Data is considered to be the new oil and is now virtually valued more than oil. Data is digitally synonymous with crude oil because it is needed as a fuel and to run businesses around the world just like crude oil is essential as a fuel to power machines and vehicles. But there is a stark difference between the two. The quantity of crude oil has been on a constant decline since the beginning of its usage, whereas digital data has been increasing in quantity every single day. 

If companies don’t make wise use of their data then their businesses might just witness a drastic drop in performance. The wise usage includes every aspect of interacting with data, i.e. storage, high computing power, good connectivity of servers for smooth transfer of data, and skilled professionals working on data for analysis. The more the data increased by every passing year, the more the need of handling that data increased. 

Back in the day before the Internet and even a few years after it, connectivity among people around the world was minimal and so was the amount of data. Fast forwarding to this day, with the rise and evolution of technology and the reliance of businesses on the Internet for connectivity and reach, the amount of data that emerges with it has never been larger.

Over the years, to manage this large amount of data, we have come up with storage capacities, processing power, and network connectivity that became better incrementally with time. We have reached the point where we can store huge data and run computations on it in a different location and can access it from elsewhere. 

In this day and age, there are two major storage and computing services apart from hosting in-house storage servers, i.e. cloud services and data centers. One might ask what would companies prefer between the both. The answer is, it depends. Both cloud platforms and data centers provide almost similar features such as storage, computing, networking, and analytics. Cloud platforms provide these facilities on a pay-as-you-go pricing by putting a veil on the hardware and infrastructure underlying them. Some companies do not need access to the hardware and other infrastructure to carry out their tasks but those who do need them with additional flexibility, customization, and ownership might opt for data centers. 

The following are some important types of data centers:

  • Enterprise Data Centres: They are developed and owned by an organization mostly for its employees.
  • Colocation Data Centres: The space and resources of a data center available for other people to rent are known as a colocation data center.
  • Hyperscale Data Centres: Data Centers built especially for processing a large amount of data and maintaining scalable applications.

With the advent of versatile cloud services provided by companies like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and many more, one might say it will give data centers a run for their money. But many qualities overpower those of cloud services such as decreased latency, higher levels of performance, increased levels of security, increased levels of control, and data sovereignty.

Due to this reason, the data center industry is predicted to expand over the coming years. 

As per the report by Statista Market Forecast, the Data Center industry in the United States is predicted to grow by 4.12% by 2027 resulting in a market volume of US$117.50 Billion in 2027.

Considering these aspects, let’s take a look at some of the data center trends to watch out for in 2023:

Fluctuating maintainability and the rise of green data centers

Infrastructure inside the data centers needs a significant amount of resources to maintain it properly. Cooling of the servers, generating constant power to keep the servers running, and other maintenance costs. According to research by Ernst and Young in December 2022, the data center industry contributes to 4% of greenhouse emissions.

Since environmental conditions have gone downhill due to increased global warming, governments are enforcing the use of sustainable sources of energy to generate electricity to protect the environment. While these sustainable sources could power smaller data centers with less amount of data to handle, they are not easily able to power hyper-scale data centers. If one has to use solar power to generate electricity for hyper-scale data centers then it would require solar panels covering multiple football fields which may or may not be cost-effective for some countries.

In 2023, it is predicted that as governments around the world are encouraging the usage of renewable sources of energy, they will increase the budget for it and it may be beneficial for data centers around the world.

Increased need for better hardware and infrastructure

With the exponential advancement of technologies like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, providers of IT solutions around the world are required to keep up with the game, and data centers are no exception. They need better and more robust hardware and infrastructure than ever before to handle the complex computations that come with implementing AI and ML algorithms and processing big data. They need better-cooling systems, better cabling and switch network,s and expert IT professionals for troubleshooting. Earlier, this kind of processing power was only seen in the infrastructure of massive research institutes but now it has become so commonplace at data centers, especially the hyper-scale ones.

Small-scale data centers will increase in number

With the rise of 5G technology in the telecom industry, companies strive for the lowest amount of latency for their customers. Since data centers provide decentralized support for computing and memory services, more data centers are required now than ever. Here, small-scale data centers come into the picture. These facilities will now be located at different locations locally where data is being generated.

Need for better cybersecurity

With more companies relying on data centers to conduct their businesses, there comes a dire need to increase the security of the data. Due to the nature of infrastructure in data centers where multiple software and technologies are used, it is not difficult for malicious hackers to find loopholes and vulnerabilities. This can leave businesses of thousands of companies at risk. Solutions like prevention of network-based exploitation using intrusion prevention systems, deploying system firewalls for small and large-scale applications, etc. will be used to protect data centers from security threats.

Disaster recovery isn’t something to cross off the checklist and forget; it’s an ongoing strategic initiative that requires periodic reviews. You’ve done incredible work in setting up your backup and disaster recovery plan, validating its implementation with thorough testing and SOPs – but don’t rest too easy! Stay vigilant against potential disasters by taking action now: review, update, and maintain your hard-earned security protocols for business continuity no matter what comes down the line.

IMARC Group unveils their research offering a deep dive into the global Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) market. This comprehensive study examines industry trends, size and share estimates, growth prospects, and emerging opportunities – with an eye to 2022-2027’s forecasted scenario. With data from expert analysts digging in across segments such as drivers, segmentation, and competitive landscape; there is immense potential for key players to capitalize on current developments within this dynamic sector!

