Cloud computing

How enterprises are leveraging colocation to interconnect to a system of clouds

In the journey to the cloud, colocation can be a good starting point, as it allows enterprises to gradually start moving their applications to the cloud in a step by step manner

While cloud has become extremely popular, not every enterprise has the necessary expertise and need for a cloud-based option. In addition, not all applications (especially homegrown or customized) are fit for the cloud. Economically, also, hosting some legacy applications on cloud does not make business sense as either they need to be re-written for cloud or running them on cloud turns out to be more costly.

A better option is colocation, as it gives enterprises the capability to rent power, cooling and other IT equipment with lower TCO and more efficiency. Colocation allows enterprises the option of renting infrastructure and space for servers and various storage devices at a third-party provider’s facility. Colocation providers provide enterprises with infrastructure, along with other related services, such as physical security, networking, and power and cooling components. Reduction in the overall IT cost, enhanced security for the data, free maintenance of servers, and predictable yearly or monthly costs are some of the key growth drivers for colocation service providers.

In the journey to the cloud, colocation can be a good starting point, as it allows enterprises to gradually start moving their applications to the cloud in a step by step manner. Colocation service providers offer enterprises reliable power, bandwidth and network reliability which can be difficult to manage in their own data centers. In addition, enterprises can also gain from improved efficiency as IT assets are managed and monitored by some of the best IT professionals with huge experience. With real estate, power, bandwidth and associated infrastructure such as UPS units shared among multiple clients, the cost of managing servers comes down drastically. Co-location also offers clients access to enterprise-grade security. This is specifically important as data breaches and attacks have increased in scale and frequency.

In the current scenario, the combination of cloud and colocation is advantageous, as it allows an enterprise to manage workloads without the related high cost of owning a data center. For example, let’s take an example of a bank. While it can run its apps that do not have sensitive customer information on the cloud, it can leverage colocation server hosting for critical and sensitive customer data. This configuration is a win-win model as with colocation, the bank can ensure secured and dedicated platform for business-critical workloads and ensure security and total control of the infrastructure. At the same time, it can tap into the always-on advantage of the cloud.

At a time when remote workers are increasingly accessing corporate applications from their home, low-latency connectivity is crucial. This can be fulfilled by colocation service providers. Colocation service providers can also help enterprises maintain compliance in line with regulatory requirements. For enterprises who already have working legacy infrastructure, it makes more sense to host this in a colocation, rather than going to the cloud.

Ideally, enterprises should choose service providers that have equal expertise of colocation and cloud. This will help enterprises in choosing colocation as a starting step, and then move to the cloud as requirements and needs grow in scale.

By Vimal Kaw, Associate Vice President, Products and Services, NTT-Netmagic

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