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For Infrastructure & Operations Professionals

Build Or Colocate? The ROI Of Your Next Data Center

August 20, 2013


  • By Rachel A. Dines,
  • Sophia I. Vargas
  • with Doug Washburn,
  • Eric Chi

Why Read This Report

Data centers are running low on space, power, and cooling capacity. When it comes time to provision new data center capacity, IT infrastructure and operations (I&O) professionals face a critical decision: build or lease. So what should you do? Forrester evaluated the leading approaches to expanding data center capacity, comparing traditional data center building, modular building, and leasing from a colocation provider. We applied Forrester's Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) analysis to a generalized facility starting at 500 kilowatts (kW) with an annual IT power consumption growth rate of 10% and found that, while modularly built data centers are more economical than their traditional counterparts, leasing is still the lowest-risk solution for many organizations. This report, and the TEI model that accompanies it, will help I&O professionals decide when to lease and when to build a data center given their unique circumstances.

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Table of Contents

  • Choose Wisely: Data Center Facilities Are Expensive And Risky
  • The Benefits Of Traditional Builds, Modular Builds, And Colocation
  • The Costs of Traditional Builds, Modular Builds, And Colocation
  • The Risks of Traditional Builds, Modular Builds, and Colocation
  • For Many, Colocation Or Modular Builds Are More Cost-Effective

  • Consider Core Competencies, Risk, and Capacity — Not Just Economics
  • Supplemental Material
  • Related Research Documents