What Is a Disaster Recovery Plan?

The disaster recovery plan describes how you will restore your business’s operations and systems after an outage caused by an unexpected disaster, cyberattack, fire, or technical glitch.

A disaster recovery plan typically includes the following steps:

1. Creating a backup of important documents and data.

2. Identifying critical applications used in your business.

3. Developing strategies for restoring lost information.

4. Establishing procedures for recovering from a disaster or service interruption, such as contact lists and emergency response.

What is DRaaS?

DRaaS is a cloud-based, managed service that provides comprehensive disaster recovery planning and implementation. It offers organizations the ability to quickly restore their IT infrastructure after an outage, while also providing high availability and scalability. This means that businesses can recover from outages faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Types of Disaster Recovery as a Service

It is possible to tailor a disaster plan for your business using DRaaS, thanks to the different types of DRaaS available.

  • Self-Service DRaaS
  • Assisted DRaaS
  • Managed DRaaS

Why do you use DRaaS as your Disaster Recovery plan?

1.  Reduced Downtime

It can help to reduce downtime in the event of a disaster. By having a backup of your data in a remote location, you can quickly and easily recover your data in the event of a power outage, natural disaster, or another type of incident.

2. Cost Savings

It can also help to save money on disaster recovery costs. By having a backup of your data in a remote location, you can avoid the need to build and maintain a secondary data center. Additionally, DRaaS can help to reduce the need for expensive disaster recovery software and hardware.

3.  Scalability

Scalable, meaning that it can grow with your business. As your business expands, you can add more users and data storage without having to worry about exceeding your budget for disaster recovery services

4.  Flexible

It is also flexible, which means that you can tailor your disaster recovery solution to meet the specific needs of your business. For example, if you have critical applications that must be up and running at all times, you can choose a DRaaS solution that provides continuous availability.

5. Easy-to-Use

Solutions are typically easy to use, which means that you can get started quickly and without the need for extensive training. Additionally, most DRaaS providers offer 24/7 customer support in case you have any questions or need assistance with your disaster recovery plan.

List of Key Companies Using DRaaS

  • Amazon Web Services
  • Bluelock LLC
  • C and W Business Ltd
  • Geminare Incorporated
  • IBM Corporation
  • iLand Internet Solutions Corporation
  • Infrascale Inc.
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • Recovery Point Systems Inc.
  • Sungard Availability Services LP
  • TierPoint LLC

Popular Disaster Recovery as a Service Platform

  • Veeam
  • Zerto
  • Custom Solutions

What are the growth prospects of disaster recovery as a service industry?

With the world recovering from unpredictable disasters, businesses are turning to Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) for help. IMARC Group recently projected that DRaaS will reach unprecedented growth and be worth an estimated US$22.8 Billion by 2027 — nearly five times its 2021 value of $5.2B! This remarkable surge is said to occur over the next five years with a CAGR of 27.84%.


DRaaS is an ideal solution for anyone looking for an effective disaster recovery plan that won’t break the bank. Not only does it offer cost savings compared to traditional solutions but it also offers flexibility and simplicity when setting up and managing your disaster recovery plan. With all these benefits combined, there’s never been a better time to consider switching to DRaas for your organization’s disaster recovery needs!
A well-crafted disaster recovery plan can mean the difference between business continuity after a crisis and chaos during one. Taking the time now to develop an effective plan can help ensure that your organization is prepared for whatever comes its way in the future—and save you from costly disruptions down the line. With these steps outlined above, you can begin creating a comprehensive disaster recovery plan with 515 Engine today!

The healthcare industry is one of the most data-intensive industries in the world. Healthcare organizations must manage patient records, clinical trials, research data, and more. In addition, healthcare data is often sensitive and must be protected from unauthorized access.

Despite the fact that cloud-based healthcare solutions offer many benefits, 69% of respondents in 2018 indicated that the hospital they worked at did not have a plan for moving existing data centers to the cloud.

However, there are several reasons why hospitals should consider moving to the cloud. Cloud-based solutions can offer increased security, as data is stored off-site and is, therefore, less vulnerable to theft or damage. Additionally, cloud-based solutions can be more cost-effective than on-premise solutions, as hospitals can avoid the upfront costs of purchasing and maintaining their own servers.

There are many reasons why healthcare organizations are turning to cloud-based solutions for storing and protecting data. Chief among them is compliance with the EMR Mandate. Finally, cloud-based solutions offer organizations a way to improve patient care. By storing patient records in the cloud, healthcare providers can share information more quickly and efficiently, leading to better overall patient care.

How Cloud Computing Can Benefit Healthcare Organizations:

Improved Security

One of the biggest concerns for healthcare organizations is data security. Healthcare data is often sensitive and must be protected from unauthorized access. Hackers are also increasingly targeting healthcare organizations in an attempt to steal patient data.

Cloud computing offers improved security for healthcare data. Cloud providers use a variety of security measures to protect data, including physical security, firewalls, and encryption. In addition, cloud providers have expertise in data security and can offer guidance on how to best protect healthcare data.

Lower Costs

Another advantage of cloud computing is lower costs. Healthcare organizations can save money by using the cloud instead of purchasing their own hardware and software. In addition, cloud providers often offer discounts for large volume customers.

