Next Generation Data Center Services: Security, Control, Growth

By: In: Data Centers On: Apr 16, 2015
Next Generation Data Center Services: Security, Control, Growth

Whether it’s security, compliance or control, IT professionals have the same concerns when it comes to outsourcing their data center services to a third party. However, with recent advancements in data management services, vendors like Iron Mountain are addressing these issues and helping companies create the next generation data center.

Two years ago, Iron Mountain embarked on a journey that was both old and new. Our customers were asking for data center services, something we’ve been supplying for years, but as the requests for these services grew we decided to scale and formalize our offerings through Iron Mountain Data Centers. We created a suite of offerings with the flexibility you’d expect along with some of the industry’s highest security and compliance standards, allowing our customers to focus on their own mission-critical applications. Today I’d like to give some updates on where we’ve been, where we are today and where we’re going in regards to this new and exciting portion of our business.

In surveying our existing data and records management customers, we learned that many of them in highly regulated spaces – including healthcare, government and financial services – were reluctant to outsource their data center to a third party, despite the often superior economic benefits. This reluctance was due to several factors including, concern over vendor security, financial stability, insight into day to day changes in an outsourced facility and lack of focus on compliance standards. Ultimately, we realized that customers were looking for an outsourced solution that provided them more control than what could be accomplished internally.

Based on the needs of the industry, backed by insight from our customers, we launched Iron Mountain Data Center Solutions. We began with four customers two years ago, and today have almost ten times that amount. The industries we hoped to work with are in the majority, with about 70 percent of our data center customers coming from existing Iron Mountain customers in financial services, government and healthcare/medical. We have also branched into several other industries, including retail. Our data center services are resonating in the marketplace with the customers we expected and far beyond. For example, we’ve heard from many existing customers that using our services brought them peace of mind knowing where their data was housed. New customers have been great to work with too, many of whom didn’t know we were in the data center business but are now satisfied customers. One recent new customer told us they looked at 27 other facilities before visiting and subsequently deciding to collocate with us.

Our success isn’t surprising, considering the fact that what we’re doing in the data center space is much different than our competitors. Iron Mountain provides a management layer that allows you, as the data center customer, the ability to go and view your data center environment, giving you the control you desire in combination with the safety you need. From your desk you can see your rack layouts, power draw at each rack, temperature and humidity. In addition, we’ve built on Iron Mountain’s award winning asset tracking capability to provide RFID asset tracking. This allows for chain of custody at the asset level (servers, switches, drives, etc.) from when it arrives at the data center, sits in inventory, is deployed on the floor and eventually gets destroyed at the end of its life. Being able to see each piece of gear in a rack greatly enhances your ability to quickly request a trouble shoot or power cycle. The idea of a comprehensive, full lifecycle solution has always been core to Iron Mountain beliefs, but it’s a new idea for the data center industry overall.

We currently have three data center locations, and are planning to add more soon. The current locations include a Boston data center, a Kansas City data center and our main data center and storage facility, The Underground national data center. This year, we expanded our Underground data center facility by 45 percent due to the growing demand for space and added FISMA High certification (against NIST 800-53 rev 4 standards) for our Boston-area data center. Data center customers are demanding more control and the ability to outsource, and Iron Mountain is happy to provide that.

In addition, our data center facilities offer a higher degree of security than you would find in an internal data center or other third-party data centers. We have qualified people on staff 24/7 to fix large issues if they arise.

Iron Mountain Data Center Solutions are a logical evolution of the data management services we’ve had in place for years. The cost of network has fallen, and with large-scale data movement common, it’s now easier to move a large amount of data one time over a network than to move your data back and forth on trucks. We have the technology to make that happen, and we’re moving into the future with you by giving you the ability to have more control in your outsourced environment, while addressing key security and compliance concerns. We invite you to learn more about the next generation of data centers by visiting our recent white paper on the subject.

For additional information about our data center offerings, including information on how you can receive a free quote, contact Iron Mountain sales team, today. We look forward to continuing to evolve our data center solutions with your needs in mind.

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About the author

Mark Kidd

Senior Vice President & General Manager, Iron Mountain Data Centers Mark Kidd is currently is SVP and GM of Iron Mountain’s emerging Data Center business. He has full P/L, sales and operational responsibilities. Prior to this role, Mark served as head of corporate strategy for four years as a member of the Iron Mountain executive team working directly for the current and two prior CEOs. Mark’s tenure with Iron Mountain is over 10 years and he has held additional roles in Portfolio Management, Capital Investments and Finance. Prior to joining Iron Mountain in 2003, Mark worked in the New York office of Thomas Weisel Partners, a boutique investment banking firm. Mark graduated with his A.B. in economics from Harvard University.