As IT organizations start to take a good, long, hard look at virtualization in the age of the cloud, a lot more of them are starting to ask why they should take the trouble to build their own data centers.
That's not necessarily a new idea given all the hosting services that are available today, but the folks at Vantage Data Centers are trying to take the outsourcing of data centers to a whole new level.
The company is building what it describes as data center warehouses that allow customers to deploy their own servers in what amounts to a pre-fabricated data center. According to Greg Ness, vice president of marketing for Vantage Data Centers, the approach being taken by Vantage differs from traditional hosting companies in that Vantage has no interest in managing the servers inside the data center. Ness says that Vantage Data Centers' only goal is to provide access to modern, highly scalable data center facilities that first eliminate the need to contract special expertise to build a data center and then, secondly, to figure out how to keep the facility cool.
Because Vantage only seeks to provide the facility, IT teams won't see Vantage as a potential competitor; companies just have to be willing to hire IT people who either live near a Vantage warehouse or are comfortable with remotely managing servers and storage installed in a Vantage data center.
Initially, Vantage plans to open its first data center warehouse in Santa Clara, Calif. But the venture-capital-based company has ambitions to open up similar facilities around the globe. Of course, that doesn't mean that many hosting companies don't have similar plans on the drawing board as well.
But as IT organizations contemplate what the next generation of data centers is likely to require from a capital investment perspective, Ness is right to assume that many IT executives will want to consider other options. After all, capital equipment dollars of any kind are pretty scarce these days, and even if an IT organization can get access to funding it takes a long time to build a state-of-the-art data center. And the chances are good that the IT staff can find better things to do than, for example, figuring out where the servers might actually be located on a bunch of architectural blueprints.