The decision is not clear cut about whether to keep your server room in house or to use a co-location. Some experts suggest that for an increased return on investment, that hosted systems are a better solution. However, if a company is interested in a long term IT growth strategy, it may be better to do a slow build out and internal customization of their own server. Here are 5 questions that need to be asked to help you make up your mind as to what the best solution is for your business:
1. What are your present security requirements?
There are some business types like legal and financial services that must keep their servers in house for security purposes. If your business requires you to constantly monitor your server room, then you don’t have an option and should continue on to the other questions. If your business has flexibility in its server room options, consider the pricing and available options to have an off site co-hosted server room.
2. What are your employees like and what are their needs?
What is the need for integration like in your company? If there are multiple components that need to speak with each other, it is more likely that the best choice is an in house server. If your needs are basic and there is no need for multiple integrations, co-hosting and off site servers could be a viable option for your business to consider.
3. What is your present server room configuration?
The next question to review is how many pieces your current configuration is in and how many different components there are that service other departments. If your business has multiple departments that need to co-exist together on the server, co-hosting loses much of its appeal. If this is the case, in-house management and placement of the server is much more attractive.
4. What are the costs of both strategies?
One of the most important decisions that a business needs to consider is surrounding the cost of the server room. All of the real costs that are associated with placement and management of the server needs to be carefully considered for both in house and out of house server placement and management. Some co-hosting companies add in costs that should be weighed and requested in writing before an arrangement with that company is generated. You don’t want to switch servers and then find out after the fact that there are hidden fees, making the proposition more expensive than your original plan.
5. Do you have to choose one or the other?
With the constantly evolving world of technology, it is possible that you could actually utilize pieces of both strategies if it fits your business needs. When working with an experienced provider, blended solutions can be created to fit an individual company’s needs. Difficult or more complex strategies can be accommodated in-house and more straightforward server needs can be outsourced.