Summer is almost over and for many of you that means squeezing in the “family vacation”. Packing the family into the car to visit the sites, historical, unique or just kind of weird, that scream out “Americana”. Take a moment to let the memories come back to you. Those endless hours in the station wagon next to your sibling, “he’s touching me”, the quality time spent with dad, “don’t make me stop this car”, the soothing words of your mother, “Jack, stop yelling at them”. Good times. Good times. Let’s be honest, the fundamental flaw in this scenario was “going to” the sites. How much more pleasant would your memories be if the “World’s Biggest Ball of String” could have come to you? Isn’t this really an apt description of today’s data center market?
Even a cursory look at the product offerings from the major data center providers illustrate the predominance of the “build it and they will come” model. Despite what you may have thought about the movie, the underlying principle—“why do I have to go to Iowa to watch a baseball game?”—applies to the majority of businesses seeking a data center solution. Having to obtain data center space in metro New York, northern Virginia, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco or Phoenix when you are headquartered in Columbus just doesn’t make sense. And when you add the fact that in most situations if you plan to grow over time you have to lease the additional space before you need it, then your bad choice just became worse.
So the question you should be asking is, “why can’t the World’s Biggest Ball of String come to me?” Now, there are some providers that will tell you they can deliver a data center anywhere a customer requires but the list of associated caveats is longer than the lease you’d sign. Little things like having to provide your own land, utility and a building to put it in tend to add up. If you want the whole ball of string you need an entire dedicated hardened facility that meets LEED Gold standards and is Tier III certified. And you need it to be available for you to purchase or lease at rates that are equivalent or better than either major market or “data center in a can” alternatives. This is the coming data center model. A real data center comes to you. This is what we’re doing at Compass. Whether you’re located in Columbus or Darwin, Minnesota (the home of you know what) you can get the dedicated, easily expandable data center that you need. This customer-centric model is the logical path for the data center industry versus the provider centric alternative that forces customers to locate their computing operations far from their business operations. It’s comparable to the changes we’ve seen in summer vacations over time. Who has a station wagon anymore, and for your next family getaway…fly.