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Intel Security Drops Local Data Centers for Complete Colocation

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on May 13, 2015 spending is on the rise, according to 451 Research data and reported by Fierce Telecom: The market has now surpassed $25 billion with 43 percent of all spend occurring in North America. In fact, there are 176 colo expansions and 134 new builds on the books already for this year, making it the ideal time to consider a jump from on-premises to managed off-site facilities. But many companies remain cautious; familiarity with local stacks, in-house IT and worries over security are all commonly-cited concerns about the move to colocation. Sure, the market is strong and new facilities are on the rise—but do the benefits really outweigh the risks?

Heavy Hitters

If you ask the Intel Security Group (formerly McAfee) the answer is an unreserved “yes.” As noted by a recent Data Center Knowledge article, the company has decided to shift from an on-premises to entirely colocated model. Data center manager Doug Chansky puts it simply: “we don't see a need to have an internal data center.”

So what is Intel getting from going colo? Chansky sites three main benefits: Avoiding sunk investments, preparing for future capacity needs and countering the problem of “mixed-use” buildings. First is side stepping the sunk investment problem, which happens when you build a data center that offers just enough space, but starts to open up as hardware evolution packs more power and heat into a single rack. Suddenly, you have too much space, and an empty data center is an inefficient data center.

Too much or too little capacity is also a problem. Data centers that are too small cannot be easily expanded, while having too much capacity is a drain on IT budget unless companies can re-purpose the excess space. This leads to the mixed-use building problem: In one data center location which doubled as an office building, Intel wanted to install a backup generator but local officials said no because it violated municipal building codes. Going colo solves these problems by allowing companies to leverage their own hardware and rent extra physical space as needed. Because colocation data centers serve no other purpose, there's no conflict with mixed-use, meaning servers can be installed with a minimum of downtime and without worry about balancing the needs of both workers and technology.

Problem Solved?

Colocation isn't the only data center solution on the market, but is rapidly becoming an essential part of overall IT strategy. Its footprint is expanding, with new builds are on rise and even large enterprises like Intel opting to co-locate rather than relocate proprietary data centers. Bottom line? There's no need to toss every local servers for their colo equivalents just yet, but there's never been a better time to find the right provider, break into the market and discover where colocation has the greatest impact on your bottom line.

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