Much like a new car, a data center starts to depreciate the minute the first spade of dirt gets turned. In a world where technology is now advancing at multiple rates of Moore’s law, that creates a significant problem for IT organizations that own their own data center.
The answer to that problem, contends Server Farm Realty president Avner Papouchado, is to not build a data center at all. Instead, IT organizations should outsource the physical layer of the data center to companies such as Server Farm Realty that are building a network of data centers optimized for different usage scenarios.
For example, workloads that are not particularly sensitive can take advantage of the company’s facilities in Moises Lake, Washington, which provides inexpensive access to power. At the same time, Server Farm Realty has facilities in Chicago that are ideally located in the middle of the country, and another facility in Santa Clara, Calif. that is optimized for high-performance computing applications. Further down the road, the company intends to make another data center facility available in Charlotte, N.C.
Rather than locking customers into a particular data center or software architecture, Papouchado says Server Farm Realty gives customers complete control over the servers and software they deploy on them. What the company will do on behalf of customers that most co-location providers do not, says Papouchado, is manage the procurement and deployment of the physical infrastructure the customer requires.
Papouchado concedes that for some IT organizations this is going to be a tough sell; about the only thing many IT organizations want to hug more than a server is the data center facility that houses it. But as more organizations become conscious of the fact that the data center itself is not a business asset, Papouchado argues that outsourcing the physical layer of the IT infrastructure environment makes it simpler to always have access to the latest and greatest in terms of physical IT infrastructure.
Obviously, there’s no shortage of co-location facilities in the world. But in the coming age of the federated cloud, it’s becoming more apparent that not only does location of the data center matter, organizations need as much flexibility as possible when it comes to determining what application workload should be running where at any given time.