Self-managed data centres and cloud computing belong to a bygone age – or do they just need reinventing?

“Digital infrastructures need to evolve to keep pace with demand,” says Steve Pass of DataQube Global 

 Over the last ten years there has been a seismic shift in computing trends, with many businesses embracing the notion of a cloud-only future. And you can understand why. The cloud is the holy grail to an agile workforce and underpins all things IoT. Moreover, it makes perfect economic sense, on paper at least. Property leasing, equipment maintenance and infrastructure costs are swapped out for monthly pricing models that are user, service, storage or infrastructure based, depending on the company type and service needed. Many businesses have moved their processing requirements to the cloud, or are in the process of doing so, with their remaining IT requirements typically handled by a colocation provider.  

 The key drivers to cloud-first business models have always been cost-related. Building a bespoke data centre is CapEx intensive, with millions of pounds of upfront investment needed. Bespoke data centres facilities are also hugely expensive to run and maintain, requiring 24×7 monitoring to assure optimal uptime, along with regular upgrades/updates to keep pace with constantly changing bandwidth requirements. The upfront CaPex and ongoing OpEx can be so high that many businesses prefer to reinvest this expenditure elsewhere as it offers swifter ROI. 

 Ten years down the line and a U turn is happening 

 A decade on from dawn of the “cloud era”, it transpires that for many organisations, the tried and tested ways of doing business on the internet works just fine because cloud first strategies aren’t quite as cost effective, straightforward, or secure as they might appear.  Indeed, many are switching to a hybrid approach to alleviate these concerns.  

Cloud vendors and customers alike are re-evaluating their infrastructure strategies as both have realised that self-managed data centres are going to be around for some time yet because data volumes are increasing. Even AWS now offers their customers physical servers that can be deployed in onsite data centres. This change of strategy is somewhat ironic considering that only a few years ago AWS scoffed at the notion of anyone wanting to manage their own ICT equipment. When the biggest evangelists in cloud computing world acknowledge that self-managed data centres are pivotal to the future of tech infrastructure, it’s time to start thinking about how data centre infrastructures will evolve to meet current requirements. 

 Edge computing is growing 

 IoT-driven services and apps generate unimaginable quantities of data that needs seamless processing and as close to the source as possible if said services are to be workable. Businesses reliant on IoT are beginning to realise that cloud infrastructures cannot deliver the speed and low latency needed for real time data handling. While it’s possible to outsource storage and maintenance requirements to co-location companies this comes at a cost as DropBox  demonstrated when they reverted to on-premises back in 2016. 

 The average data centre build cost can be anything between £7m – £12m per MW 

 The downside, however, is that the average data centre build cost is anything between £7m -£12m per MW which begs the question as to why did organisations ever commission their own data centres in the first place? Moreover, why would these organisations want to revert to owning their own facilities now? It boils down to control and security. Cloud- first and hybrid strategies are becoming increasingly susceptible to data breaches and unfortunately these attacks are on the up, affecting millions of users. 

 Taking back control 

 What if there was an easy way for businesses to take control of their valuable IT assets by building and managing their own data centre without the associate costs or long lead times? Well now there is. A syndicate of industry experts who understand the impact edge computing is having on data analysis and storage methods have developed a novel self-contained 5G-ready data centre system that delivers the same speed and performance levels as centralised facility. The system, branded as DataQube can be deployed internally or externally within a six-month timeframe and for 50% less cost than conventional systems. What’s more its flexible design removes the need to acquire real estate or retrofit existing facilities because all IT equipment is housed within a robust, tamper free unit that is protected 24×7. 

 DataQube is also available on a leasing basis with all handling, unit maintenance and security managed on your behalf by our experienced team. Future upgrades can subsequently be leased over the residual period of the lease with the potential to upgrade to a new DataQube and “trade-in” the old one, making capacity management straightforward and affordable. 

 Data usage is growing exponentially driven by the “smart phenomenon” smart meters, smart buildings, smart infrastructure, smart manufacturing, smart cities etc etc, and the ability to be continuously connected while on the move is now possible with 5G and edge computing. Indeed, Gartner estimate that by 2025, 75% of all data will be processed outside the traditional data centre environments, paving the way for an era of self-managed, purpose build facilities and DataQube is poised to become the go to solution to meet this demand. 



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