the right infrastructure solution to meet your needs today and in the future.

A third party provider like Sabey is continually looking for ways to differentiate itself, providing better service at better rates; in short, value that directly benefits its customers. Innovations that yield greater energy efficiency and prized green credentials are undertaken by companies “purpose-built” to excel exclusively in data center design, construction and operation.

Data center construction and operations are specialized. Like other specialists, colocation providers focus on developing people, processes, experience and relationships which enable them to be more effective in their specialty.

Unless you are a hyperscale company (e.g. Google, Microsoft), most customers are unlikely to have the economies of scale which will enable cost-effective construction and operations.

Many owners must make compromises for their owned data centers, for organizational or financial reasons. For example, an in-house data center might be part of a mixed-use campus (or even a mixed use building) along with office space. It is often supported by the same facilities and people supporting the office space. Given the diverse demands, it can be difficult to develop the expertise and focus which enable the best operational results. The data center maintenance budget might have to complete the office maintenance to get funds necessary for maintenance. During a pandemic, a data center within a mixed-use campus may be more at risk of someone falling ill, compared to a mixed use campus – simply as a result of the lower population. By contrast, colocation providers specialize in data centers, with dedicated campuses and personnel.

In addition, Sabey has sites in strategic locations across the country, such as Central Washington State, where renewable hydroelectricity provides reliable, affordable power.

Whether you choose to lease a wholesale colocation, powered shell, or retail rack space in a colocation center, you’ll gain the support of expert, remote hands services. With professional technicians just steps away from your IT deployment, you’ll be covered in the event of any emergency. Remote hands can perform a number of essential functions, including:

  • Maintenance such as storage media swaps, device resets and loopback testing.
  • Cabling services like tracing and installation.
  • Repairs including hardware and software troubleshooting.
  • Rack audits, including photography and device labeling.

In addition, remote monitoring enables your IT staff to maintain control over your deployment from anywhere in the world. When it’s not possible to travel, you can still check on your equipment and ensure it operates efficiently. Plus, data center providers add layers of physical security, which can include:

  • Perimeter fences
  • Mantraps
  • Server cages
  • CCTV monitoring
  • Biometric locks

When you choose to work with a trusted data center provider like Sabey, you can rest assured that your IT investments are in good hands.

Data centers are essential to modern business. A reliable infrastructure partner can help your organization grow sustainably. To learn more, contact a data center expert at Sabey today.

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