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Outsourcing fuels data centers

Companies like Verado find their role is expanding

When Verado opened its data center in Salt Lake City, companies were looking to "co-locate" their online services. That meant the high-security facility provided the physical space for the company's servers, protecting it from power interruptions and the threat of natural disaster.

Today, data centers like Verado are finding that companies "want to outsource the whole shebang," according to Jack McDonald, regional and sales director of the Salt Lake facility, one of nine the company owns.

The outsourcing means that not only does the center provide the facilities, utilities and other services to keep a company's service up and running, but now it actually services or even provides the programs that power the Web sites, offering everything from physical and network security to software troubleshooting.

It's not hard to understand the new trend. Forrester researchers found almost half of companies like the substantial cost savings that come when they don't have to buy and maintain everything themselves. More than a third choose to outsource because they lack internal expertise, according to the research. And the money potential is huge for such data centers, with up to $45 billion up for grabs in the emerging corner of the Internet industry.

Utah is home to several data centers, and they all feature certain benefits to their customers, including redundant power supplies so that the systems never go down, security, structural protection from certain natural disasters, like earthquakes or flooding, multiple bandwidth options, disaster recovery and more. The trend toward taking over operation of the programs and equipment for the customers is a new twist.

"Businesses see us as a way to add additional resources to the economy and to any business. We can provide space, access, equipment, security, software updates, etc. CTOs and CFOs (chief technical and financial officers, respectively) love us," McDonald said.