Increased Flexibility

Cloud computing also offers increased flexibility for healthcare organizations. With the cloud, organizations can scale up or down quickly to meet changing needs. Organizations can also access data and applications from anywhere at any time. This is especially beneficial for remote workers or clinicians who need to access patient records while away from the office.

Enhanced Collaboration

Healthcare is a highly-regulated industry, which can make it difficult for different organizations to share data and work together effectively. However, with cloud computing, other healthcare organizations can share data and applications quickly and securely, which can help to improve patient care.

Improved Access to Data and Applications

In the past, many healthcare organizations have struggled with managing and accessing their data due to its sheer volume. With cloud computing, this data can be stored off-site and accessed as needed, which can save a lot of time and hassle.

Increased Efficiency 

By storing data and applications in the cloud, healthcare organizations can free up valuable IT resources that can be better used elsewhere. Additionally, cloud computing can help to automate many tasks that are currently done manually, which can further improve efficiency.

Better Patient Care

Ultimately, the goal of any healthcare organization is to provide the best possible care for its patients. Cloud computing can help to achieve this goal by providing better access to data and applications, enhancing collaboration, and increasing efficiency. By making it easier for healthcare organizations to do their job, cloud computing can ultimately help to improve patient care.

Cloud computing has already had a big impact on a number of different industries, and healthcare is no exception. The healthcare sector is under increasing pressure to do more with less, and cloud computing can help healthcare organizations. Cloud providers can offer a number of advantages to healthcare organizations. They can provide the ability to scale up or down quickly and easily to handle changing needs, and they can offer pay-as-you-go pricing that can help save money on IT costs.

In addition, cloud providers can offer security and compliance services that can help keep patient data safe. And finally, cloud providers can offer access to a variety of applications and services that can help streamline processes and improve patient care. As your application scales, it’s important to understand how different public cloud providers can work together to provide the best possible experience for your users. There are synergies and advantages that must be taken into account when choosing a provider, in order to ensure optimal performance and uptime. To understand it in detail you can look out to experts such as 515 Engine to guide your organization in the right direction.

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes

This post was originally a vlog post from October of 2020. For reference, we post our vlogs here with the full transcript below along with clarifying comments and graphics. You can check out all our vlogs on our YouTube channel.

This week we tackle the question, “Is Virtualization Needed for Cloud?” which is pretty interesting and of course requires several long-winded corporate stories. If you don’t see the embedded video above, here’s a direct link.

Is Virtualization Needed for Cloud Computing?

Today we want to answer the question, Is Virtualization Necessary for Cloud Computing? Hopefully, by the end of this short video, I’ll be able to outline what Cloud Computing is and if it’s necessary for cloud computing. Just a quick caveat, this video is going to exclude virtualization as it applies to microservices and networks.

I can’t tell tell you the answer to the question Is Virtualization Needed for Cloud Computing until I recount some sordid tale of my corporate past. When I first got into the server business a long time ago, enterprises shied away from putting 3 tier architecture components on the same server. Your 3-tier architecture had web, app and database. These were almost always 3 different machines for reliability and better intercommunication. When apps were being developed or tested, you would have possibly seen them all on 1 machine.


As we’ve discussed in the past, in 3 tier architecture, Web servers only presented data, application servers ran the business logic, and database servers stored the data. Also, these servers were also inherently redundant so they were costly. Once you had them configured, they’d sit there, idling. So you had 3 servers that were at least $2-$5k apiece, sitting there idling. If you measured the overall usage of these machines, it wouldn’t be unusual for them to be at 1-10% utilization. If your marketing department thought that a million visitors were going to come to your website, you tended to do something called building to peak which was building the scale of your environment to accommodate the worst-case scenario possible on the high side. So if you thought you were going to have a million visitors, you’d have to build for 1 million visitors even though only 50,000 visitors may have made it to the site. This was super costly but there were early startups that got media attention (usually TechCrunch) and the site would literally crash which was a bit embarrassing for a startup especially one in tech.

So, to answer the question, “is virtualization necessary for cloud computing”, we need to wait a bit longer. I’d like to do a quick recap on what virtualization is. Virtualization allows you to put multiple logical servers on a single a server. So you have this large server, you install a hypervisor (B-ROLL – definition) and then divide the resources of that ONE server into small chunks which operate independently of each other logically. This way you get the specialization that enterprise computing demands, without having to allocate a single server to each discrete function.

Why Normalization Is Good

Here’s another problem that virtualization solved which is probably the most amazing benefit we get from virtualization. So strap for another sordid corporate story!


When I worked in the managed hosting business back in the late ’90s, we would manage systems for clients. Let’s say you had a very specific HP server sitting in a cabinet and you had an identical cold spare sitting next to it. Sometimes, the running server would fail – so you’d take the hard drives out of the failing machine and put them into the cold spare and you’d turn it on. In some cases, that computer may not turn on and start working ALTHOUGH in theory it really should have. There were a bunch of small nuances that would have caused this cold spare not to work. For instance, this could have been due to a difference in firmware between the servers, or some slight change in manufacturing versions – even those the model numbers were identical. It may have been a patch that was applied to one machine but never initialized because the server hadn’t been rebooted in months. It could have been something else so you were never guaranteed an easy recovery. In the end, this meant that you had to image a new machine from scratch, carefully reinstall all the applications, then copy the data off those hard drives and copy it back over to the news servers, test, and then run. So at the most basic level, what does virtualization does for us It allows you to have those single-purpose servers, still separated in every regard but sitting on the same piece of hardware. This allows you to almost fully consume the resources of each server you put into production with very little idling but if you are to take anything away from this video, it’s the resolution to the story I just told — Virtualization allows us to “normalize” CPU, RAM and storage resources. Normalization is the idea that types and origins no longer matter. CPU, RAM, Storage Space, and Network are made common. Where they come from, what brand of hardware no longer matters. In other words, the origin of those resources isn’t taken into account – they just need to be there.

