Data Center vs. Colocation: Fly Solo or Go Colo? Know Your Options
Resellers are often speaking with a team of top mechanical, electrical and system engineers and project managers who work on data center projects. From pre-deployment data center site surveys through deployment services and customizable support options, you’re challenged with knowing exactly what customers need.
On the flip side, your customers realize that successfully building a data center depends greatly on the suppliers and partners chosen to help in the design process. Positioning yourself as the most innovative company providing a broad line of data center specific products — with the best feature sets needed to support customer goals — will increase your chances of securing enterprise or colocation business.
Helping your customers select the best solutions to support their data center choice, whether they build a data center (fly solo) or are heading to a colocation data center facility (go colo), doesn’t have to be difficult — if you know the correct lingo to use.
If your prospects are going solo, they’re building a data center and need a solid team of professionals working together. Knowing IT systems and software isn’t enough to convince a customer you’re the most qualified channel partner to consult on building a facility. Channel partners should be prepared to intelligently speak about finance, utilities, project management and building management.
The complexities of today’s data centers present a formidable obstacle to many resellers. Below are a few of the numerous questions your customers are considering, ones your company can leverage for your product and service positioning:
- What is the nature of the computational load in the data center? Does it require a particular amount of uptime (99.999%) or Tier Rating (as defined by The Uptime Institute)?
- Is the data center expected to achieve a certain efficiency — its power usage effectiveness (PUE) — or carbon footprint?
- How much power and cooling per square area will be required?
- How is floor space to be allocated between actual compute infrastructure and all the other support around it (offices, cooling, etc.)?
- Will the data center require 24-hour onsite personnel support?
- What are the goals for latency/responsiveness from the data center?
- Will the data center need to have a secondary disaster-recovery facility built to run in parallel?
- How quickly does the business need to have systems up and running?
- Will the data center support development activities as well as production?
- What is the supply base ecosystem that you will need? Open Compute vs. Open19 vs. OEM vs. ODM?
- How long is the data center expected to be in operation before a refresh cycle occurs?
Colocation data centers rent rack space to third parties for their servers or other equipment.
In theory, redeploying existing IT assets should be a low-risk path to success. Your customers know things already work together and everything is already in a rack, so how hard could it be? In addition, your customers are thinking that deploying new assets to the colo means they can start fresh. Here is the opportunity to position new products and new architectures that are likely to be more efficient and more reliable than the aged gear they already own.
But for some companies, choosing to go with new hardware is a headache. This presents an opportunity for resellers because to minimize that pain, these companies will be looking for …