Deciding between in-house datacenters and off site

By Lori McConvilleBlog

Most businesses don’t know where to begin when it comes to comparing the benefits of an off-site datacenter vs. keeping an on-site server room.

When IT departments are faced with shrinking budgets, and demands for greater availability, it’s time to review the organization’s data center strategy, including where it’s housed and who is managing it.

For Brett Taylor, the assistant director of technology at UnityPoint Health, his own datacenter is a source of pride, it’s personal, and giving the in-house center up was no easy decision. However, at the same time, he recognized some short-comings by having the datacenter onsite.

Taylor, himself, has built three datacenters and moved four times. He understands both onsite and off-site benefits, but also understood the need to face reality with the datacenter at UnityPoint Health.

“Having the datacenter onsite and managed by our own staff caused some issues,” Taylor said. “First, all of the staff thought they had access to it. They would just walk through it, never really valuing its value.”

To address the problem, Taylor began researching the criteria needed to house his equipment. It had to be between five and 10 miles from the technology team, had to be accessible, proper certification to meet security standards needed to be in place. Additionally, he stressed he had to have a clean, secure facility. And, because it was an off-site location, his staff would still need 24/7 access.

Once he found Enseva, he knew he found the It company that could meet all his criteria. At that point, he began relocation plans to move the datacenter to their state-of-the-art facility.
Many of today’s growing companies are now faced with the same decision Taylor had to make for UnityPoint Health.

  • Going with an experienced IT company such as Enseva has plenty of advantages, which includes:
    Peace of mind – IT teams have valuable expert experience and are constantly faced with a variety of scenarios. They are also up-to-date with the latest certifications and know how fast the industry evolves, understanding the need to keep up with it.
  • Value added, but no replacement – Off-site datacenters are not about replacing jobs. With UnityPoint Health, Taylor’s team still has 24-hour access to their equipment. Outsourcing infrastructure to a third-party company frees resources that can be directed to other areas of business that need attention, therefore increasing productivity.
  • Risk mitigation – By having the company’s datacenter separate from headquarters means one catastrophic incident will not wipe out everything.
  • Reduced power costs – Power is a big cost to maintain a data center. Datacenter operators are able to negotiate lower costs that can be 40 to 60 percent less that regular on-site costs.


While many businesses that think they need onsite datacenter services, the fact that an off-site center managed by a third-party decreases costs, improves service, means faster performance and innovation and, most of all, increases security – they might just change their mind.