We sat down with Matthew Gingell, head of product and channel development at Colt and a man with 30 years in telecoms and data centres, to discuss what the right time is for IT managers to upgrade their servers.
When it comes to data centres, what are the important things for a business to consider when facing big organisational changes?
The data centre decisions are quite often prompted by organisation change, but we really look at the data centre business in three phases. The trigger for the decision is a recognition the existing centre is outdated.
The average data centre is 9 years old, and there's quite a few out there which are 15 years or more. The issue is, what do you do about that? They are not effective, not efficient, and not fitting the current demands, because the old tech is completely different to what it is now.
What's the first move then?
In the short term the focus is on efficiency because these things cost a lot, and power is going through the roof. The older data centres are not anywhere near close to the new ones.
The second, the more medium term activity, is about how you buy yourself more time by giving new life to existing estate - the refreshment phase. There are quite a few things you can do, putting in new chillers, putting in containment, other mechanisms that make better use of the power you have. In order to make it possible you have to make it efficient and upgrade the systems - what it's going to do is buy you five years time.
The third stage is much more strategic. There is 60% odd making these decisions. 63% said the decision process is getting longer. But at some point they have to buy the bullet. A lot of these are led by mergers and acquisitions. It could be a new IT paradigm is put in place, it could be a company is growing much faster than expected.
This is the point at which you can take decisions for a new IT paradigm, for example migrating to cloud or deciding that you want to have a hybrid of data solutions. Instead of having your own data centres, this is the opportunity to consider outsourcing all or part of your estate, or build a new data centre yourselves.