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5 Reasons Building (and Operating) Your Own Data Center In-House Is a Bad Idea

By September 11, 2014No Comments4 min read


While building your own data center may sound like a good idea, things often aren’t as straightforward as they seem. From construction costs to maintenance and security issues, we’ve compiled a list of the top reasons to weigh your options before breaking ground.


1. It’s Extremely Expensive

Think you know the cost of building and running an in-house data center? You’re almost certainly wrong. Underestimating the costs of building your own data center is one of the first and most common mistakes companies make. There are several considerations to take into account when planning: engineering, permits and approvals, power systems, generators with enclosures, conduit and cabling for generators, data center lighting, lighting protection, HVAC, fire suppression, and the list goes on and on. As you can see, IT infrastructure costs can add up quickly and many small to medium size businesses don’t possess the true budget to build and maintain their own data center. Building within an existing space doesn’t save money in the long run either. You would need to take into account all power, backup, and HVAC considerations that may be outside of permitting that can add up. 


2. Maintenance Can Be a Pain

Building and stocking your data center is only the first bill you’ll have to foot. Your electricity bill alone will be a huge expense. Add in the cost of maintaining your equipment and broadband connectivity, running network cables and more, and what you have isn’t a data center, it’s a serious resource drain. Not to mention having someone on staff who is experienced in the unique needs that accompany running your own data center. Learning to manage on the fly is unfortunately not a viable option when it comes to your center’s needs. 


3. It’s Not Scalable

We live in a world where technology and equipment become obsolete at an increasingly fast rate. The same can be said for data centers. Before long, your IT infrastructure will need to be replaced at a rate that exceeds your allotted budget (both in funds and resources). Your needs will also continue to grow. Assuming everything goes the way you’d like, your company will eventually reach the capacity of your in-house data center’s equipment and data storage. This means you’ll have to continue to build and add to your center. The problem lies within that lag time. By the time you’re presented with a new opportunity that would require additional equipment, the time it takes to expand your center would likely be so long that you miss the window to close that opportunity. In other words, by the time a need arises, the opportunity can pass before you have a chance to install new equipment. This is where a strategic hybrid mix of colocation and cloud storage shines. 


4. It’s Usually Not the Most Secure Solution

Many businesses think having their own data center will protect their data. Owning the data center doesn’t guarantee data security; more accurately, it means you’re taking on the burden of paying for that security in-house – and the liability if anything goes wrong. Paying your own highly trained security team is far more expensive than paying for hosting on professionally secured servers. The added investment doesn’t always come with a guarantee of data security. Data isn’t truly secure until you have off-network and (ideally) off-premise copies. 


5. You Have Better Options

Would you build a new office building, or make significant modifications to a building you currently occupy, when the perfect building for your company is already available to lease or buy? Probably not. You wouldn’t spend that kind of money unless you had to. So why are you thinking of building your own data center? You have three other options, all of which will meet your needs at less cost than building and maintaining your own data center. 

You can:

  • Lease space on physical servers at a professional hosting center.
  • Lease space in a colocation facility, where you can put your own servers in an already built data center and only pay for the power and resources you need.
  • Use cloud-based servers, which can scale up or down as needed so you never need to worry about paying for space you aren’t using – or needing more space in a hurry and not having it.


Check out all of NFINIT’s data center services here