Virtualization allowed the modern cloud

Where Virtualization Helps

Here is why (finally) virtualization is needed for cloud computing. When we built systems for clients before, we’d allocate specific servers to them. The fact that those servers were used 1% or if they were perpetually clobbered 24 hours a day it didn’t matter. Those servers cost the service provider these things: the full capital cost of the server, network, software licensing, monitoring, management, space, power, cooling. This server also could only be used by 1 client. Putting someone else on this server would be impossible and there was no easy way to logically separate this single resource amongst clients. (There was something called shared hosting, but it wasn’t something most enterprises would tolerate unless it was a simple brochure type of website). This is akin to renting an apartment to a family and If the family goes out to dinner, you can’t rent that apartment for 3 hours while they are out to another family.

Going back to cloud computing where you build a platform full of servers and you sell access to the cumulative resources that those servers offer. So you buy a handful of servers and that could give you 10 CPUs, 10 GB RAM and 10GB of storage. You can sell this at an hourly rate and when it’s given back to you, you can have it virtually “rented” by another entity. So the buyer benefits because they can buy in bite sized chucks and the service provider benefits because they fully utilize their capitol investment of servers. Of course, they will need to build a little overhead for surges of business but the more automation they employ, the more competitive their rates can be. From an uptime perspective, since these instances are virtual, fully inclusive, and lighter you can start, stop, clone and move them around in a way not possible before.

Buy Your Compute By the Drink

This is interior of modern european pub.

So cloud computing is really predicated on the premise that you have virtualization. The virtualization doesn’t make the raw compute necessarily cheaper but it does 2 important things: 1. Buyers can buy in small chunks with little to no commitment. 2. Sellers can sell their entire capacity and scale their environment without having to match their hardware thanks to the normalization we discussed earlier. If you need 10 racks of hardware, buying that in the cloud will probably be more expensive but the fact you could slowly have scaled up to 10 racks of gear 1 CPU at a time is the real benefit here.

Last little story, that involves virtualization and VMWare. The first time I saw VMWare run was on a friends laptop. He was an engineer for a software company and his role was to take some of the applications his prospective client was using, and create a proof of concept on how his software would help them integrate these various applications. So he’d literally mock their environment up on his laptop and the load test data and demonstrate to the client how the integration would look like using their actual applications and test data.

Playing Rugby

Installing a Windows Server OS, SQL Server and several enterprise applications on a laptop is not the best idea if you need to still check your email, fill out expense reports, collaborate with your colleagues, and not have the IT run down the hall and tackle you. So he would build these proofs of concepts on a Virtual instance that was fully isolated on his laptop. Once the client saw the proof of concept, he could delete that VM instance which was literally a single file or copy it off to another device. Meanwhile, his pristine laptop imaged by IT the day he was hired was in perfect shape since all that craziness lived in its own, self-contained instance on his laptop in a single, virtual hard drive file.

I hope this video helped explain how virtualization helped the cloud become the cloud and hopefully I answered the question Is Virtualization Needed for Cloud for you. The overall idea is that you are abstracting operating system instances from hardware. To think about micro services which we covered last time, you are abstracting code from the operating system. (Define abstract) but we’ll cover that in a future video when we go into the world of DevOps. Thank you again, and I look forward to seeing when we release our next video!

We have an evolving library of Cloud Computing resources that you can use for any research you have.

The Cloud Computing industry is thriving nowadays. Non-technical people often wonder how tons of data is migrating from the business database to the cloud! Businesses don’t have only one workspace. A departmental store will have divisions of sales, inventory, salary, and bills so how is the POS or ERP generating integrated output for each department? Here the term ‘ETL’ comes into play.

ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load.

ETL is a common process that is used in data warehouses to ensure the quality and consistency of data. It involves extracting data from various sources, such as databases or applications, transforming the data based on business logic or requirements, and then loading it into the warehouse. These steps are done manually in some cases, but ETL software tools can be used to streamline the process and ensure accuracy.

Let’s simplify ETL processes:

How ETL works


Extraction involves fetching data from diverse departments. The staging area is temporary storage between sources and the data warehouse. It carries both structured and unstructured data. Any IT company will have departmental data such as HR, salary accounts, projects, Codes, etc. Employees and Salaries are considered structured data whereas Project codes contain unstructured data which are combined during extraction.


Data cleaning and regulating are done using Transformation tools. The MYSQL database has structured data and MongoDB will have JSON carrying unstructured data. This data is now arranged into different formats. Any redundancy in data is also removed using Data normalization. At this stage quality of data has been improvised as data is now well organized.


Data Loading can be done in two different ways: Full Load and Incremental Load. Data can be loaded all at once in Full Load so you can transfer another batch afterward. However, it can be tricky as the loss of data all at once can’t be endured. On the other hand, Incremental load will send new data at predefined intervals. So at intervals, any manipulation of data and accessing it can be easier.

