Understanding Data Center Types - Cloud, Hosted, Colocation, Wholesale, Owned

I was having a conversation with a client and it occured that most company executives probably don't understand the different data center types that exist.  It seemed worthwhile to describe the different data center types that exist and how executives should understand the differences.  They hear terms like cloud, hosted, colo, and wholesale all the time, but what does this mean?

Besides doing a few searches, I reached out to Jones Lang Lasalle's Michael Siteman to see what he had on data center types. It was quite thorough.  I needed something simpler.  Something a non-data center executive could understand in one ppt slide.  

I am sure this seems obvious to most of you, but trying to get this into one slide was a good exercise.

Here is my current thinking a slide.


The text is here.

•Cloud (VM) – bring your code and data - OS, Server, Network, Storage available for lease; on-site operations and IT services all done by cloud provider

•Hosted (Servers) – Physical servers are unit of delivery within IT environment design – HW for lease

–Similar to an internal IT service group for small scale

–Cloud Hybrids are more common

•Colocation (Racks) – bring your IT equipment, pick your ISP, provide power, space, facility operations

–Lease space and power capacity – for example 10 racks @ 10KW/rack

•Wholesale (MW of capacity) – you rent space, power, cooling and an open floor plan; you decide the layout of your space – power, cooling, network

–Need facility operations as well as IT Operations for your space

–Lease 10,000 sq ft @ 1MW

•Owned DC (everything) – you have everything under your control

–Big things gained vs. the previous steps you pick the site, you pick the design best meets your business needs, and the whole facility is yours

–Problem: if you haven’t built a lot of DC, then you will make mistakes

–2MW plus, the big big guys Google, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft are building 10 – 30MW

I think this works pretty well.  Technical enough with details like power consumption, yet high level to convey the differences.