Making the Right Purchase Decisions for Your Data Center

Hardware equipment, network cables, cooling components, etc. are all very much part of a data center's core infrastructure. Making the right decisions when purchasing these critical components can lead to an optimized and cost effective data center environment.

However, you have to look at the pros and cons of past and future decisions to be able to learn how to make the best purchase decision. Here are a few things to consider when making purchase decisions for your data center:

Making the Right Purchase Decisions for Your Data Center1. Buy the Brand: This is the most common consideration when managers are making purchase decisions for data centers. Data center managers are resistant to break away from buying new brands or lesser known brand. They will most often purchase based on the biggest and most well-known brand out there, even if all of the features of the product are not really needed by the company. Research indicates that data centers could be spending as much as five times more than what is actually needed by blindly following brand mentality. The reason why most of the decisions are made according to the brand is that it saves research and negotiation time as most data centers already have existing relationships with the key vendors.

Going for an out-of-the-box solution requires time and effort on the part of the purchase team. Depending on the management culture, this could also mean tiresome conversations with upper management to convince them on going a different route. But, if you feel strongly about a change, take a look at the cost benefits versus the time it would take to update equipment.

2. Size Does Matter: Purchase decisions are made based on the cost and throughput delivered per square foot. Given similar product features and costs, decisions are primarily made based on the compactness of the equipment so that real estate can be utilized better. The other aspect that needs to be considered is the power density delivered. A high density rack server will have more upfront cost than a regular server, but it is a better choice if you want an optimized data center. It is a good idea to follow this logic unless there are compelling reasons for making alternative choices.

3. The CEO Card: In most tech savvy organizations, purchase decisions are made by consulting the CEO as well as the CIO. CEOs have realized that, in a digital age, they need to be deeply involved in purchase decisions to ensure that the direction is in line with the overall strategy. Depending on the CEO’s inclination towards IT, it is still recommended to consult as he or she to appease both business and technology folks.

In-house data centers have to put in lots of effort into data center management, right from purchase to maintenance activities. Another alternative is to use a collocation data center facility and let them handle day to day running of the data center while you can focus on your core business.

If you wondering why you should outsource your data center, download our recent white paper, 8 Reasons Companies Outsource Their Primary Data Center now.

Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.
Alex Carroll