Of the many changes that have adversely affected the telecommunications industry over the last several years, one has actually created tremendous opportunity. The transition to new technology has created open space in central offices, which is ideal for housing revenue generating data centers.
In a previous blog post and web seminar, I covered the three compelling reasons why telco facilities make perfect data centers: 1) location at the edge 2) digital technology with connectivity in place and 3) central offices with free space, many of which are mission critical facilities with mission critical infrastructure already in place.
Building a data center in this unused space translates into fairly short-term ROI and creates a diverse revenue stream. So, now that you know the why, I want to talk about the how.
Data Center Models
During a recent web seminar which can be viewed on demand — “Welcome to the Edge. Your Blueprint for Success” — my colleague Joe Reele, VP Solution Architects, and I discussed different options for converting open central office space to a data center and the types of business models that telco companies can capitalize on.
Just like with traditional data centers, there is no one size fits all for telco facilities; every deployment is different, but there is a design that can fit your space.
Colocation is a model that makes the data center available for rent to customers. These types of data center facilities provide space, power, cooling, IT racks and physical security for the IT equipment (but the IT technology is brought in and managed by the tenant.)
A Rack-Based Deployment (“Colo-on-Demand”) is a rack-by-rack deployment option leveraging the existing infrastructure. Racks can be deployed on demand in as little as 3-5 days. This deployment model helps preserve capital by providing just in time delivery of data center capacity. A rack supports the IT equipment and includes the rack, rack mount UPS and rack PDU. This deployment option assumes you have excess existing infrastructure capacity to support the IT rack power and cooling requirements.
A Pre-configured Infrastruxure Pod can also take advantage of existing infrastructure, but when more capital is available, the infrastructure is upsized to support a larger deployment. A pod is a group of 5KW racks built up to provision specific load and capacity. If the “back of house” infrastructure is already in place, this type of model can be deployed in as little as 30 days.
If additional back of the house infrastructure is required (i.e. generators, HVAC, switchgear and UPS systems), the deployment time is more like 6-12 months depending on the size and scope of the project.
Hosted Services is another data center model that provides software-as-a-service, smart hands and managed services. If you want to move from a colocation data center to a hosted services model you do not require any additional infrastructure investment.
However, a hosted services model requires an additional investment in IT equipment, software and IT staff, but this model can generate up to 20 times the revenue stream of a colocation model.
Is my facility suitable?
How much square footage is needed? Well, the more the better, but 1,000 square feet is ideal for a 20 – 24 rack pod deployment. Smaller spaces can be home to micro data centers. And even if you don’t have space, pre-fabricated modular data centers can be the answer.
The telco industry is in the perfect position to monetize the free space within their central offices by turning them into data centers. Be sure to listen to our full discussion to learn more about the solutions and tools that can quickly take you from empty space to a new revenue generating business model.
Get started by taking this telco site assessment to check the suitability of your facility for a data center deployment.