At Data Center World Spring 2015 in Las Vegas

Data Security to Drive More and More Data Center Strategy Decisions

With the line where one IT service ends and another begins getting blurrier by the day, IT organizations more than ever need to have a deeper understanding of what types of data and application workloads should run on-premise, in a colocation facility, or in the cloud.

Mark Evanko, principal engineer for BRUNS-PAK, an independent designer and builder of data centers, says the biggest issue in data center strategy decisions today is determining the level of security that needs to be applied to data. If the provider of colocation services has to provide data security, the per-square-foot cost of data center space tends to increase by several orders of magnitude. In fact, the cost gets so high that it probably makes more financial sense to keep that data on-premise.

That doesn’t mean that IT organization shouldn’t make use of colocation services or the cloud, says Evanko, it just means that they need to understand who is actually responsible for securing that data.

He is scheduled to speak about the implications of operating what now amount to virtual data centers that can be distributed almost anywhere on the planet at the Data Center World conference in National Harbor, Maryland, this September.

Making matters even more complex is legislation winding its way through Congress that would make organizations more accountable for breaches of personally identifiable data by requiring them to pay actual damages to individuals affected by such a breach, he says. Once that legislation passes, Evanko predicts that more sensitive data will be heading back into on-premise data centers.

“Liability will soon be extended down to the colocation provider along with everybody else that touches that data,” says Evanko. “Most colocation providers don’t automatically cover customers if their data is either stolen or corrupted.”

In all, there are 16 elements that IT organizations should consider when it comes to deciding whether to build a data center, rent colocation space, or move data into the cloud, according to him. All three data center strategy options can make sense as long as some consideration is given to not only the criticality of the data that will be housed in those facilities, but also who ultimately is going to be held accountable for its security.

For more information, sign up for Data Center World National Harbor, which will convene in National Harbor, Maryland, on September 20-23, 2015, and attend Mark’s session titled “Data Center Internal Facility, Cloud, Colocation, and Container Working Together.”

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About the Author

Michael Vizard has been covering enterprise IT issues for more than 25 years, during which time he has been the editorial director for Ziff-Davis enterprise as well as editor-in-chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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