The benefits of ETL are numerous: it ensures that important business information is accurately captured and stored in a centralized location, which makes it easier to make decisions based on reliable data. Additionally, it provides efficient performance and allows businesses to analyze their data quickly and efficiently. Overall, It’s a critical component of any effective data warehouse system.

The following are the most popular cloud ETL tools on the market:

  • Hevo Data
  • Fivetran
  • Alooma
  • Airbyte and many more.

Although there is software and tools out there for ETL few companies are manually migrating data to the cloud. MSPs and Public-Private cloud providing MNCs serve this promptly for you. So businesses can focus on their product development and marketing. Prominent cloud service consulting companies such as 515 Engine makes it easier for their clients. We would be delighted if you reach out to us for cloud-based services.

Colossal IT industries such as Google, Microsoft, or Meta (Facebook) have trillions of gigabytes worth of data to be worked upon. Loss of this pivotal information or an anomaly of data can’t be endured. Therefore they built their personal data centers to keep their data intact and encrypted.

Data Center is an infrastructure that companies use to store, manipulate and regulate their data for confidentiality and security.


A data center is outfitted using IT infrastructure, electrical equipment, mechanical instruments, and environmental facilities. It is guarded with physical security such as fencing/ iris scanning, fire detection, and suppression. It also uses software called DCIM ( Data Center Infrastructure Management) which provides unified administrative facilities.


Now let’s understand the types of data centers.


Types of Data Centers

Data centers are differentiated according to the infrastructure and requirements. If you’re looking for a data center, analyze what you expect based on type.

  • Enterprise Data Centers

The first and foremost type is the traditional enterprise data center. It provides private facilities built, owned, and operated by a company for personal use. Most of the data of IT companies is stored on their purchased devices. These data centers can be on-premises or in nearby locations for maintenance purposes.

  • Managed Service Data Centers

Managed data centers are third-party facility providers who rent out storage infrastructure, networking facilities, and maintenance of their equipment. Top MSPs ( Managed Service Providers) are IBM, Accenture, HCL, Infosys, Wipro, etc. which support services for IT companies to expand their businesses.

  • Colocation Data Centers

Colocation also known as ‘Colo’ is the data center colocation where only White Space ( Hardware related to storage or network) is rented out by individual companies for their specific requirements. Their hardware has a separate location in the building from other data racks. It is quite cheaper than MSPs as only hardware is rented and not the whole infrastructure. Thus it is trending for small IT industries nowadays.

  • Cloud Data Centers

An external or Off-premises data center where users can purchase services and storage facilities through a virtual infrastructure. The crucial difference between an MSP and a cloud provider is that a cloud data center only offers services on a subscription basis. Companies rent Cloud services so they don’t have to pay for any hardware. Popular cloud service providers such as AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Cloud, IBM, and Salesforce offer the virtual infrastructure.

  • Edge Data Centers

Edge data centers are devices (highly configured PCs) placed on the premises. They sit close to the applications of the user and can deliver services and content with minimal latency. The reason for keeping the servers closer is that they are used as backups in case of main server failure.

Considering the various categories of data centers and their facilities, people might get confused about which one is the best fit for them. 515 Engine plays a key role in clearing up their perplexity. Thus let’s pay attention to why IT companies are looking for a data center.

Why do you need a data center?

  • Abundant infrastructure to manage data.
  • Adequate space for storage purposes.
  • Sufficient dedicated employees.
  • Unravels data security issues.
  • Serves networking facilities.
  • High scalability of data.
  • Maximum coherence in communication.
  • Resistance to power failure.

Hence companies reach out to third-party services such as AWS or Azure for rental data center facilities.

Instead of wasting hours online looking for a data center, ColoAdvisor makes this process 10x faster by using our handpicked list of all the data centers in the USA. Just fill up your specifications about cabinets, power requirements, desired location, and bandwidth needed, and in a fraction of a second, receive multiple quotes which are apt only for your requirements.

Get rid of the headache of drafting emails to the service providers, that might not even be acknowledged by simply quick scanning your quotes. That’s how your procedure gets really cinch. Still, if you feel any queries related to data centers or Coloadvisor you can always reach out to us at

I am not proud to admit that I used to put security into place to satisfy an audit. It took me time to learn that security is the foundation of any system. What I thought was security hype was really the need to increase cyber security awareness. Let me start with a story…

Early Corporate Days

I worked at a global 100 firm after having worked for a much smaller and more nimble firm for years. I think I associated security with:

  • changing my password every 3 months.
  • having no password management tools (like 1password)
  • not being allowed to check personal email
  • my removal from all internal systems each year and having to have my manager approve access to each one individually.
  • Slow VPN access for a job I traveled a lot for
  • generally slow and outdated (and ugly ?) enterprise software
hindsight and security hype

Hindsight is 2020

I realize that a single breach would have tarnished the reputation of this firm to the point of ending our business unit. This explains why they implemented every level of security possible. Perhaps if our security team better communicated to us what they faced daily, we would have been far more open to working through all these extra layers.

I am not a psychologist but here goes…

Another reason for my hesitation is that being a technical person, it would be harder to fool me with a phishing attack. This is of course unreasonable as there are scores of employees that provide essential services to an organization outside of the IT department.

Perhaps it’s human nature to resist anything that is overwhelmingly being promoted or pushed EVEN if makes totally sense. Perhaps we feel it’s an attack on our individuality and we have this desire to remain independent and unique.

