With the advent of the cloud, mobile, AI and IoT technologies, data is growing faster than we can store it, and processing requirements are exploding.
So, where does that leave the businesses with significant data and processing needs? How do they ensure data can move as quickly as possible in order to provide effective services and solutions to their customers?
Where the Cloud Falls Short
On paper, public cloud storage looks like a cost-effective solution for businesses of almost every scale. But complications and costs rise when you add requirements and stretch the time scale.
The public cloud lives primarily with hyperscale enterprises—like Amazon Web Services—with their own storage and processing infrastructures. Many, many businesses rely almost wholly on these providers' services for data storage.
Storage is one thing, but the equation gets tricky when speed and connectivity requirements increase. From a cost point-of-view, the cloud is ideal if data doesn't need to be accessed regularly. However, cloud egress fees are a common and costly occurrence, and they can wreak havoc on the budgets of businesses that rely on fast and frequent data movement.
Also, most cloud providers don't offer the heightened level of security that many enterprises demand. When you factor in regular fees and the risk of breaches or attack, a "cloud-only" strategy may be an unwise bet in the long-term.
Enter, the Connected Data Center
When it comes to connectivity and facilitating the fast, easy flow of data, colocation and built-to-suit data centers are essential. Not only is storage cost effective, data centers that offer their own fast, in-house network connectivity solutions can provide enhanced service, support, flexibility and value.
Because these providers maintain their own network infrastructure, customers are less likely to suffer connectivity issues and more likely to receive tailored service and support when needed. It also eliminates the need for multiple connectivity vendors. Essentially, they enable businesses to focus more on mission-critical activities and less on day-to-day infrastructure management and maintenance.
Flexibility and Reliability
A hyperscaler is just that—a hyper-sized enterprise. As you scale upwards, challenges get more sophisticated data and processing demands grow exponentially. That puts connectivity near the top of the list of data infrastructure priorities.
Many hyperscale customers require specific ISPs or telcos to be present in the data center. However, if a data center can offer its own Information and Communication Technology (ICT) solution in addition to the requirements, they can provide more flexibility, resiliency and faster, more reliable interconnectivity.
Even smaller businesses can benefit from this type of provider. A large hyperscaler like Netflix can likely weather financial storms caused by unforeseen spikes in data and network usage, but a smaller enterprise may not. If connectivity is included within the overall cost of the data center contract, the smaller enterprise is much more insulated against wild cost fluctuations caused by large or unexpected data surges.
Cloud Exchanges Are Connectivity Glue
Cross-connections are fundamental to data center connectivity, allowing one business to exchange data with another. These “handshakes” happen all the time—e-commerce being a very good example.
Data center cloud exchanges are what make the process seamless for end-users. A connected colocation data center can create easy links between entities and simplify cross-connection—reducing cost and latency while increasing security.
For example, if two enterprises (or two parts of the same enterprise that need to communicate) are present in the same data center, they can exchange data through a private link or cross-connect without the public internet at all. That almost eliminates completely the likelihood of a breach while decreasing the distance data has to travel.
Multiple Clouds, Fewer Issues
The public cloud may be right for some situations, but as we've seen, falls short in other areas. That's why many enterprises balance the risk and benefits with a hybrid strategy—colocation data center and cloud. This strategy combines the flexibility, security and processing power of the data center with the cost-effective cold storage of the cloud. Frequently utilized data moves through the data center while infrequently accessed data stays dormant in the cloud.
Finding Your Solution
If your business relies on massive data volumes and processing power for mission-critical activities, connectivity is essential. If you're evaluating whether to invest in a particular data infrastructure solution, here are a few key considerations:
- Is it secure?
- Does it have the infrastructure and resources to minimize latency?
- Does it provide your business with more flexibility?
- Is service (and cost) reliable and fit your needs?
Whether a colocation data center or a hybrid strategy is right for you, taking the time to consider connectivity implications can help you prevent costly missteps in the future.