Cisco’s most recent Visual Networking Index tells us that what we thought about our connected world is just the tip of the iceberg. In fact, the company’s 2017 survey predicts annual global IP traffic will reach 3.3 zettabytes by 2021 and that Global IP traffic will increase nearly three times over the next five years. While cloud computing is a prominent driver of the digital transformation for its ability to deliver extreme flexibility and scalability, the truth remains that not all applications are suitable for the cloud. Some hardware and software can’t−or shouldn’t be− retooled for the public cloud. Data center and colocation services exist to fill this critical gap. In doing so, they give companies the highest levels of control and security, as well as the ability to extend the shelf life of legacy systems.
That’s part of the reason why enterprises in nearly every vertical, from retail and manufacturing to telecom and IT, rely heavily on data centers and colocation providers. Customers should look at several factors when considering data center options, such as security, support, uptime, and costs. For example, in case of a natural disaster or another unexpected event, a reliable auxiliary power system is critical to maintaining business continuity. Talk to the provider about how many outages they’ve had over the last five years and learn how and if these outages impacted customers. Let’s dive into other critical considerations for selecting the right data center location and colocation provider.
- Space and growth potential- It’s important to consider the amount of space colocation facilities have and if they can offer enough growth space if needed. More than just having rack and server space though, it’s imperative that the data center also has space in the same physical building. The cost of moving servers down the line can be expensive. The ability to centralize servers in the data center facility will reduce the expense of having to purchase, cool and power unused space in between your assets, saving business owners significant stress and headaches down the line.
- Managed services and other as-a-service options- While historically colocation providers tended to provide the basics, such as space, power, and communications, most of today’s leading colos also deliver a variety of additional managed services. These add-on capabilities can improve agility across an IT organization and give businesses the ability to take a phased approach to implementation. Available cloud and other managed services also help to reduce concerns about integration and security because the activity is happening inside the firewall. These services might include cloud options, security, interconnections, storage, and networking services. Many providers offer disaster recovery-as-a-service options backed by full SLA-support. By protecting corporate data and assets and having a business continuity plan in place, disaster recovery services give business leaders greater peace of mind at a reasonable price point. Similarly, storage-as-a-service options from colocation providers can help cut capital expenses and provide an effective way to replicate and store data for companies of all sizes. Look for providers that offer redundant Storage Area Networks (SAN) solutions that can be provisioned quickly for improved flexibility and agility.
- Cloud connectivity and integrations- For most businesses, it’s not an all or nothing cloud or colocation strategy. Most enterprises rely on a blended architecture made up of hardware, software and applications running on-premise, in the cloud, and some hosted off-site at a data center. Cloud connectivity and integration between public cloud, private cloud, and colocation is vital for today’s business environment. With optimized connections to other cloud systems and access to multiple, backup internet connections, businesses can move workloads incrementally as needed, without negatively impacting Quality of Service (QoS). By selecting a data center that also delivers connectivity to public and private cloud services within the same facility, as well as connectivity to as-a-service options, businesses become more agile, and they can also avoid latency problems that sometimes happen when integrating various cloud platforms.
As the demands on IT services grow across every industry, there are also increasing pressures on companies’ internal IT resources and budgets. Modern data centers and next-generation colocation providers are helping enterprises meet these challenges head-on by offering more services and options than ever before. Leading colo specialists are also finding innovative ways to optimize data center architectures which will change how enterprises, store, manage and access data and applications and how consumers integrate technology into everyday life. In addition to offering a menu of valuable managed services, premier colocation vendors are driving increased data center reliability, efficiency and cost-effectiveness with data analytics and machine learning. By continually collecting information about the data center’s infrastructure, cooling systems, and energy usage, they are working to drive efficiencies and deliver higher-quality services. If you’re interested in learning more about how colocation services can help your business become more nimble and competitive, talk to Telapprise today!