Data Centres: to build or buy; that is no longer the question
Security. If you look in a thesaurus the one word you are unlikely to find is ‘control’. And yet the two words, security and control, are synonymous. We say we wish to attain security because it is more acceptable than saying we wish to gain control: but security of our data is control over our data, and user security is control of our users. Whichever way you look at it, security/control is a huge motivating factor in all of our actions.
Two contemporary worlds in which these two words collide are ‘cloud’ and ‘data centres’. Are we concerned about moving our data into the cloud because of concern over its security or because we fear losing control of that data? In reality it is the same thing.
In data centres it appears in the whole debate: build (that is, keep control over the data), or buy (that is, delegate control to a data centre provider). When you look at the arguments, there are no objective reasons for the average company to build its own data centre; just the overriding subjective need for control. That argument is enough to make many companies who should know better choose the more dangerous route of building their own. They don’t actually want to build, they just need to keep control. For security reasons. And that’s a big problem for the specialist providers.
Enter Colt and its new modular data centres. These are complete prefabricated modular data centres delivered not to your door, but installed inside your own premises. And if your floor won’t take the weight, well you never had any choice anyway – you put the same prefabricated data centre in Colt’s premises.
What do you get? You get a self-contained data centre complete with security and its own power supply and back-up; and its own fire detection and suppression system. You get a specialist data centre provided in your own premises.
“What we’re doing with modularisation is new and market-changing,” explained Bernard Geoghegan, VP. But, he added, it shouldn’t be confused with other companies’ containerisation.”We deliver traditional data centre space in a modular fashion. Our delivery method is similar to containers, but the product that you get is a traditional data centre space. The cleverness is around the delivery and assembly rather than any new materials.”
This modular approach can be used in either the customers’ premises or Colt’s own premises. “We do both,” continued Bernard. In looking at our own requirements internally over the last few years, our guys put together a team that built a solution – and what we’re doing is productising that solution. It allows us to deliver both into our own space and into customer space. One of the big advantages is in fast delivery: traditional data centre projects tend to take around 18 months to 2 years – but we can deliver a fully commissioned data centre in four months.”
Guy Ruddock, vice president of operations, explained: “It’s like the oil industry of the 1980s. Building an oil rig on-site in the North Sea was simply too expensive and too slow – so the solution was to build the platform in its entirety on land, and then ship the whole thing to site. That’s what we do. But in a form that will take additional modules that can simply bolt together to provide even more space as and when required.”
That’s it – the circle is squared. You don’t need to choose; you can have both: a dedicated data centre provided by a specialist data centre provider in your own premises – and no loss of security/control.