SO… When security breaches went from website defacements to a profitable enterprise, I had these same feelings of security come up although we were always careful in our security implementations. For certain these steps were used as sales and marketing points in our pitches.

Cyber security awareness is not noise
Cyber security awareness is not noise

When I Realized It Wasn’t “Security Hype”

So, that’s why I thought it was noise before… and as irrational as my resistance was, here’s the set of circumstances that snapped me out of my “security hype” belief:

Security hype in a small town is needed
Not my small town but pretty close…Security hype in a small town is needed

I am not the Sheriff but I speak zoning…

I serve as a volunteer for planning commission in my home town. With this role, I have a city email address as well. I recently got an email from someone phishing who tried to convince me he was our Mayor and needed me to buy gift cards for some strange reason.

Cyber security friends tell me to expect a breach eventually even with great security. This really nullifies my original believe there is a lot of noise in the security space. The good news is building cyber security awareness is a great first step and I see it everywhere.

Security Hype

Final Words

I was put into a month long bootcamp at my first technology job. One of the most important aspects was online security. We learned that weblogs could reveal the last page you were on using HTTP REFERRER. Using that information, a poorly formed URL structure could give away critical data such as an intranet location with a clients name or a future acquisition list for the firm we worked for. We need to go back to bootcamps and periodic training if we are to protect our organizations.

If you’d like to learn more about cyber security awareness and strategy, check out our managed security services page.


“Why is Cloud So Expensive?” is a question that no one wants to ask or answer after completing the challenging task of moving workloads out of legacy platforms.

In this post, we look at one case study of a Software as a Service Provider (SaaS) that had predicable costs in private cloud and found themselves spending more in public cloud. We’ll attempt to illustrate why this was.

  • About 87% of our clients have applications that are based on 3 tier and not born on cloud architecture.
  • Our client had a strong development team but a small operations team
  • Public clouds can easily cost as much, if not more than managed private cloud.

Cost Summary Over Time

In the presentation below, you can see that my client had these costs:

  • 2015 – Private Cloud @ $17,000 (fully managed by private cloud)
  • 2017 – Public Cloud + Consultants @ $24,000 (Public IaaS + Consultants to help manage gaps in scope like a DBA)
  • 2019 – Public Cloud + Certified Managed Services Provider @ $20,000 (Public IaaS + MSP to fully manage all)

We also noticed that the ad-hoc consulting costs didn’t offer the consistency or ownership exhibited by a specialized Managed Services Provider (MSP).


A Quick Note on Economies of Scale

  • A NOC (Network Operations Center) is a costly operation, it’s better to share this resource.
  • Monitoring, patching, trouble ticketing, event correlation, and inventory management systems are best shared amongst many organizations.
  • Engineers are difficult to recruit and retain unless you are an IT centric organization.

Economies of scale are usually talked about when it comes to hardware but they can also apply to expertise and staffing. A fully functioning NOC with all levels of support is costly to build and maintain.

Cost Overview from 2015 – 2019

The chart below takes you through what my client spent in 2015, 2017 and finally in 2019.


So with this case study, we find that to answer the question, Why is cloud computing so expensive we can answer with this:

  • economies of scale apply to both hardware and personnel.
  • public cloud can be quite amazing for born on cloud code but not great for 3 tier, vertically scaling architecture.
  • public clouds are better costs for horizontally scaling environments.
  • it’s easy to turn on server instances and underutilize them.
  • bringing in consultants with a single focus can be costly.
  • consultants are great at solving point in time issues, but may not be the best in overall site ownership


When moving to public cloud, it’s important to take into account that if your systems were fully managed before, you’ll need to be fully managed after the move as well.


I’d like to talk about colocation pricing. In this brief time, I’d like to cover:

  • how data center colocation pricing works
  • why data centers vary in price
  • and real world pricing examples

We can only imagine the curiosity a IT director faces as they begin to outgrow their in house data center or realize that their new building lease has no suitable space for a good server room.

Today our goal is to put some clarity around the costs associated with colocation. From a smaller regional providers to notable name brands. If you’d like a high level overview of what colocation is, check our our article about colocation here.

chart - colocation pricing and data center components in vertical chart

Let’s Start With – the Components of Colocation Pricing

There are several components, In no particular order they are space, power, cooling, bandwidth, and cross connects. We’ll begin


There are several ways space is sold in a building based data center. I am not going to cover containers or other portable data center footprints. Here are some of the options

  1. By the U (a unit of measurement that is about 1.75 inches or 44.45 mm
  2. 1/4, 1/3, 1/2, or Full Cabinet / Rack
  3. Preconfigured Caged Spaces with Racks inside OR
  4. Preconfigured secure rooms that are almost completely isolated from the rest of the facility
common power options

Moving on to Power and Colocation Services Pricing

This comes several different ways and it can be one of the more confusing aspects of colocation pricing. When you are speaking about Racks you have:

  • 20A/120V power ~ 2.0 KW
  • 30A/120V power ~ 2.8 KW
  • 20A/208V power ~ 3.3 KW
  • 30A/208V power ~ 5 KW
  • 50A/208V power ~ 8.3 KW
  • 60A/208V power ~ 10 KW

This can go way higher, up to 60 or even 80KW per cabinet depending on the datacenter. There’s also a 3 phase option for most data centers.

