The Hidden Cost Considerations of Data Center Ownership

Cost of Data Centers
Cost of Data Centers

If you’re weighing up whether or not to invest in your own data center, there are several different factors to consider. Not only is data center ownership an expensive endeavor, but it can also come with a fair few hidden costs that you might not have factored into your calculations. 

One of the most important things to think about when deciding whether to dive into building a data center is of course the expense. Building a data center does come with a hefty price tag, and there are some hidden costs that may well spring up along the way, even if you’ve planned the process meticulously. 

In this article, we’ll take you through some of the unavoidable costs of building and maintaining your own data center, to give you the complete picture of what’s really involved. 

The cost of energy 

Energy is a significant cost when building and maintaining a data center, so this should be a key focus in your decision-making process. Energy costs are at an all-time high at the moment, and no one quite knows what the future might hold in terms of energy bills. 

It’s not just the energy itself that you’ll need to think about, either. If you’re building your own data center, you should also be thinking carefully about how to ensure maximum energy efficiency. 

In order to make sure it’s as energy efficient as possible, you would, theoretically, need your data center to be full. And unfortunately, that means no space for growth in the future. Finding the balance between energy efficiency and room to grow can therefore be more difficult than it sounds. 

Maintenance costs

The cost of buying power and cooling equipment for your data center will likely be factored into your calculations already, but don’t overlook the maintenance side of this. This is essential equipment, and it’s not just the investment involved in buying the equipment you’ll need to think about. Running and maintaining the equipment can also be expensive. 

You’ll need to factor in things like maintenance contracts, extended warranties, and the cost of the labor required to keep your new equipment running smoothly. It’s also a good idea to factor in some budget for repairs and replacement parts that could be needed further down the line. 

Think about how you’ll respond if anything goes wrong with your equipment too, ensuring that you haven’t overlooked the potential cost of any downtime that could occur as a result of faults or problems with your equipment. 

Networking and network latency fees 

One of the top recurring costs for any data center is of course networking. And if you’re running your own data center, you might be surprised to find that the bills for networking are higher than you had first expected. 

Networking costs tend to be lower in colocation facilities, where networking companies need to be more competitive to win over the companies in residence. Of course, networking businesses are also able to provide for a number of different companies at once in such facilities, making their provision more efficient and therefore more affordable. 

Latency is another cost you’ll need to think about before diving into data center ownership. The costs of network latency will vary depending on where you choose to base your data center, so start looking into providers in the area to see how much budget you’ll need to set aside for this. 

Compliance fees 

Most businesses will have some compliance costs, whether they choose to run their own data center or opt for a colocation facility. However, compliance costs do tend to rise if you choose to build your own data center. 

Businesses that own their own data centers aren’t just responsible for the data itself, they’re also required to provide physical security measures to protect their customers’ data. There are other costs to consider too, like inspections and auditing. 

Think about the additional investment involved in securing and managing your data when deciding whether or not it would be sensible to build a data center of your own.  


Any company considering opening its own data center will need a number of staff with the skills and experience to manage the job. And talented personnel like this come at a cost! 

You’ll need at least one member of staff available at all times. That staff member will need to be fully qualified and equipped to respond quickly should any action be required, if your business is to avoid any unexpected downtime. 

Bear in mind that the salary of a network engineer is $70,000 on average. A data center technician will cost you approximately $55,000 per year. Staff such as cleaners will also be required to help keep your data center in pristine condition. 

Some organizations choose to build and maintain their own data centers, and they often have a number of very good reasons for doing so. But for the vast majority of companies, the costs and additional work involved in maintaining a data center are prohibitive. 

Data center ownership is a considerable investment, and for many companies it’s not necessary. Colocation facilities now provide all the benefits of data center ownership, with better flexibility, at a fraction of the cost. With no hidden costs and no surprise bills to worry about, colocation is a great option for businesses of all sizes. 

If you’re thinking about colocation in the Houston area but you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with our team. We’re here to talk you through everything you need to know, helping you make the right decision for your business. Give us a call to get started.