Four Benefits Emerging From Enterprise Distributed Data Center Strategies
While some of us may remember pre-pandemic days and long for what life was like before 2019, the ‘new normal’ is more embedded in our lives, habits, and preferences than we may realize. For businesses, consumers want to get goods and services delivered faster, wherever they are located, and they prefer them through digital channels. Increased business digitization has ushered in a new digital transformation era for businesses.
To meet the moment, businesses are shifting focus from developing their own data center environments and increasingly turning to third-party providers to utilize distributed computing environments to store and manage mission-critical workloads.
Storing data in a single data center is no longer feasible. Though internal data centers may not be disappearing entirely to power next-generation digital products or services, businesses are transforming their foundational IT architecture for greater flexibility. Companies benefit from combining cloud and colocation data centers to meet their varied workloads’ cost, performance, network, and application requirements.
Enterprise Business Data Is More Distributed Than Ever Before
For much of the past decade, enterprises trended toward owning and managing on-site data centers to power their business. IT infrastructure was centralized and remained close to the core.
Digital services have evolved, becoming more complex and interconnected as data center needs proliferated beyond the headquarters or main office. Lightning-fast services are required at the edge of user networks. Software solutions or cloud providers deliver services for fast-moving and agile workloads. Colocation expands data center resilience and offers a suite of added services to complement enterprise IT strategies. Ultimately, the single centralized model has evolved into a multi-faceted and distributed IT model.
The disadvantages of solely utilizing on-premises data centers can adversely impact the businesses’ ability to compete in a digital marketplace. In this arena, public cloud and colocation providers emerge as powerful contenders for the ideal next stop for businesses’ workloads because they fuel technological breakthroughs in the digital age, allowing businesses to increase productivity, prosper, and reach new markets.
Implementing a hybrid or distributed data center strategy allows companies to transition their IT focus toward innovation when the costs of data center ownership, ongoing maintenance challenges, and upgrade requirements can be avoided.
Here are the top reasons that distributed enterprise IT strategies offer greater potential for performance, interconnection, and faster deployment.
Outsourcing Data Center Services Delivers Lower Total Cost of Ownership
Building and maintaining on-premises IT infrastructure creates numerous new fixed and variable costs. Not only must businesses pay to acquire servers, commercial-grade cooling equipment, power generation systems, and more, but they must also pay to update software, maintain components, and retain experienced IT staff who monitor and immediately remedy problems. This makes an on-premises strategy’s TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) expensive. Shortcuts to match budgets can quickly result in subpar equipment or designs, low reliability, or unmet compliance standards, to name a few challenges.
When a business contracts or leases data center space, they only pay for the data center resources they use. Yet, they can leverage a multi-million-dollar infrastructure solution that comes fully operational with expert design and facility management teams, a suite of carriers already in-house, and professionally managed solutions.
Tenant Shared Data Centers Are Built for Scalability
Every business dreams of the day they have so much demand they can’t keep up; it can be a real nightmare when it happens to businesses that haven’t been preparing well in advance to scale their data center build. While time and money can technically be reallocated to add capacity to an on-premises data center, the business opportunity may already be gone by the time capacity is added. In an era of high data center demand and supply chain shortages, top-level providers are planning years in the future to deploy and operate new IT infrastructure for businesses that require responsive growth timelines.
With outsourced data center services, customers don’t need to build out additional power and cooling support, add more IT employees, and design modern and highly efficient facilities because on-demand resources are already available through their chosen third-party suppliers. Instead, they need only expand their hardware footprint within their colocation facility or provision additional cloud resources. Off-site configuration is designed to accommodate customers’ growth requirements with flexibility and added services that are difficult to replicate with an HQ data center.
Data Center Providers Lead in Security & Compliance Standards
The sheer scope of some compliance standards, coupled with the increasing sophistication of cyberattacks, creates a quagmire for organizations who wish to keep their on-premise data centers compliant or secure. Colocation data centers and cloud platforms can dedicate more of their resources to protect their customers’ IT assets and maintain a variety of regulatory protocols to match different industries. Annual compliance attestation reports from independent auditors are available upon request for customers to safeguard their critical IT.
There is little margin for error when maintaining compliance in a data center. Advanced security measures include layered security zones, biometric access, camera and surveillance systems, and advanced monitoring capabilities to detect and notify any possible building or system emergencies. Data centers must comply with stringent and comprehensive daily operating protocols for systems, facility, and site teams. Facility management also requires continual documentation to confirm audit renewal and certification. Additionally, organizations should feel empowered to ask about how often their data centers renew their certifications to track their commitment.
Colocation Delivers Uncompromising Uptime Resilience For The Modern Marketplace
An increasing usage of digital services, combined with the growing sophistication of cyber threats, requires businesses to invest in redundant infrastructure to have services and data available at all times. Redundant systems don’t only apply to power redundancy. Cooling equipment must have backups and fail safes. Networks can ensure reliability with diverse fiber pathways and blended carrier solutions over private networks. Unfortunately, most on-prem facilities lack redundancies or fail-safe procedures to provide continuous uptime. This is especially troublesome in the current climate, where the cost of downtime is reported to be at least $5,600 per minute.
While colocation uptime often outperforms cloud, with 100% uptime guarantees that better the standard 99.9% standards for public cloud providers, the ability to depend on high availability performance is a leading reason businesses choose to outsource their data center needs. Both cloud and colocation environments can also provide much more robust physical security than on-premises facilities by guarding against insider threats and unauthorized facility access. Some colocation data centers offer disaster recovery solutions to augment your business’s uptime resilience capabilities further.
Building A Network Connectivity Ecosystem
Enterprises rely on networks to connect data and services across fiber backbones. Bringing the right carriers or combination of long-haul providers and cloud providers in-house is prohibitive for most businesses. Conversely, data centers bring many network providers and solutions together in meet-me rooms, offering services and network redundancy that is only a cross-connect away. Customers benefit from a single point of entry to a suite of network providers without building out those networks, with each carrier inside its own data centers.
Access to ample connectivity isn’t the only thing hindering business strategies. Businesses that rely solely on the public internet to transmit data struggle with variable performance. Limited access to the right carriers can equally limit the national and global reach, and single-access solutions are vulnerable to downtime events with the network.
Choosing a carrier-neutral provider may be important for high-growth businesses that want to leverage the wide variety of providers, blended IP solutions, and multi-cloud connections between their data center and cloud services. Enterprises that congregate and interconnect IT services and resources within carrier-neutral environments realize greater flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
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