Moving your data centre from an in-house computer room to an outsourced colocation data centre delivers a host of benefits to organisations that want to maintain the flexibility and control of owning their servers whilst reducing risk. Not only does colocation mean that IT kit is housed in a more secure, controlled and resilient environment (an optimal environment for IT infrastructure) but the opportunity exists to minimise both capital and operating costs.
An ideal opportunity to rein in CapEx investment
Businesses that run their own in-house data centre need to allocate significant long-term capital investment. They also have to cover the estate, fabric and maintenance of the building and have complete responsibility for all aspects of the architecture, power, connectivity and ongoing maintenance – something that has proved to be particularly challenging during the Covid pandemic.
By outsourcing, businesses pass these concerns over to the data centre provider who assumes responsibility for rack space, cooling, humidity control, security, redundant power and options for internet and cloud connectivity. This switch from a high CapEx investment to an OpEx model has obvious financial benefits and operational advantages. And, importantly, it allows businesses to scale their solutions based on evolving business requirements and ensures that IT infrastructure is managed and accessible, even during extraordinary circumstances, such as lockdown.
Colocation pricing might appear confusing, but it need not be …
As with most outsourcing decisions, fear of unknown future costs can hang heavily over the decision-making process – the terminology and pricing structure can appear unfamiliar at first glance.
At Datum we keep our pricing as simple as possible whilst, importantly, ensuring that client costs accurately reflect actual usage, rather than being set at a catch-all level. Each contract is divided into two main pricing areas:
- Non-recurring rates - one-off charges such as rack installation and the set-up of cross-connects, which are individually itemised
- Monthly recurring rates based on the ongoing usage of our facility. This is based on power consumption rather than footprint. Other services, such as ongoing connectivity, will also bear monthly charges negotiated with the connectivity provider
Colo pricing – clarifying our monthly recurring rates
Datum’s monthly recurring rates have three key components:
- A flat monthly fee (allocated power capacity), which licenses the use of the power, cooling and associated services such as security, available redundancies, humidity control, monitoring, facility management, etc. The amount is determined by the anticipated capacity or maximum kW draw of a client’s equipment. This maximum kW capacity is set at the contract stage to ensure that provision is made for the power requirements of all client installations within our facility’s overall capacity
- A variable monthly charge (actual power usage) for the actual number of kWh used during the month. This can be set at fully fixed, partially fixed or fully variable rates and is prepaid based on the kWh applicable to the agreed capacity
- The overage charges – all metered power usage over and above the prepaid element
For companies with smaller capacity requirements, we offer the Datum Foundation Package. This fixed price 12-month package (minimal set-up cost and competitive monthly charge) allows our foundation clients to benefit from a single rack with up to 3kW power and cooling and up to 100MB dedicated burstable IP transit in our premium facility.
Beyond the infrastructure nuts and bolts – Datum’s service-enhanced approach
There is much more to Datum service than simply providing an optimal physical location for IT infrastructure. What sets us apart is our service-enhanced approach, described by Will Sargent (Account Director at Datum) as:
- A truly bespoke service tailored to clients’ requirements (this may be quite hands off for clients who are happy to run things alone, or it may mean working as an extension to a client’s IT team and supporting them on their IT development journey)
- A dedicated engineering team (scheduled engineering services such as ‘remote hands’, systems configuration, connectivity and cable installation, etc.). Remote hands services can be pre-purchased as part of the monthly recurring contract or can be charged for as and when needed. During lockdown we have been offering free remote hands services to some clients who have been unable to come to our facility themselves
- Proactive and insightful reporting (monthly or quarterly service reviews as part of ongoing contracts - including maintenance schedules, data on power, humidity, temperature and PUE)
- Bespoke account management (direct contact with a dedicated Account Manager and Service Manager to facilitate speedy and direct communication)
Most businesses would agree that outsourcing to a colocation facility reduces the burden on IT budgets, facilitates scaling and helps them achieve better control and flexibility, and colocation also offers an excellent platform for updating and developing IT infrastructure and workloads to future-proof IT. This is supported by the right of first refusal (ROFR) on adjacent space in case clients need to increase the size of their deployment further down the line.
Due to the nature of the service offered by Datum – a bespoke, tailored solution, far from an ‘off the peg’ service - pricing (recurring or non-recurring) throughout the lifecycle of the contract is discussed with each client individually at the contract negotiation stage. Flexibility and transparency are key elements of our service – no hidden costs and no rigid contracts. This gives our clients the peace of mind that they can flex their contracts up or down based on changing requirements.