NGD: Why It Needn’t Cost the Earth When it Comes To Data Centres

There’s no such thing as a free lunch - but it needn’t cost the earth when it comes to data centres

By Nick Razey 12 | August | 2015

In the wake of yet another survey citing security naivety among SMES, NGD’s marketing director Steve Davis argues there’s no longer any excuse for not using secure colo facilities 

Yet another security, or should I say, ‘insecurity’ survey… this time from security firm Avast which recently had it published by TechWeekEurope UK. It suggests more than half (57 percent) of UK SMEs are spending less than two percent of their total IT budget on security. Apparently they are also watching the pennies when it comes to what they actually do use for security - a little over half admit to relying on free consumer products for business protection!

Rather strange all of this since a significant minority (30 percent) maintained losing valuable and confidential data ‘is the greatest security risk, ahead of losing customers or having their reputation damaged’… a very good reason to start using a colo data centre!

Of course, in the ‘old’ days (all of five years ago!) if they were an early stage or SME business it was a fairly straightforward decision on whether or not they could entrust their data to a third party data centre operator. That’s because there wasn’t really much choice in the matter. Data centres were a luxury item for bigger beasts and cost prohibitive to mere SMEs - a sledge hammer to crack a nut. No way back then could the owner or manager of a small growing business stand accused of penny pinching when it came to considering such a move.

Still, at least they could always rest assured their mission critical data and applications remained safe and sound under lock and key on the premises. But clearly, especially these days, they can’t. Numerous surveys and real-life examples reveal daily the increase in security breaches whether from cyber attack or physical break-in, fire or flood. And these are not mutually exclusive to large businesses – they can happen to any business, large or small.

So continuing to protect mission critical systems with ‘free-be’ downloads running on an assortment of servers in open offices or under the stairs has got to be risky with a capital R! Consider how customers, suppliers and investors would react with the ensuing business interruption and loss of productivity should, or should I say, when, a serious breach occurs? Start-up or otherwise they are likely to seriously wonder whether the business and its management is totally sound. This could be potentially catastrophic to a new or growing business – any business for that matter.

My message is clear: colocation data storage and hosting is now viable for any business in this country thanks to the tumbling cost of high speed fibre network connectivity. This is allowing more data centre operators to locate well away from London where real estate and labour costs are cheaper, and create competition. This is being reflected in much lower customer pricing.

Some very large and modern data centres, like ours near Newport in South Wales, have the economies of scale to go even further by combining the less costly location benefits with a much reduced minimum threshold for data hosting and storage. We can offer, for example, a quarter rack ‘starter pack’ for young businesses including the rack space, cooling, power and connectivity infrastructure for under £25 per day. This kind of opportunity was simply off the radar for small businesses a year ago.

In my next blog I will look at the key evaluation criteria SMEs should be considering when deciding how to pick the right colocation data centre for their business needs.