It is a very expensive thing to set up a room with many high-end powerful computer servers connected together for the remote storage, processing, or distribution of large amounts of data. So when a company decides to make such an investment, they believe that it will be profitable. Yesterday we looked at some benefits of using a data center instead of setting up your own but it left me with a question. What services can a data center offer to make money? Let’s take a look.
Infrastructure As A Service
Data centers offer their equipment to customers who don’t want to or cannot invest in setting up the same facility for private use. The client pays for what they use and have the added advantage of being able to use more hardware as the demand increases. The infrastructure offered typically consists of storage space, hosting services, servers, firewalls etc. The service provider will be responsible for the maintenance and upgrade of all the equipment letting the customer focus more on developing software or application to use that infrastructure.
There is potential for someone to use the equipment of the data center to run their own ‘virtual data center’. They’d simply be a customer for the data center for this service then offer services to others for example data recovery services.
Network As A Service
Instead of just offering equipment, a data center can provide network services like phone services over the internet (VoIP), Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), private telephone network for use within a company (Private Branch Exchange) and Unified Communication.
This is good for startups that want to access enterprise level network hardware without costs of getting technical expertise to setup or maintain similar services for their needs. The service is billed on a pay as you go basis.
Platform As A Service
This service is aimed at developers as it provides an environment for them to build and deploy applications. The data center provides a platform that supports certain programming languages and that takes care of most of the configuration of servers and networks. This allows developers to focus on their code, build quickly and ship early.
A developer can scale up their application easily as resource demand increase since they don’t have to worry about upgrade costs. The cost of getting more access to hardware through the different packages offered by this service would be less than if the developer purchased the hardware and set it up for themselves.
Software As A Service
It is often cheaper to pay for software as when you need it than to buy a lifetime licence especially if buying for many people for example in a company. Nowadays, we can access software as a service through our web browsers without installing them on our devices, this allows people to easily collaborate as it allows easy data sharing.
Data centers can provide software such as word processors or spreadsheet programs in a similar way. It also doesn’t mean that they have to make the software themselves but they can offer discounted packages for existing software like Google Docs or Office 365 etc.