3Hosting or Colocation Data Centers

Chris Crosby and Chris Curtis

Compass Datacenters, Dallas, TX, USA

3.1 Introduction

“Every day Google answers more than one billion questions from people around the globe in 181 countries and 146 languages.”1 At 700,000 searches per minute, over 1,800 terabytes of new information is created. In a single year, over 88 quadrillion e-mail messages are generated. The vast majority of this information is not just transmitted but stored for repeated access, which means that organizations must continually expand the number of servers and storage devices to process this increasing volume of information. All of those servers and storage devices need a data center to call home, and every organization needs to have a data center strategy that will meet their computing needs both now and in the future. Not all data centers are the same, though, and taking the wrong approach can be disastrous both technically and financially. Organizations must therefore choose wisely, and this chapter provides valuable information to help organizations make an informed choice and avoid the most common mistakes.

Historically, the vast majority of corporate computing was performed within data center space that was built, owned, and operated by the organization itself. In some cases, it was merely a back room in the headquarters that was full of servers and patch panels. In other cases, it was a stand-alone, purpose-built data center facility that the organization’s IT ...

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