Organisations today still rely on colocation facilities to deploy applications and services on private clouds, writes Prasanna C, Deputy Director, Product at Epsilon. With the addition of public cloud services, this hybrid cloud environment requires colocation services that are fluid, flexible and hyper-connected. Agility needs to be built into all aspects of ICT, including colocation.
At the same time, growing complexity across the entire ICT ecosystem means that organisations need to consolidate the number of vendors they are working with and simplify their management with a comprehensive end-to-end solution.
With hybrid cloud on the rise and connectivity demands increasing rapidly, it’s crucial that organisations find the simplest model for connecting and optimising applications and services across digital hubs.
What makes colocation hyper-connected?
A hyper-connected digital hub seamlessly integrates colocation with interconnection services such as access to other network service providers, cloud on-ramps and remote peering at internet exchanges (IX).
The symbiotic relationship between IXs and colocation data centres holds the internet together. As data travels across the internet, it is constantly being re-routed and re-directed between networks. With a hyper-connected digital hub, organisations can immediately access global connectivity at a single connection point.
This gives them the ability to rapidly scale and adapt their digital infrastructure while efficiently interconnecting with the wider ICT environment. Some colocation providers offer these network services on demand to their tenants.
Key considerations on why organisations choose colocation:
- Affordability – As organisations purchase or lease racks and space in a shared facility, all costs are shared amongst the tenants. This means reduced electricity, maintenance and IT staff costs.
- Reliability – Companies need to know that their data and services are secure and running at all times. Having unplanned downtime can be extremely expensive. Colocation providers are often better prepared to prevent unplanned downtime and ready to solve any issues to keep mission critical services running.
- Scalability – With colocation, companies can use cross connects to scale up their network with other service providers and businesses in the same facility. This is one of the advantages over on-premise data centres, where it is more difficult to scale.
Choosing the right colocation partner
The global data centre colocation market size is expected to reach $104.77 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 12.9% from 2020 to 2027, according to Grand View Research.
Choosing a colocation provider can be difficult when they all seem to offer the same service-level agreement (SLA) and services such as remote hands and cross-connects.
Adaptability is essential in a market that can see rapid shifts in user demand and an immediate need for new applications and services to be deployed.
When choosing a colocation partner, an organisation should find a provider that ticks these eight boxes:
- One-stop solution – The colocation provider should offer more than basic colocation services. It should be able to deliver a suite of network solutions that an organisation might not use today, but will in the future.
- Physical and digital security – A good colocation facility offers redundant power supplies, multi-layered security, climate-controlled environments and robust SLAs.
- Strategic locations – Data centres should be located as close to end users as possible and with high interconnection density of network service providers.
- An interconnect ecosystem – The colocation provider must offer a highly-connected environment that enables the organisation to rapidly connect to other data centres, public clouds and also the internet exchange points (IXP).
- Built-in scalability – Colocation services, as well as the associated network connectivity, should offer scalable options for tenants as they grow.
- A flexible commercial model – The services offered have to be flexible. Otherwise, an organisation may be stuck in a long-term contract with overprovisioned infrastructure and high operating cost.
- On-demand cloud connectivity – An organisation can benefit from cloud on-ramps from the colocation facility. The colocation provider should be able to offer dedicated access to cloud services with secure and reliable connectivity.
- Continually evolving capabilities – The colocation provider must continually add more capabilities and solutions while optimising its services to new standards.
Adaptable foundation for transformation
The combination of the above capabilities enables the seamless growth of digital services and removes the complexity from scaling up in new markets.
All capabilities are made available via a single relationship, delivered with a consistent experience across global hubs. This enables the rapid rollout of new services in new locations while supporting cloud-based services using a single platform.
Colocation solutions are no longer just about space, power and security. Hyper-connected digital hubs can provide the advantages that an organisation needs with an adaptable foundation for continual transformation, and preparedness for any unexpected events with secure and trusted infrastructure.