Here’s how you calculate kilowatts:

Take your amperage and multiply by volts. But, I only use 80% in my calculation as you aren’t supposed to use the entire circuit as you can trip a breaker. So for example:

  • 30A x 208 = 6240 BUT

80% of 30 amps is only 24AMPS. So let’s redo the formula:

  • 24A x 208v = 4992, round up to 5000 and you have 5000 watts. To represent 5KW, you just move the decimal 3 places to the left. 5 KW.

Also, These circuits can be delivered as single circuits or as primary and redundant circuits. Redundant circuits double the capacity with the understanding that you’ll only use 1/2 since it’s meant as a failover only.


Let’s talk hyper scale for a moment…

For hyper scale sized data center use, it’s not unusual to purchase space using Kilowatts or Megawatts of power. So ordering 1 MW of data center space would make the main metric the energy needed, and the facility would literally have a spec which included the circuits, cabinets, cooling and space to accommodate that power draw. This is also referred to as wholesale colocation

Let’s Talk Cooling

Cooling is usually included as a component of power pricing unless your requirements for your power are really high. Most facilities can offer 10 KW cabinets at a standard price. Increasing this to 20 or even 60KW can incur higher cabinet pricing which is mainly to cover the cooling aspects of the service.

Bandwidth & Cross Connects

Bandwidth and cross connects show up in every data center quote. There are 2 ways I typically see this happening.

A client will establish bandwidth like this:

  • purchases 1 or 2 cross connects from the data center THEN
  • purchases bandwidth from 1 or 2 different providers for failover.


Some data centers can price out their own blended bandwidth that consists of 2 or more internet service providers. This allows the bandwidth provider to quickly deliver bandwidth services to a colocation client without the wait and without the complexity of setting up failover via BGP and it’s also easier than signing 2 contracts. One for colocation and one for bandwidth

Moving on.

Pricing and Data Center Margins

Data Center space is derived like any other product and is costed using typical accounting models for overhead and margin with some variances. Buying data center space as a provider isn’t a known quantity and there are many ways to start a data center operation such as:

  • purchasing (financially) distressed or foreclosed data centers
  • pouring concrete and building a facility from scratch
  • purchasing and retrofitting existing buildings to be data centers

The point here is the initial investment can vary widely unlike other businesses and franchises with more predicable startup costs. This investment made by the data center provider has to be reflected in their pricing to end users.

Let me talk about the

the colocation pricing dilemma

The Power vs Space Dilemma

In addition to the startup costs of building a data center, there are other pricing issues that product management have to avoid when pricing things out such AS

  • Selling all their space BUT having plenty of power capacity left over (which means selling lots of low density space was the issue) OR
  • Selling all their power BUT having plenty of space left that cannot be sold (selling lots of high density space is what causes this) OR
  • Filling up the data center BUT they have slim profits after having filled the entire site (which means space was sold at too low of a cost)

I’ve been able to witness this miscalculation first hand. It always seems to go down the same way. A major online company needed lots of space and didn’t want to build their own data center. Not being able to resist the massive influx of revenue, the data center in question sells a deal that was high in power, low in space and was sold with slimmer margins. Once the space was sold, it reduced the power capacity to the rest of the data center to a point where there was plenty of square footage but no power left to sell in that square footage. From this point forward, each new client had to have their power requirements closely calculated and each additional power circuit that was sold could only be done so after an audit of available power and cooling. Some data centers are able to add cooling and power capacity but in many cases, local utility can be limited unless there are major capital expenses thrown at the issue

Real World Pricing Examples

Cabinet or Rack Pricing

Cabinets are usually sold in 1.75 inch increments which are referred to as a “U”. Many cabinets are 42U but there are smaller and taller ones based on the facility. For some high density and space efficient designs, it’s not unusual to have much taller cabinets. We’ve seen this cabinets run from $300 to $2000 per month based on region and cooling requirements.

Power pricing graphic of $500-$2000 per month for 30A/208v power which is 5 Kilowatts

Power Pricing

Power or Energy is really the driving factor for almost all things here.

1 x 30A/208V Power – Primary + Redundant Power tends to cost between $500-$600 per month. Most retail colocation assumes that you will consume the entire amount of power allocated to you which on a 30A circuit would be about 24 amps. Wholesale pricing for power is different.

Cross Connects

There is quite a variety of pricing from a single charge of $50 one time up to $350 monthly. While this is sometimes the cause of some pain, i.e. why are you charging me so much for a piece of fiber that runs 50 feet, data centers will often justify this by saying that the cross connect is treated as a mission critical circuit, is included in the service level agreements, is fully monitored with the responsibility for keeping it connected and secure. For some data centers, it’s a major stream of revenue justified by the multitude of network access one is given in that particular site. Access to almost all bandwidth providers can allow an infrastructure company grow quickly as all their important partners are just a cross connect away.

Internet colocation pricing for bandwidth sign


What I call “in house blended bandwidth” I find varies greatly. Generally a Gbps to the internet will run between $500 and $1000 per month depending on the carrier.

Remote Hands

I’ve seen this fall into the range of $100 to $200 per hour. Data centers like to bill in 15 or 30 minute increments meaning that if you ask for a task to be done (say rebooting a server) and it only takes 5 minutes, they will round to the nearest 15 or 30 minute mark. Some data centers will offer better pricing if you commit to remote hands service monthly. That way, the data center can gauge their supply of on hand personnel and staff up to ensure timely support if you pay for it consistently on contract.


