As more businesses set their sights on cloud adoption, data centers have become essential for digital transformation. However, data centers can be a major expense, with many variables – including construction, staffing, energy, and more – impacting the total cost.
Understanding the most significant variables that can affect your data center costs is the first step in determining your total cost of ownership (TCO). In this blog, we’ll discuss which factors you should consider when assessing your total data center costs – and how eXemplify can simplify the process for you.
Facility construction is the biggest expense for owning a data center, accounting for around 45% of total costs. Data center construction costs range widely, so keep in mind that factors such as local labor or building requirements (e.g., resistance to extreme weather) can affect your cost estimates.
The next step in assessing your total data center costs is determining your IT infrastructure needs, including everything from servers and storage to switches and routers. This can also vary widely depending on the cost of your hardware and any maintenance or upgrades you’ll need over time.
You might be able to offset some of these costs by working with a colocation provider that allows customers to rent server equipment, eliminating the need to purchase outright. But in many cases, IT infrastructure spending is an unavoidable – and expensive – part of your total data center costs.
Once you’ve determined your IT infrastructure costs, the next step is to calculate how much you’ll need to spend on power and cooling. The average power consumption for each server rack is about 7 kilowatts (kW), but you might hit 20 or more kW per server rack depending on your company’s needs.You’ll want to factor in the cost of electricity, as well as the cost of any cooling systems or equipment.
Another consideration when assessing your data center costs is how much you’ll need to spend on staffing the facility. This includes salaries, benefits, and training expenses for your data center technicians, along with any outsourcing costs for additional support during emergencies.
Security and Compliance
Data security and compliance are critical concerns for any business, and your data center plays a significant role in meeting these needs. On top of cyber security measures like firewalls, antivirus software, and other tools to protect against cyber threats, you’ll have to factor in any compliance-related costs, such as audits or regulatory fees.
Physical security is also crucial since bad actors can harm your data and networks by gaining unauthorized access to your servers or other equipment. Consider the costs of implementing measures such as surveillance cameras, access control systems, and alarms to help ensure that only authorized personnel enter the facility.
An often overlooked variable when calculating data center costs is connectivity. This includes the cost of bandwidth, network equipment, and any fees associated with connecting to cloud services. Without determining your connectivity requirements ahead of time, you may spend significantly more than needed – or run into issues with slow, laggy networks due to inadequate bandwidth.
While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to how much it may cost to build and run a data center, addressing these key factors should give you an idea of what to expect. If you’d like more guidance, eXemplify is here to help.
We work with industry-leading data center providers and can leverage our expertise to help you determine the right fit for your business, whether that’s building your own facility, working with a colocation provider, or selecting a hybrid data center solution. Contact us today to learn more.