When it comes to choosing a colocation or "cloud" data center to safeguard off-site the most important business applications you run, how big is "big enough"? Are there some data centers that are just too small to get a decent computing job done? Can a data center be too big?
These are just three of the many questions that crossed my mind as I toured the cavernous, two story, 50,000 square foot new data center "purpose build" by three data center entreprenuers at San Diego's ScaleMatrix during the grand opening of their new facility.
I have to admit, over the past decade of touring data centers I guess I've just not given them much respect. Most of the one's I've seen have been squeezed into fairly tight quarters in a basement somewhere with a lot of chain link fencing and freezing cold air. Yesterday I was in a new type of data center big enough to park a 737 passenger jet in surrounded by almost 600 invited guests including the San Diego Chamber of Commerce for ScaleMatrix' grand opening. A new data center experience indeed.
But back to my question, "Is bigger better or too big?" I honestly don't know. I've put the question to a couple business associates I know that make a living selling colocation services to businesses. (I'll be sure and let you know what they say.)
In every conversation I've ever had with a colocation broker only three things seemed to matter, power costs, power costs & power costs. (There was also the matter of security and redundant network access - but it was mostly about power costs).
If you're interested in why several data center pros would build a new data center from scratch for their clients, then check out this lengthy interview of the major players at ScaleMatrix. You should likely focus on the "cradle to grave" comments about a data center customer's life cycle on page one of the interview.
On the last page of the interview they talk about how customers looking at a $200,000 IT equipment upgrade can skip buying all the new gear and simply use ScaleMatrix' cloud for a couple grand a month. They also mentioned how enterprise businesses (and smaller) can put all their business phone system equipment in their facility to create their own hybrid hosted VoIP solution.
The "Real Reason" to Colocate in San Diego
In theory a business can have their colo space anywhere on the planet that has reliable access to fast Internet. Of course a good reason to have it in San Diego is it creates a nice "business reason" to go out to the facility as often as possible to make sure the computer racks are all at the right temperature.
Isn't that why so many business conventions are held in Las Vegas or Hawaii?
In all seriousness, when business customers move some or all of their business to "the cloud", it's not really in a cloud it's in San Diego or some other place like this Wyoming wind farm. The important learning point for anyone contemplating this solution is that they need to make sure the recommendations they're getting from experts in the cloud/colo/hosting data center realm (there's a big difference between San Diego and Wyoming) make sense for a customers specific vision.
Nothing more than to first ask yourself, "What are my cloud plans?" and "Which of my critical business applications would be safer off-site"?
Then call us.
With the answers to these two questions we can start to explore which options make the most sense for your business.
I've asked both of them to comment on this article to let us all know whether ScaleMatrix is a cloud/hosting/colocation solution that they'd recommend to their clients and prospects.
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