How to Outsource IT and Data Centers
A data center is a computer room that manages and stores a company’s computer and server equipments in a regulated, air conditioned environment. Within the room, the equipment is constantly updated and monitored so that the companies utilizing the data center can control everything on their computer networks.
Data Centers are quite large, however, and very expensive to run, as they need to be constantly watched and regulated. The equipment requires constant updating and maintenance. Simply put, it’s nearly impossible for any small company, even a larger one, to handle all of its server’s requirements by itself and still focus on generating profits. For this reason, many companies rely on data center outsourcing, whereby a third party is hired to incorporate all of the server equipment into its own off-site computer room.
A group of completely unrelated companies will then share a common data center, hosted by the third party which is responsible for maintaining, regulating, and updating all the equipment and info. This “co-location” is a common practice of data outsourcing, with the equipment from each company secured and separated from each other, usually by a cabinet or wire cage.
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Sharing this rented space affords more financial and spacial freedom. Because the server equipment is being maintained at an off-site location, the company can be relocated without having to drag expensive pieces of machinery to the new locale. This makes data center outsourcing ideal for companies that are in a state of transition, or which lack the manpower or funds to move machinery.
Even larger firms with branches in different countries will outsource the data centers to one specific location, rather than have each individual branch outfitted with expensive servers. The individual branches link to the servers remotely, through secure networks; this promotes faster communication and updates: an outsourced Data Center’s fiber optic connections are much more reliable and much less expensive than the T1 lines used by many companies to connect long distance. The center may employ a quality system like BGP4, delivering the data quickly and safely.
Outsourcing is particularly advantageous for businesses which do not specialize in Information Technology. Maintaining a server can be a lofty task for even the most IT savvy firm. With outsourcing, CCNA and MCSE certified IT professionals are constantly available to handle any problems that arise; this is much more convenient than having to call in an IT pro whenever a tricky on-site server problem arises.
Any quality data center is constantly monitored and secure, in both the virtual and physical world. The most up-to-date fire firewalls and IDS systems are employed to prevent online hacking; the physical equipment, itself, is kept in controlled, cool environments to prevent overheating, and monitored through rigorous surveillance with cameras and bio-metric systems to prevent unauthorized entry. The systems are figured with 24/7 backup systems to protect all information in the unlikely event of a crash. If the primary server fails, the network is rerouted to a disaster recovery site so that no time is lost.
Compared to an in-house data center, outsourcing is much less costly. The savings are specific to any data center, but various factors contribute to the cost effectiveness. For one, the data centers are carrier neutral and support multiple ISPs, so all of the internet carriers are constantly competing to represent new companies using the center. That means competitive pricing. It also means that a company is never dependent on any one ISP.
Data Center Outsourcing is a sound, cost effective solution for any company which is not well versed in IT and would prefer all the duties of managing a network be left to qualified IT professionals. It is one of the most readily available business process outsourcing functions that a company can quickly and easily implement.