• The Power of a Strong Data Center Network Ecosystem

    • e-shelter innovation lab
Shoieb Yunus

What should you look for in a strong network ecosystem? The most crucial aspect is that data center clients should be able to connect to cloud service providers (CSPs), their vendors and partners, and their own network assets through a private connection, without going over public Internet, on a global level.

According to a Gartner report “By 2022, 60% of enterprise IT infrastructures will focus on centers of data, rather than traditional data centers.”

We live in an ever-changing world of information technology that is impacting every aspect of our life. Gartner writes that infrastructures of the future will not be architected based on existing topologies, rather they will be deployed on a global scale, driven by business requirements and unspecific IT vendors. The end result will be an environment that is focused on enabling the rapid deployment of business services (by the business) and deploying workloads to the right locations, for the right reasons, at the right price. That means you need a data center that has a scalable infrastructure connected to a robust global ecosystem. 

Strong network fabrics connecting one data center to another -- locally, nationally or globally, enable you to connect your IT deployments across disparate data centers. These networks can be short-haul and cross a metropolitan area or long haul to connect across the country or even overseas. Whether you are planning a data center migration, disaster recovery or workload distribution, you need a strong network fabric to future-proof your IT strategy. Infrastructure must allow the enterprises to do what they need to do, when they need to do it, anywhere in the world. 

On the other hand, interconnection offers scalability and cost savings for the growing needs of enterprise customers. With an interconnection platform, retail and wholesale colocation environments can be connected to multiple cloud providers (multi-cloud) and multiple cloud locations (availability zones). This design opens the door to unique options for companies to architect their IT environments to optimize resiliency and availability while minimizing cost and complexity. Virtualization via Software-Defined Network (SDN), Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN) enables new services and capabilities to be created in minutes, not in days or weeks. The way Gartner says, we need to create an environment where the role of IT is to deliver the right service, at the right pace, from the right provider, at the right price. And data centers, as the hub of all things critical, become the critical delivery vehicle for these services. 

As an example of how important a strong data center ecosystem is, let’s take a look at Dallas, the #3 data center location in the world. Dallas is a destination market for data centers, meaning enterprises and cloud companies want to include Dallas as part of their global data center footprint. These companies need to distribute applications around the world for maximum performance and reliability. In a recent market report, Cushman & Wakefield ranked Dallas as #2 for global fiber connectivity, right behind Silicon Valley. 

For this strategy to work, a strong network ecosystem is key. Our Dallas TX1 Data Center is carrier neutral with a number of onsite carriers as well as dark fiber connections to the local carrier hotels, providing access to over 70 carriers and global interconnectivity.  For global, secure networks, our clients can use NTT’s Arcstar Universal One virtual private network (VPN), which offers high-quality, global network coverage in over 190 countries. In addition, TX1 is connected with our campuses in Sacramento, California; Ashburn, Virginia; and data center campuses under development in Hillsboro, Oregon; Silicon Valley; and Chicago, so workloads can be distributed, balanced and backed up across the country. Lastly, we offer secure, dedicated connections to the world’s largest cloud providers and a number of SaaS and content providers.

To sum up, it’s clear that the hybrid computing model combining data centers and clouds with a global, seamless, and secure network is the direction that corporate IT is heading. To support hybrid computing, data centers have evolved beyond space, power, telecommunications, and security. Data centers have become a critical infrastructure platform for both cloud providers and enterprises. And locations like Dallas have become integral parts of every data center’s network strategy.