How to achieve the most flexibility and scalability for your IT infrastructure

What are some of the key advantages with a Data Center-as-a-Service model?

■ OPEX versus CAPEX: Rather than investing large capital expenditures in building your own infrastructure or turning up and staffing a leased space, you can utilize the technological innovations, dedicated service professionals and efficiencies of scale that a Data Center-as-a-Service provider delivers. You get space, power, bandwidth, cooling, security, 24/7 on-site staffing and more all under a single service contract and monthly service fee.
■ Service Level Agreement: Leveraging a provider’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) ensures that your IT infrastructure availability and performance sync with your firm’s business objectives. SLAs help guarantee performance delivery by including economic penalties that hold the provider financially accountable.
■ Network redundancy: In a leased environment, you’d be responsible for contracting your own network providers, which usually makes you reliant on a single Internet carrier and susceptible to embarrassing and expensive outages. Most Data Center-as-a-Service providers are able to offer blended bandwidth — multi-gigabit connections through diverse IP providers to ensure reliable connectivity through enhanced redundancy.
■ World-class security: Security processes are essential for the integrity of your mission-critical infrastructure. For the protection of all customers within the facilities, providers typically feature multi-layered security systems, digital video surveillance, network monitors and a 24/7 NOC team.
■ Managed services: Have a single point of contact for all monitoring, reporting, maintenance, performance and availability of the IT infrastructure. And while there may be different specifics per each unique service in place, all solutions are provided under the SLA to ensure the highest levels of reliability and performance.
■ Ultimate scalability: Gain a much more flexible relationship with the provider, as you’re in a place that can scale along with you. Take as much space, power, bandwidth and cooling as you need today — and when you need more, add only as much as you need. Data Center-as-a-Service providers truly become partners, as they are able to grow with you, at the speed of your growing business.

What traits should an organization look for when choosing a Data Center-as-a-Service provider?

All Data Center-as-a-Service providers have different capabilities, so it’s important you find one that not only meets all your current requirements, but that’s building for the future. Make sure the provider you choose is financially stable, has top-notch physical security, clearly defined SLAs, and sufficient growth capacity to meet your data challenges of today as well as the ever-evolving data challenges of the future. That’s when you can be sure you’re in a safe place to grow.

Pete Stevenson is the CEO of Latisys. Reach him at [email protected]