A discussion comparing cloud storage and data centre builds, including calculations for your own data centre running costs.
There’s a growing trend among businesses to move away from the standard data centre design and instead go for a cloud based option, typically the IaaS model, or “infrastructure as a service” where you rent a few racks from a hosting company with their own large data centre.
While this can benefit many smaller businesses, it can end up far more expensive in the long term than designing, building and running your own data centre.
If we look at the cost of designing and building a small to medium sized data centre, it can cost around £80,000 to £100,000. This may seem a large expenditure, but when compared to the cost of renting cloud storage for a medium sized business, it can pay for itself in around two or three years.
Of course the cost of powering a data centre and its secondary systems can often be a deciding factor. Many people feel that they will save money by not running their own in house data centre, but remember the hosting company also has to pay for power, so you will still have to pay the costs.
You can work out the power costs for your own data centre quite easily with the following calculation.
((IT load kWh x PUE kWh) x 8760) x Price per kWh which is £0.125 will tell you the cost of running your own data centre for a year.
For example, if the IT Load is 30kWh and the PUE is 1.5 kWh then the yearly cost to run it will be £49,275
There are also issues of privacy and security with renting cloud space, especially for EU citizens who are renting from businesses hosting in the US, as we covered in a previous blog. If you run your own in house data centre however, you have full control of the data, secure, protected and always available; not relying on an internet connection like cloud based storage. For many companies this is a must, especially when dealing with financial information.
However for a small company that doesn’t need many servers and doesn’t plan to expand too much, cloud storage is a very viable option. It doesn’t require a dedicated room to be built to house a data centre, it allows access to your documents wherever you are; provided you have an internet connection, and it allows you to not have to worry about the upkeep of a data centre and its servers.
While many companies and advertisers are making a big push to get people onto the cloud, it’s important to fully analyse what’s right for your business before you commit.