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5 Ways Colocation Connectivity Can Transform Your Network

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on February 26, 2020

One of the biggest challenges facing any growing company is how to build a network that will be able to meet existing needs and adapt to future challenges. For many organizations, that will mean moving their IT systems out of an on-premises server room and into an entirely new environment. By migrating their servers and equipment to a colocation data center, they can take advantage of colocation connectivity options that provide both tremendous flexibility and security without sacrificing control.

What is Colocation Connectivity?

Today’s colocation facilities are gateways to a true network superhighway. While placing servers in a colo facility offers obvious benefits in the form of reduced power, cooling, and maintenance costs, it’s the extensive connectivity options that many businesses find most appealing. Installing servers within a carrier-neutral data center allows companies to choose their preferred internet and cloud service providers within a competitive marketplace.

Since these providers are already offering connections within the data center environment, colocation customers don’t have to contend with the (often substantial) setup costs of establishing service at their existing on-premises solution. In many cases, setting up an on-premises connection isn’t just expensive, but can also take quite a lot of time to complete. More importantly, many providers aren’t willing to put those connections in place for anything less than an enterprise-grade client. This leaves most organizations stuck with whatever providers happen to be available in their market, regardless of whether or not they meet their specific needs.

With a colocation data center, however, companies can select the exact services they need. In many cases, they can use interconnections to make direct cross-link connections to those providers and avoid the public internet entirely. From a cost, security, and performance standpoint, data center connectivity makes it much easier for organizations to undertake the digital transformation that will help them remain competitive in a rapidly changing business landscape.

5 Ways Colocation Connectivity Can Transform Your Network

1. IT Flexibility

In today’s fast-paced economy, customer needs and expectations are anything but static. Services that are considered cutting edge one day can quickly become table stakes across entire industries, forcing companies to catch up or fall behind their competitors. By establishing IT systems within a data center environment, organizations can position themselves to adapt quickly to the changing demands of the marketplace. Since choosing new connectivity options is a simple matter of purchasing access, building a network within a carrier-neutral infrastructure allows colocation customers to retain maximum IT flexibility, which can be a key differentiator in a disruptive marketplace.

2. Cloud Scalability

Colocation connectivity provides direct on-ramps to leading cloud services. By connecting to these providers, companies can tap into the scalable power of cloud computing. This is particularly valuable during periods of business growth when an organization’s computing needs rapidly outpace its physical capabilities. Rather than going through the lengthy process of purchasing and installing new colocation servers, colo customers can instead use cloud computing to meet their immediate storage and processing needs. Whether they plan to keep growing on the cloud or view cloud services as a stop-gap measure until they can get new physical assets in place, cloud computing connectivity allows them to continue growing when the opportunity arises.

3. Edge Computing

Reliable, low latency services are no longer luxuries for consumers. If an organization cannot deliver them, users aren’t going to wait around for it to address those issues. They’re going to look elsewhere, probably to a competitor. By using colocation solutions to place data and applications closer to end users, companies can reduce latency and minimize points of failure within a network. The same edge computing strategies can also be turned around to help organizations gather and process data more effectively. Keeping data close to the edge of the network where it interacts with users greatly improves performance hand helps companies design better user experiences for their customers.

4. Hybrid Deployments

For companies that want to take advantage of the expansive power of cloud computing but are hesitant to give up the control that comes from managing their own physical servers, colocation solutions make it possible to build complex hybrid cloud and multi-cloud networking deployments. Hybrid architecture involves integration between a private cloud environment and a public cloud service, enabling data to travel easily between the two without compromising security or performance. Carrier-neutral data center environments provide extensive connectivity options for building these networks, whether through direct connections or software-defined network platforms like Megaport.

5. Risk Mitigation

Losing access to critical data and applications can be catastrophic. Many companies don’t recover from these disasters, either because they could not recover critical data or a service outage cost them business that could never be replaced. Organizations with an on-premises data solution are particularly vulnerable to disaster because it can be difficult for them to implement comprehensive risk mitigation strategies. Colocation connectivity allows them to utilize a wide range of redundancy solutions, from cloud-based disaster recovery services to direct interconnections that tie their systems into a backup data center location.

What is the Difference Between Cloud and Colocation Solutions?

Since colocation solutions provide a direct on-ramp to the leading cloud platforms, many business leaders wonder why they shouldn’t instead simply forgo physical infrastructure altogether and migrate all of their IT systems to a cloud environment. There are a number of reasons why adopting a purely cloud-based solution doesn’t make sense for many businesses.

In the first place, migrating assets to the cloud necessarily means surrendering a great deal of control over IT infrastructure. The cloud provider ultimately manages the physical hardware that makes the cloud possible. That means all of a company’s vital data and mission-critical applications are controlled by the cloud service; if there is an outage or critical data needs to be moved elsewhere, organizations could be severely limited by the provider’s terms of service. Speaking of terms of service, companies often migrate systems to the cloud expecting to save costs, but later discover that they’ve locked themselves into a situation where costs can rapidly escalate due to factors beyond their control.

By placing physical assets in a colocation data center, organizations retain control over their data and applications. They also position themselves for maximum flexibility. As long as their assets remain under their direct control, they can utilize a variety of cloud-based services without having to worry about the problems associated with downtime, vendor lock-in, or the nightmare scenario of a cloud provider going out of business.

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