Paul Besley, 5Nines

Weighing up the costs and risks of storing data on-premises

5Nines Northern Ireland general manager Besley says availbility paramount in choosing a solution
Paul Besley, 5Nines

29 May 2019

Organisations of all sizes and across all sectors are gathering and storing data on a scale like never before. It comes with a range of associated costs and risks that can be dramatically impacted by where and how that information is stored.

As general manager of 5Nines Northern Ireland, Paul Besley manages the global firm’s newly-built Tier III+ data centre.

He said: “There is a common misconception that storing sensitive data, or indeed any information, on your organisation’s own premises, is the best solution to keep it safe. However, having the physical data close to hand and a sense that it is under your control, is not sufficient in most cases.




“The reality is that for the vast majority of businesses, the cost of providing a level of security and resilience equal to that which is available in a purpose built off-site facility is simply beyond their capabilities.

“Storing data on your own business premises can be hugely – and prohibitively – expensive.

“There is typically a large capital outlay required to purchase the associated power, cooling and security hardware and software. Money that could be spent on other critical business matters.

“A setup on a business’ own premises will also require in-house server hardware and software IT employees and security personnel on hand to provide support 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.

“This must all be weighed against storing data off-site which would typically become part of an organisation’s operating expenditure with a monthly or quarterly payment. With our remote hands services, hardware and software support personnel can carry out these tasks on an hourly rate.”

The costs are not restricted to the initial investment and ongoing maintenance, Besley explained.

“When you factor in the risks to data, from a breach or accidental damage, the associated costs could rise much further,” he said.

Risks include malicious attacks or theft of data storage hardware and software while the information can also be compromised accidentally through, for example, fire or flooding.

Richard Willis, managing director of Belfast-based broker Willis Insurance and Risk Management said firms were becoming increasingly aware of the need to protect data.

“In the modern business world, there is a strong reliance across all sectors on secure data systems in order to ensure business continuity and keep sensitive information safe.

“For that reason, any outage, whether caused by failures of power or cooling or due to fire, flooding or a physical security breach is a cause of major concern.

“The cost of protecting against such outages on your own premises can be significant. Professional data centres that are designed specifically to guard against the most common types of outages are an extremely effective means of managing that risk more economically and securely.”

Besley said a growing number of firms were opting to store servers in data centres, where they can be maintained in a highly resilient and secure climate-controlled environment, specifically designed to provide optimum protection.

“The colocation of servers and networking equipment in a third party data centre, provides businesses with a site that has the infrastructure and physical security required to keep its deployment secure and operational all year round.”

5nines owns and operates a network of data centres across the world, including in the Netherlands, Finland, and the US.

Its latest data centre based at the Atlantic Link enterprise campus in Coleraine is Northern Ireland’s only commercial carrier neutral colocation facility.

The first of six data halls, each of which has the capacity for more than 200 racks, opened at the 45,000sq ft facility in 2018.

Specialist services include wholesale for customers with large requirement for space and power, 24-hour remote hands assistance and dedicated back-up services while private and fully customisable data suites or cages can also be provided.

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