Like many other market sectors, the data center space has its ebbs and flows. The latest trend and forecast is that cloud computing and colocation are continuing to grow in popularity and one day, due to cloud’s promise of ubiquitous computer platforms, could nullify the need for company-premise-built data centers or computer rooms. That said, this promise has lingered for some time now without being realized. In fact, at PTS Data Center Solutions we see a different, more recent trend.
For example, in the last several years, the northeastern U.S. has experienced substantial utility outages due to inclement weather (Hurricanes Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012). Given these extended outages, for over a year now, PTS has been called upon to engineer and install more whole-facility backup power generation systems than ever before. Further, and in keeping with Levitt and Dubner’s position in their book Freakonomics, that there is a hidden side to everything – so it seems to be the case with this whole-building generator boom.
For small- and mid-size companies, installing a generator is the single highest CAPEX obstacle to realizing a corporate computer room (what PTS refers to as a “Tenant-Space Computer Room”). However, it’s those very companies that have realized their operations (much less their computer rooms) cannot go without power for an extended period of time and as a result are installing whole-facility backup power systems. What was once the largest financial impediment to computer room ownership is now gone. Along with this is the promise of eliminating the ever increasing OPEX of an outsourced IT model.