For over three years my company has always leased its hardware from the facility in which our services were located. For a long time we felt that it was better to pay a little more over time for the hardware in exchange for not having to make the large initial investment, not having to recycle old hardware when we upgrade, and not having to cover the parts and labor for replacing failed hardware.
Not too long ago we decided to re-evaluate our decision to lease our hardware and ultimately decided to obtain our own fully owned hardware and to colocate that hardware in a data center facility. The initial cost is one of the largest barriers to get over when going from leased to owned and as an example we’ve spent nearly $25,000 in new equipment alone. We’ve bought server chassis, processors, motherboards, RAM, raid controllers, hard disks, power distribution units, and switches in order to bring our systems online at a new facility.
There is a lot that goes into deciding which facility you’re going to go with and it requires a lot more research and time than choosing a leased provider. When you’re leasing you can simply order new servers somewhere else, cancel the old servers at the old provider, and shift your data over. When you colocate your own hardware it’s not so easy to make a change like this. You either have to double your hardware to do live transfers or you have to take the sites and services offline to physically transport the hardware from one facility to another. All of this makes it very important for you to make sure that you’ve chosen a facility you can trust and one that you plan on doing business with for a very long time.
We researched facilities for several months and looked at the pricing, power, cooling, transit providers, locations, redundancy, and remote hands and ultimately settled upon HandyNetworks LLC based out of Denver, Colorado. This is going to be a learning experience for myself as well as those who work for me so I’m going to do my best to post my experiences, expectations, and any surprises we face along the way. The hardware will be online on or around November 15th, 2010 and we’ll begin transitioning customers over to the new facility starting on November 18th.
If there is anything particular you’d like to know about the process of choosing the facility, the transfer process, or anything else having to do with obtaining hardware and colocating – feel free to comment this post or any future posts on the subject and I’ll do my best to address your questions.