DENVER: The Denver Broncos may be marvels on the gridiron, but the organization is certainly no expert in information technology. So, when the team was looking for a company to host its website and other computer systems, it looked for outside help.
"We really didn't want to make that kind of hardware purchase but wanted to tap into the expertise of someone that had this as their core business," said Steve Harbula, senior director for marketing communications.
After trying several "managed hosting" providers, the Broncos settled on ViaWest in 2003, a Denver-based data centre that survived the dot-com bubble burst and was able to handle growing Web traffic.
As more daily work and transactions occur over the Internet, companies as varied as the Broncos, Chipotle and Frontier Airlines must find a way to keep their Web-hosting servers and internal networks up and running -- and protected.
Companies that offer managed-hosting sites, or data centres, are enjoying tremendous growth as more businesses outsource their behind-the-scenes network and Web site needs.
The managed-hosting sector, which posts annual revenue of $15 billion (Rs67,500 crore), grew 35% percent from 2005 to 2006, according to Tier1 Research.
Companies are finding numerous advantages when they turn to third-party data centres, says David Golding, vice president for Tier1. They avoid the expense of building and managing their own centre;have an off-site location where they can keep a backup version of their network in case of a disaster and they increase security to protect proprietary information and personal data of employees.
Most data depots are in nondisclosed, unmarked buildings and in addition to providing company servers high-volume, high-speed access to the Internet, they have their own power generators.
Because many company servers maintain sensitive information, such as credit card or Social Security numbers, third-party companies provide a variety of security protections, including guards, cameras and key-cards.