How to select the right data center model


Recently, AFCOM hosted a live webinar delivered by Laura Cunningham, a crowd favorite from Data Center World and Consultant from HPE Technology. The recording is now available on-demand and a transcript of the Q&A is provided below.


Finding the Sweet Spot for your Data Center Strategy

View now

Duration: 1 hour

Demand on existing and demand for new technologies is increasing at a rapid pace. This results in a growing number of companies being faced with critical decisions surrounding their data center requirements. From On-Prem to Off-Prem, Micro to Macro, Capex or Opex, this session will focus heavily on the spectrum of data center options currently available for businesses, and essential drivers that influence which solution is the best fit for them.

Learning Objectives:

  •    Obtain a better understanding of current data center offerings
  •    Learn why capital preference should be one of the first items considered
  •    Find out how decision driving factors vary across industry


Are there geographic considerations to take advantage of free-cooling and are the potential energy savings worth the increased costs?

Free-cooling is another great example for energy savings. Data Centers in states with dry climates such as Arizona, Nevada and Colorado leverage free cooling at night.  The best way to determine if the savings are worth the investment is to run the numbers.

Would you not include large metropolitan congestion/Federal threat zones to be seen as risk?

Yes, those are also great examples to consider in terms of location criteria. I recommend having a site assessment done that evaluates geographic, environmental, man-made and other risks prior to choosing a data center location.

Do you find that most of your customers are moving towards or away from cloud?

I find that most companies are already using cloud in some form and are exploring further opportunities for its use. For many companies, moving to cloud is seen as an opportunity to pursue IT transformation and application rationalization.

In your experience, what is more important to companies: speed to deployment or cost?

I have found that speed is more important as technology is changing rapidly and maintaining/ growing market share is essential. Therefore when necessary, companies are more likely to invest in a short-term solution. Going to a service provider works well for companies that need to increase capacity quickly, which then provides the time to consider and establish a long-term cost effective solution.

What type of companies are still investing in on-prem data centers?

I find that Capex centric companies are more likely to build/buy and maintain on-premises data centers. Also companies that currently have a large real estate portfolio and an existing data center footprint are more likely to continue investing in on-premises data centers.

From your experience, are companies more inclined to spend Opex or Capex in terms of data center sourcing?

I find that it is more difficult to obtain Capex for data center initiatives because of the complex approval process. Opex can be easier to obtain approval as it more closely matches expenses to revenues.

Have you found that companies are saving money in shifting IT loads to cloud?

The key to developing business cases for cloud is to fully understand the cost of maintaining and operating the current infrastructure. Too often businesses are comparing operating an aging infrastructure against operating a new and higher standard design.

Can you explain once again the slide where you spoke about Netflix and Dropbox?

See revised slide below. I have added directional wording for each axis.  In my example, a build/buy scenario may work well when there is more time available to deploy (build out the infrastructure), when there are legacy applications, greater kW requirements, and less flexibility/scalability is needed.  A service provider scenario may work well when there is less time available to deploy (acquire the infrastructure), when the applications are optimized, lower kW requirements, and more flexibility/scalability is needed.

Matching data center options with requirementsMake sure you never miss out on another AFCOM webinar. Become a member today! (Pro tip: AFCOM membership is included in the registration fee for Data Center World Global 2018!)