Good data centre space does not come cheap. And the smaller your IT environment (assuming parity of resilience) then the exponentially more it’s going to cost you to build and run per bit processed. Economies of scale punish the smaller sites hard.
The private sector has woken up to this, particularly those with a need for around 10 racks or less. They’ve spawned today’s explosion in co-location space. True, a few public sector bodies have followed them inside.
But for the majority, if they’ve considered co-locating at all, the choice remains to build their own – a fact which, given the soaring cost (and in some cases questionable reliability) of co-location, is perhaps not such a bad thing. Demand for co-location space is huge whilst adequately powered space is often reserved for those prepared to pay handsomely for a fully managed service. It’s a seller’s market and profits are high.
So why, then, doesn’t the public sector simply get into the co-location game itself and cut out the middle man? After all, unlike the private sector you’re in partnership not competition.
Let’s say you’re a council about to build a new IT facility; why not invite your neighbouring council to share? Between you you’ll save around 25% of the construction costs and at least as much on maintenance. Maybe just let them house their DR site with you. It’d be a start.
And why stick to other councils? Doesn’t your local cottage hospital need some high-quality, low cost data centre space as well? Lay on some spare racks and let them lease them from you. This could subsidise your running costs and if you needed to expand later then you’ll have the space built in.