When and Why to Turn to a Data Center as a Service (DCaaS) Provider
Data center as a service (DCaaS) is the provision of offsite physical data center infrastructure and facilities to clients, but does it benefit an organization or business more than having their own facility? Some companies find it more beneficial to lease a space and simply provide their own servers, switches and any other IT hardware needed to implement in the new location. What attracts many of their clients is the fact that oftentimes, the DCaaS provider will assist the client in customizing the space to accommodate unique needs, such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet fiber connectivity, high-density cooling or other resources.
A major benefit that DCaaS offers is expansion for data centers that can no longer do so in their own facilities; this may be due to a lack of power or cooling, lack of physical space, lack of capital, lack of experienced IT staff or other factors. By turning to a DCaaS provider, a client essentially outsources some portion (or perhaps all) of its data center to the provider. The client then is able to accesses the provider’s computing resources remotely across a wide-area network (WAN).
For example, a business may choose to focus on maintaining a small number of mission-critical applications in-house. Rather than staff up or invest capital in additional computing IT hardware, the business will rent resources from a DCaaS provider to handle secondary or transient applications.
The principal advantages of using a DCaaS provider are the level of “ownership” and customization available – a client uses their own hardware, and the provider can customize the space to meet that client’s unique needs. The space can also be constructed with sensors and controls allowing the client to monitor and react to changes in the computing environment. When the provider and client work together to identify those needs from the start, the result can be quite effective. Overlooking those needs, however, can lead to client problems and dissatisfaction with the provider. The challenge is for the prospective client to ask the right questions, understand their needs, and communicate them effectively to the DCaaS provider.
Depending on the company, clients may find that opting for DCaaS is more cost effective, easier and faster than attempting their own data center builds, especially when dealing with facilities in multiple locations. The customization available with DCaaS deployments also allows clients to define the role of each facility. For example, one DCaaS facility may be built for disaster recovery, while another location may be tailored as a primary site, and so on. However, a client will need some level of data center expertise to make best use of a DCaaS (or even a colocation) provider.