data center outsourcing (DCO)

DCO (data center outsourcing) is the practice of outsourcing the day-to-day provisioning and management of computing and storage resources to a third party provider. 

Professional DCO services may include systems management, application performance monitoring, managed hosting, managed storage, and database administration. Contracts typically run on an annual or multi-year basis.

There are varying levels of data center outsourcing. Some DCO providers manage customer-owned or leased infrastructure on the customer's premises, including on-site technical support as needed. These DCO deals often include services to modernize the customer's legacy infrastructure with virtualization options.  

Full-service DCO vendors may provide leased or designated infrastructure in a vendor-owned and operated data center. The provider may offer the customer physical rack servers, blade servers or virtual servers or a hybrid configuration that provide access to public cloud resources as needed. This arrangement is often called colocation. A service-level agreement (SLA) with a full-service DCO vendors may also include clauses for uptime and security or offer administrative services that will help the customer manage their compliance burden

The benefits of DCO may include reduced operational costs, more efficient use of infrastructure, and access to more server, storage or computing capacity on demand. The risks include lack of control over security and disaster recovery, lack of flexibility, problems with SLA fulfillment and vendor lock-in.

See also: converged infrastructure, data center in a box, cloud-in-a-can


This was last updated in April 2014

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