On-premises IT infrastructure supports large companies' data and computing requirements, but such infrastructure often remains beyond the reach of today's startups and small businesses. Instead, these businesses can turn to data center as a service as an option to support their IT infrastructure needs.
The cloud offers cost savings and increased scalability for small but growing organizations. However, data availability and security issues often arise for businesses with cloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures. Several data center providers offer DCaaS for organizations that require speed and adaptability in their IT infrastructure but can't afford the overhead costs that come with building and housing it on premises.
Organizations looking to divest themselves of hardware and the responsibility of looking after it should also consider DCaaS. The extensive options and combinations DCaaS can provide makes it increasingly attractive for certain larger organizations as well.
What is DCaaS?
DCaaS is a hosting service in which a provider provisions physical data center infrastructure and facilities to clients. Clients rent or lease access to the provider's data center without purchasing or maintaining the hardware and facilities. In return, they get remote access to the data center's storage, server and networking resources through a wide area network (WAN).
DCaaS provides facilities and services such as power, cooling, racks, capital equipment, bandwidth and experienced IT staff to clients. Providers can tailor the service to each client's needs. Many organizations offload the hosting and management of nonessential applications and services to the DCaaS in order to reduce the physical limitations of their on-premises infrastructure.
However, WAN disruptions for organizations using a DCaaS can sometimes leave applications unavailable. Clearly defined service-level agreements outline what happens during an outage, but organizations considering DCaaS should think about the implications of unexpected downtime on their business.
Another factor to consider when choosing DCaaS is the state of the provider's organization. Like any other tech-based business, DCaaS providers are subject to the same pressures and challenges as the rest of the IT world. They might merge with other companies, endure staffing issues or even go out of business, leaving clients to recover and restore affected applications on their own.
Ease multi-cloud setup
Some organizations use multiple cloud services to meet different business needs. Many of these businesses seek to incorporate their multiple clouds into a single network, but this can present a difficult task. DCaaS providers, however, already design complex networks to meet their various clients' needs and can more easily stitch together a cohesive network from multiple cloud vendors.
Using multiple clouds with a DCaaS combines the public cloud's scalability with the increased security and control of a private one. This can ensure high availability of systems and limit risk of exposure for data and applications.
Lower the cost of entry
Smaller organizations often struggle to set up and maintain a private cloud because they lack the budget or resources for it. A DCaaS enables businesses such as these to enjoy the same IT infrastructure as larger organizations with less money or fewer resources. This in turn enables them to dedicate their resources elsewhere until they can make the investments larger organizations do at the start.
For example, a company can handle internal applications and services they wish to keep on-site, while they contract with a DCaaS provider to manage nonessential or noncore applications such as project management, payroll and sales reporting in the cloud.
Data centers offer continuous uptime, which is critical for technology-based organizations. Such businesses require reliable networks in order to deliver products and services to customers, and unexpected downtime can cause severe financial and reputational damage.
Combining a DCaaS with hybrid or multi-cloud architecture gives organizations redundancies and backups that create flexibility when disaster strikes. In addition, a DCaaS' remote resources can help them identify potential problems and deal with them efficiently ahead of time to avoid costly disruptions.
Scaling IT infrastructure always presents a problem for IT pros, no matter the size of the organization. Data centers always require more capacity, facilities and budget to keep pace with business growth, but the organization's private cloud or on-premises infrastructure might limit that growth.
Partnering with a DCaaS ensures organizations always have IT resources at the exact moment they need them. Scaling up or down only requires an adjustment to monthly billing or subscriptions.