Buy vs. Build: Solving the Dual Data Center Dilemma


As you probably know all too well, organizations in all industries must grapple with:

  • Growth logistics
  • Acquisition integration
  • Facility constraints
  • Compliance requirements

And allocate a painfully large percentage of your budget to managing them.

This case study examines how an objective third-party analysis helped one organization with dual or “hot/hot” data center requirements achieve long-term capital savings.

Without sacrificing capacity or compliance.


Essentia Health is a large integrated health system in the upper Midwest. Since 2004, the organization has brought together, under one operation, a myriad of health organizations through acquisition and affiliations.

This strategy allowed Essentia to focus on their core mission and offer patients greater healthcare resources, a wide range of medical specialties, and access to cutting-edge technologies.

Due to information security regulations specific to healthcare, including HIPAA, HITECH and JCAHO, Essentia needs to maintain a dual or “hot/hot” data center configuration, which is incredibly costly.

And there were more challenges.

The Challenges

Acquisitions and affiliations were occurring at a rapid rate.

Essentia was on a fast track to roll out the electronic health record system across the organization. The director of technology systems was tied up with systems integration, infrastructure consolidations and building the IT services needed to support growth.

To cap it all off, Essentia’s existing data centers were running out of capacity.

These data centers occupied prime locations in hospital and clinic buildings. Plans to retrofit the existing data center locations were complex. Keeping the data centers in a “hot/hot” configuration, while making major changes to electrical and cooling capabilities, would be risky, costly and difficult.

There was also the challenge of IT competing for capital resources against mission-critical investments in medical equipment and patient care facilities.

How could Essentia find a solution that was cost-effective, employed capital wisely, met industry regulations, provided for flexibility and growth, and created a strong technical platform for the growing organization?

The Solution

Essentia engaged Involta as an objective third-party partner to perform a detailed 10-year analysis of capital and operating costs for four different data center options, along with numerous “what if” scenarios.

Ultimately, the Involta analysis led to a solution that delivered the capacity Essentia needed at a substantial cost savings.

Get the details on the data center scenarios and solution by downloading the full case study.

Download the Case Study

Click here to request a complimentary Buy vs. Build consultation.

In the healthcare industry? Learn more about the Involta PULSE Platform– our comprehensive, multi-layered approach that is fully customizable to match your compliance, security and compute environment needs to deliver superior service to the business.

Related Resources