When in Doubt, Move It Out
If all else fails and it looks like you are going to max out your data center, don't be afraid to move servers, software or storage off-site. Options abound for picking up the slack, and they might even give you enough leeway to squeeze several more years out of your current data center. Here are some possibilities:
1. Head to the cloud. Companies like Amazon, HP, IBM and Oracle all offer cloud-based services that enable you to boost computing capacity when needed. For instance, if you have a seasonal project that would push your internal data center to its limits, you can temporarily lease server resources from a provider. This will meet your short-term needs without forcing a long-term investment.
2. Roll in a pod. If building out or relocating your data center is out of the question, a pod might be the answer. Cisco, HP and Silicon Graphics International are among vendors offering portable data centers. These self-contained units can boost your overall capacity without the expense of a massive construction project.
3. Say hello to colo. Colocation is nothing new in the world of data centers. However, it can be your best friend if you're trying to avoid an overhaul of your existing site. By transferring some of your infrastructure to a provider's site, you can free up valuable floor space, and power and cooling capacity, but still maintain control of your hardware and software.
— Sandra Gittlen