Why a good IaaS provider does not build its data center: 5 main reasons

    While providers with their own data center have certain advantages , including greater control over the infrastructure, the disadvantages of this approach are often outweighed. This is the need for large initial investments, and the complexity of scaling. Therefore, in today's article we are talking about why a good IaaS provider should not build its own data center. / photo Ecole Polytechnique CC

    This is a big expense.

    As they say in the research agency SP Home Run, to build your data center will have to allocate about 10 thousand dollars per square meter. And data centers take up a lot of space.

    For example, London’s IBM Softlayer can host 15,000 servers, and the SingleHop data center covers more than 4,300 square meters. If you use the SP Home Run approximation, then the price of the latter is approximately $ 43 million. And Google or Facebook -sized data centers can cost hundreds of millions.

    It is necessary to consider the costs of servers and storage systems, the purchase of licenses, the cost of electricity and cooling. Data centers are very hot, and it is believed that most of the power consumed is used to cool the hardware. And they consume a lot. For example, in 2012, Facebook built a 28-megawatt data center in Crook County, USA. The entire district consumes the same amount of energy.

    You should not discount the additional costs for cable channels, lighting, fire systems and the server equipment itself. In terms of pricing, the servers are similar to cars - after the purchase, their cost immediately drops. In addition, the hardware regularly becomes obsolete, and if you follow the classical scheme , you have to upgrade every three years.

    It turns out that the IaaS provider, which owns its own data center, is faced with another expense item - regular updating of the server park. Yes, old equipment can be sold, and the money raised can be used to buy new equipment , but often resale does not bring much benefit.

    It is also important to understand that after the data center is put into operation, it will be necessary to hire trained employees who will monitor its condition. And although the number of people in the computer rooms can be small - according to Facebook, in the data center of the city of Primeville in 2010 only 35 people worked - they are still “supported” by thousands of system administrators working remotely. They also need to be managed and paid.

    Increased Reliability and Security

    It is believed that if the provider owns its own data center, then it will be able to protect user data from all "misfortunes". However, this is a dangerous fallacy. The presence of a data center in ownership often, on the contrary, is a disadvantage.

    An IaaS provider with its data center falls into serious competition. He will have to provide high-quality infrastructure services and at the same time “compete” with other data centers, which will obviously win in many aspects.

    Data centers are constantly filling their machine rooms with modern equipment. The IaaS provider, whose main goal is the provision of cloud services, will sooner or later lag behind. In addition, not every supplier with its own data center can be certified at the Tier level, which is a significant indicator of the reliability of the data center.

    Moreover, “professional” data centers invest and expertise in improving perimeter security. For example, the Xelent data center building, which houses IT-GRAD equipment, has a multi-level security system with several perimeters. Entrance and passage to the territory is carried out strictly by passes - if an employee has forgotten his ID at home, he will not be allowed into the workplace.

    The facility has armed security, and the entire territory is covered by CCTV cameras and motion sensors. The metal fence is equipped with vibration sensors.

    / photo Xelent / Cloud platform "IT-GRAD" based on the data center Xelent

    Part of the requirements of the standards is implemented "automatically"

    For example, this applies to the PCI DSS standard. It aims to unify the requirements of international payment systems to ensure the security of cardholder data. And bringing infrastructure into compliance with PCI DSS requirements is a laborious task.

    The standard spells out safety standards, including the mandatory availability of video surveillance systems and the implementation of employee identification processes. The cloud provider receives these services “automatically” by placing the “hardware” in the finished data center. For example, all IT-GRAD equipment is located in lockable racks under the supervision of cameras in 24/7 mode.

    This allows the IaaS provider to focus on developing their own services and expand the range of services provided.

    More options for customers.

    Having outsourced the management of the data center, the cloud provider gains access to a large number of telecommunication providers. This allows its customers to choose the best connection option for business and protect the infrastructure from equipment failures (due to the use of reserve capacities). Additionally, the choice of an Internet provider creates a competitive environment that gives customers the opportunity to choose the most profitable connection packages for their high-performance services.

    For example, in the DataSpace data center, where IT-GRAD capacities are also located, comeThe trunk routes of 39 major telecom operators are Rostelecom, Gars Telecom, AKADO Telecom, Beeline, Megafon, MTS and others. Also in the building there are independent telecommunication inputs from two different MGTS wells at a distance of more than 100 meters from each other and six 100 mm cable channels leading to the main and additional data entry points (MPoE and SPoE).

    You can concentrate on services

    Serving a data center requires qualified personnel and time. We have to monitor the cooling systems, power supplies, safety.

    According to Phil Collerton, a former Interxion Operations Manager, the data center has a lot of “moving components” to consider. Everything from security systems to redundancy should work at maximum capacity so that the provider can provide its services. According to Phil, data center maintenance is a full-time job.

    One person responsible for the availability of uninterruptible power supplies most likely does not have the same level of expertise in maintaining backup systems for data stored in the cloud. The creation of "universal soldiers" can tell on the quality of the services of the provider. Therefore, it is good if the tasks of servicing the hardware and software fall on the shoulders of different organizations.

    A scenario in which the data center expands the list of services and begins to provide IaaS services is possible. However, it will not become a full-fledged cloud provider, since its main activity will be focused on equipment placement (co-location), data center life cycle management and telecommunication services.

    Cloud services in this case remain only an “expander” of the assortment of the data center and make up about 5-10% of the total number of services. And most often this happens due to the involvement of partners in the person of IaaS providers who consider the data center infrastructure as a reliable platform for hosting.

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