Colocation data centers provide a wide range of services and advantages to organizations looking to unburden themselves from the expense and hassle of maintaining their own private data infrastructure.
Making the move to a data center is no small step. Aside from the initial questions of server space, rack deployment density, power availability, and cooling capabilities, organizations also need to think about the additional benefits colocation facilities can offer them.
From site monitoring to security, there are plenty of options to consider.
In the midst of all these decisions, however, there’s one simple question that should never be lost in the mix:
Is the data center carrier neutral?
The answer to this question could have profound long-term consequences for an organization’s business. To understand why, it’s important to take a close look at what it actually means for a data center to be carrier neutral.
A colocation data center offers physical and virtual space for companies to store and manage their server and data infrastructure.
In many cases, these companies are running their entire service-based businesses through a data center. By eliminating the high costs of maintaining their own infrastructure, they can focus their existing IT resources on other tasks that provide positive benefits to their business in the form of innovation and research.
But the data center is only one piece of the infrastructure puzzle. The other pieces are the internet service providers (ISPs) that connect an organization’s network to the internet, which allow them to reach customers and conduct everyday business.
A carrier neutral data center is simply a facility that is entirely independent of these network providers. It is not owned and operated by a single ISP, instead offering a wide variety of connection options to its colocation customers.
There are a number of advantages that come from partnering with a carrier neutral data center over a single carrier data center.
First and foremost, carrier neutral facilities generally offer lower connectivity prices. That’s because the data center essentially functions as an ISP marketplace.
By offering multiple connection options to colocation customers, ISPs have a strong competition incentive to keep their prices low and provide better services.
If customers are not pleased with their current ISP, it’s a simple matter of switching providers without disrupting their operations. Furthermore, not all companies require the same level of ISP connection. A carrier neutral facility gives them the opportunity to select the provider that most closely meets their business needs.
The costs of selecting a single carrier data center go beyond price.
With only one carrier to “choose” from, colocation customers can easy fall victim to not just price increases, but also reduced bandwidth and service reliability. Furthermore, the costs of relocating to a new data center must be taken into account.
Even if a single carrier facility’s ISP offers a good price initially, future increases could force an organization to make the expensive switch to another (probably carrier neutral) data center.
In today’s data driven economy, maintaining service uptime is critically important to most companies’ business operations. Carrier neutral facilities offer a level of ISP redundancy that simply isn’t possible with their single carrier counterparts.
By connecting multiple carriers to critical IT systems, organizations can ensure that even in the event of one carrier’s service outage, the other carrier can keep systems up and running and connected without a hitch. More importantly, by blending multiple ISPs together, carrier neutral data centers can provide superior security to protect customers from crippling DDoS attacks and other cybersecurity threats.
This level of service redundancy ensures that companies will be able to keep their operations up and running even under duress.
As organizations grow, they need service partners who can scale along with them. The options provided by a carrier neutral data center allow companies to always match their needs with the ideal ISP, both in terms of service and physical infrastructure.
In a data center deployment, the physical arrangement of cables, routers, and servers can make a difference in performance.
With a carrier neutral environment, companies have all the options they could ever want at their disposal whether they’re just getting established or looking to grow rapidly. With all the advantages offered by carrier neutral data centers, single carrier facilities are finding it increasingly difficult to compete; some are even choosing to make the switch, offering limited carrier neutral services to customers.
For organizations looking to maximize their colocation investment, however, the best option remains a true carrier neutral data center built from the ground up to provide the freedom needed to build the most reliable and cost effective IT infrastructures.
Ernie Sampera is the Chief Marketing Officer at vXchnge. Ernie is responsible for product marketing, external & corporate communications and business development. Ernie brings over 26 years of marketing, sales, channel distribution, program management, strategic alliances, and business development experience to the company. Prior to joining vXchnge, Ernie was Senior Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Switch & Data. Ernie has also held executive marketing and development positions with AT&T IBM, UNISYS, and the American Medical Association.