Understanding your IT Infrastructure Options

Following up on the previous blog where we explained what you should know about the costs and capabilities of your IT Systems. This post is a discussion on what you can do with that information.

There are options available to a business owner today that can lower the costs of the IT systems they need to run their business.

On-Site:

The first option is to replace old, outdated equipment. While buying new equipment can incur a large initial expense, the right purchases can save you money over time. Manufacturers are building more efficient hardware these days in power usage and throughput capabilities in a smaller footprint, saving money over time. Plus the extra operational headroom that new hardware will make it easier to meet demand growth and implement new features and functionality.

There is a downside to new equipment. The responsibility of running, securing and maintaining your IT systems will still rest with the business. Is there knowledgeable staff available to make sure best practices are adhered to; i.e. redundancy at all possible points of failure, a data backup plan in place and tested on a regular basis, scheduled hardware maintenance windows and software patching, data access controls per legal requirements.

Co-Location:

Owning and housing your IT department on site is a lot of responsibility and costly. There are a couple of other options to consider. The first is to move your data processing hardware to a co-location datacenter off site. This is a good option for companies that use servers to store and process company data. In a Co-Location (Co-Lo) environment, rack space and network connectivity is leased in a data center. There are many service offerings but the basics are the Co-Lo vendor provides the power, cooling and supporting network infrastructure as well as the staff to support your hardware. There are differing levels of support response times (SLA’s) that are offered depending on your needs. See previous blog.

Using a Co-Lo usually requires that you purchase the hardware. And to meet the Service Level Agreements (SLA’s), the vendor will require that you provide redundant hardware to be onsite, if not in your rack(s). Best practices state that business critical IT systems should have redundancy built in. This should be budgeted for regardless of where your IT systems are hosted.

Another benefit to locating your IT systems off-site is that a good Co-Lo can offer a hardened environment that can better keep your services up and running in case of a service impacting event at your location such as a power outage or natural disaster.

Cloud:

Moving your IT systems to the Cloud is a third option. This is where you contract your computing power needs and services to a Cloud Service. Once SLA’s are agreed to, the cloud service provider is responsible for providing hardware and availability to meet the SLA’s. The business owner only has to worry about having the bandwidth to connect to it and making sure the SLA’s agreements are met.

There are long term financial and operational commitments and impacts to your final decision on how to support your IT requirements. This and the previous post have really only touched the surface of what needs to be considered before making that decision. We can’t stress strongly enough the importance of getting a knowledgeable and experienced resource to assist in your decision.

 

Teledata Select offers a whole range of services that will help you meet your business goals. Starting with a complimentary review of your current telecommunication bills to identify errors and find opportunities for savings, better service and more functionality. We also offer project management for new service implementation and infrastructure installs, including fiber and low voltage cabling. Call us at 404-257-1502 to discuss your current Telecom Service Solution and what you would like to get out of it. Or send us a note via This Link to start a no obligation discussion of your specific business technology needs.

Don MillerDon Miller is a PMP certified Project Manager located in Greenville, SC. He has come to Teledata Select via Seattle, New York and Washington DC. His experience running small to multi-million dollar projects in the Banking, Software, Telecommunications and Insurance Industries across the US has given him a wide range of business experience.