How Much Does it Cost to Own a Data Center?

Aug 25, 2020 | Colocation, Data Centers

Edge computing has never been more popular. With virtually all types of business utilizing cloud technologies these days, an edge data center is often a crucial step in making sure that your data is there when you need it. That’s not hyperbole, edge computing can be the kick that allows for better processing large amounts of data, which in turn can lead to better ecommerce, more reliable networks, and any number of other applications for business.

That said, it can be expensive to run your own edge data center. Though, if you’ve put enough thought into it to seek out an answer, you’re probably serious enough to want a real answer. Here are some of the things you’ll have to think about before deciding to pony up for your own data center.

Building an edge data center could come with hidden costs

The short answer to your question is that it costs about $1000 a square foot to build your own data center. That’s not taking into account that it can often cost in excess of $10,000 per mile that it takes to have fiber installed to reach your location. That makes even smaller data centers extremely expensive to own and operate. Those costs could add up fast. Here’s a little better breakdown of why your TCO (total cost of ownership) might be exorbitantly expensive.

Cooling and power aren’t free—and you’re paying for them every single month.

Your equipment requires two things to function correctly: a cool environment (to prevent overheating) and power. While they’re both related, they actually serve separate functions. That said, many individuals look at this as a one-time cost. While it does cost money to buy the equipment needed to cool and power your servers, it’s the recurring costs that really start to add up. As we’ve reported before, 30% of the energy usage of a data center comes from its cooling equipment.

Networking costs can be expensive for single-tenant data centers.

Another recurring cost, networking costs come from network provider rates. Often, those are much higher for companies who have built their own data center as providers are disincentivized to offer discounts to single occupant data centers. What they’re paying at one multi-tenant facility isn’t always representational of the deal that you’ll find for your own networking needs.

Staff costs also factor into total cost of ownership

Sure, you have the tools, but you also need the talent. That means facility technicians and security staff. That’s not only so that you don’t have critical breakdowns but is often required so that you can meet any compliance requirement. Additionally, a data center must be cleaned at least once a year to keep your equipment running well. Typically, that will cost between $6,000 and $7,000 annually.

Owning vs Leasing: Which decision is best for my data center use?

It’s easy to see then why so many businesses have moved to colocation data centers. Since 2015, colocation data centers have been expanding faster than enterprise data centers. Businesses have recognized the power of leasing space in a well-built facility rather than try to navigate that space on their own. For more than 25 years, we have operated and offered colocation services to a large number of small and large enterprises.

Take our Houston 2 location, it’s 325,000 square feet, with built in redundancies, a wind rating of up to 185 mph, and has 16+ neutral carriers.

Curious on how our Houston 2 Center can meet your data needs? Schedule a tour.

Want a quick cost rundown?