Things Not Covered

My goal was to really outline data center pricing. There are some colocation facilities that offer the most basic space, power, cross connects and remote hands and nothing else. Other facilities can get pretty wild and deliver so many services on top of colocation, it starts to look like managed cloud. If you currently need to set up data center strategy we are able to reach out to multiple colocation vendors in a single shot, pull back pricing and present it to you in a very easy to read manner. This is a free service. Just look for a link below to start the process.

As always, thanks for joining us this month and I look forward to seeing you on our next video.


The text that follows is a summary of our video. This month we discuss the real technical differences between public cloud vs private cloud. If you’re interested in more details about the cloud, we are constantly adding to our What is Cloud Computing Library.

We Aren’t Discussing Public vs On Premise Cloud

On Premise vs Public Cloud

When you search for diagrams for public vs private cloud, you tend to get more of a logical diagram that shows on-premise vs public cloud which we’ve drawn above in our own diagram. That depiction, while helpful, isn’t an accurate representation of the differences between public and private clouds.

Let’s start with the basics, what is a Hypervisor?

To kick things off, we need to address what a hypervisor is so let’s define it:

It is a computer on which a hypervisor runs one or more virtual machines and it’s also called a host machine, and each virtual machine is called a guest machine.

Courtesy of Wikipedia

Also, For the ease of discussion, I am going to use terms that are relevant to the VMWare ecosystem of virtualization as it’s just more relatable for most people. Please note, there are many commercial and open source hypervisors out there.

public cloud vs private cloud logical diagram of a hypervisor picture

Let’s set the stage. When building a cloud using hypervisors, you start with a server, and you don’t install windows or linux but you install VMWare vSphere. The vSphere is the hypervisor making this machine a HOST and allows you to add a bunch of various guest operating systems. They can be almost any operating system that runs on x86 architecture. So let’s walk through public cloud and how the hypervisor is situated. I’ll start off by by building groups of hypervisor machines, In the VMWare world, this is referred to as an ESX cluster.


This cluster can absorb additional physical servers very easily which allows the resources of the new server to be allocated to the cluster as a pool of resources. The Virtual instances we use are spread amongst many servers throughout the racks and if one server goes down, the Virtual instances are spun up instantly on a different machine.

Public Cloud

Remembering that this example is for public cloud, look at how they sell VM instances. Their clients don’t really know about the infrastructure is behind the scenes. They don’t see the complexity of grouping hypervisor machines together. They just see the individual virtual machine instances that they purchase. They will typically purchase instances with some type of portal that allows them to add servers, CPU, RAM and storage. The client is only responsible for the actual VM instances and not the underlying infrastructure which is no simple feat to properly manage.

As far as billing, the clock starts when you spin up an instance, and they can be billed up to 720 hours per month. So in theory, you are mixed in with other firms on these massive ESX host farms which are logically separated. The networking between all of this is mainly software defined and the public cloud can add capacity simply by adding rows of servers and storage to keep some level of overhead above and beyond the forecasted client need.

Sample Public Cloud Offering Logical Diagram

Public Cloud in Review:

  • Massive ESX clusters
  • Instances are in a community cloud.
  • Secure but Limitations on Custom Hardware

Learn about some of the limitations of public cloud in our Disadvantages of Cloud Video

In public cloud, you don’t control the hypervisor, you are renting instances on someone else’s hypervisor.

Switching to Private Cloud…

Keeping some of the terminology in mind, A cloud provider allocates to you 3 servers and builds an ESX cluster on it for you. Remember that would be 3 servers, with hypervisors on each, clustered in a way that all the resources of these machines are pooled. Additionally, they give you access to storage and network and now you allocate your VM instances to the limit of your cluster.

Adding a 4th ESX Cluster Server to increase RAM and CPU by 25 units each

Let’s say you use 3 Servers for your cluster giving you the following capacity:

  • 100 vCPUs
  • 100 GBs RAM.

You can create 100 virtual servers each having 1 vCPU and 1 GB of RAM each. To grow, you can’t goto the service provider and ask for additional virtual machine instance (e.g. 1 CPU, 1 GB RAM), you will to add another dedicated server which is added to the ESX cluster. This gives you another bucket of resources from which you can add more VM instances with CPU and RAM.

When you grow, there’s a minimum step you will need to take, each at a substantial cost because you are buying 1 full server of compute even if you only want to add a single VM instance with 1GB of RAM and 1 vCPU.


What is Bare Metal Hosting?

With some hosting providers, you will see an offering referred to as Bare Metal. Bare Metal is where you are handed raw machines where you can add your own hypervisor layer and create your own ESX-like environment.

In this case, you are no longer relegated to just VMWare and you can look at other commercial or open source hypervisors like Linux KVM or Xen.

So in public cloud you are using a shared hypervisor layer managed by the hosting provider. In Private Cloud you are using a private hypervisor layer where it can be managed by either the service provider or the end user.

In the end, there are many exceptions to these rules. You’ll find tons of exceptions to everything I’ve said but those are the fundamentals that we’ve seen here at ColoAdvisor. In the end, it comes down to who manages the hypervisor and is it shared or dedicated.

For additional information on cloud computing, check out our What is Cloud Computing library and also check out Is Virtualization Needed for Cloud Computing. You can also reach out to us at anytime using our contact page.