why did this NHS hospital build its own datacentre? daft!

equipement in a data centre

Image via Wikipedia

Our politicians don’t need any more banana skins, but yesterday’s announcement by North Bristol NHS Trust of its £5 million data centre can only throw more fuel to the flames.

No doubt the project was initiated months ago and timing of the news could have been better; but sadly, I suspect in this case that IT expertise is a rarer skill than the ability to allocate a budget.

Building a data centre is a highly specialist and expensive undertaking and when it’s built it needs to be managed and kept running, whether it is full of racks or empty, waiting for servers and data to be stored in it. It costs a lot to keep the servers in a data centre cool, at great expense financially and environmentally. What’s more, as data accumulates, businesses outgrow data centres. has North Bristol built a data centre that it will outgrow immediately, or is there a lot of space in that £5 million data centre doing nothing for the next five years?

In today’s economy (green shoots, I know), existing data centre space is not hard to find and the argument for build or lease only has one sensible answer. Co-location, multi-tenancy and hosted data centre solutions offer far greater cost flexibility and thereby on-demand scalability than wholly-owned infrastructure ever can. Data centres take time to reach capacity and powering, security and cooling for under-utilised space is at best an environmental challenge, and at worst a sorry waste of public money.

This is exactly why the majority of enterprises large and small rent space in the thousands of data centres across the country. This route avoids capex and provides flexibility that owning your own data centre can’t possibly deliver. What’s more, a professional data centre organisation will be able to, through economies of scale, provide a much more cost-effective solution. Bristol’s decision to build its own Data Centre is as logical as it deciding to build its own Ambulance Manufacturing centre instead of leasing them from specialists.

Public sector technology is for the most part progressive, but ensuring the opportunity to evolve IT efficiency is not delivered alongside a significant opportunity cost is critical.

Check out the full story http://www.totaltele.com/view.aspx?ID=446258

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About dommonkhouse

Dominic Monkhouse @dommonkhouse entrepreneur, smallholder, Geordie, kite surfing, snowboarding, dog owning, J109 sailor, pilot, husband, father and runner
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