Rack leasing or run your own?
Should you run your own data centre or lease racks?

Does it make sense for your business to operate its own data centre, or what about leasing a server rack instead? Many company directors believe that not having to maintain IT infrastructure for their own server and hardware is a more efficient approach. But what are the risks of rack leasing rather than operating your own data centre?

Advantages of outsourcing IT

Costs

Many SMEs in particular consider running their own data centre to be a very costly exercise. Constructing a new building for this purpose can involve great expense.

There are now third parties willing to make this infrastructure available to rent. This is the business model used by providers of colocation or dedicated server hosting services.

Flexibility

Rack leasing is also seen to offer the benefit of greater flexibility in responding to growing needs for IT systems. Growing companies need increasing compute resources. And if you need more space for additional IT hardware, you can simply lease another rack.

So does it really make sense to run your own IT infrastructure despite these benefits? After all, you ought to be able to rely on colocation and dedicated server hosting providers to guarantee availability and data security.

What should you consider when leasing racks?

Outsourcing your IT infrastructure means handing over control of your systems, so you need to think it through carefully. You need a reputable service provider that meets specific criteria. So where do you go? Identifying a suitable provider is a matter of verifying that they meet the following requirements:

  1. Certification to a suitable tier classification
  2. Geographical proximity to your office
  3. Suitable connectivity between the data centre and your operations
  4. Access to your own IT systems
  5. Other certifications (e.g. TÜV, ISO 27001 and EN 50600)
What are Tier classifications?

The Tier Classification System has been developed by the Uptime Institute. It evaluates the availability and reliability of data centres. The Tiers from I to IV represent four levels of certification, with Tier IV offering the highest availability and redundancy. Each certification addresses specific infrastructure requirements, such as power supply, cooling and security. The Tier classification provides companies with a benchmark for evaluating data centre solutions.

Hidden risks

  1. When you decide to lease a rack, the biggest issue is loss of control. Reputable providers obviously prioritise availability, reliability and security. However, your business no longer has any control over what happens to your hardware and who really has access to it. Responsibility for maintenance is generally also outsourced in this model and handed over to the service provider.  Your capacity for intervention is generally restricted to remote maintenance through a remote hands support system.
  2. Whether you choose dedicated server hosting or a colocation service, an importance security issue can arise. The problem with outsourced hosting is that you have to share a rack with hardware leased or owned by other companies, and use the same network ports as them. With a colocation service, at least, you can lease a physically separate section of a rack that is strictly screened from the other sections (including networking).
  3. However, when it comes to the full security and permanent availability of your systems you are reliant on the provider who makes the rack available to you. For this reason, we advise medium-sized and large organisations against rack leasing. For smaller businesses and start-ups, however, rack leasing can represent a good opportunity to get started.

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A better answer: scale your own data centre

Why do you need a large building to run your own data centre? Cadolto DataCenter has developed a modular construction system that lets you run your own data centre cost-effectively and gives you flexibility to expand your IT infrastructure.

Our high-tech data centres offer suitable accommodation for your servers and IT hardware. They come equipped with all the state-of-the-art components for power supply, cooling and security required for a smooth running data centre. If you need to scale your IT systems to meet increased demand for your business, you can quickly add more modules to your own data centre.

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