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“Data Center as a Service” (DCaaS): The Future of Colocation

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on March 28, 2019

The challenges of maintaining a private IT infrastructure have long pushed organizations to consider alternative options to meet their data and computing needs. While there are certainly benefits to using an on-premises data solution, the significant cost of building this infrastructure is beyond the reach of most startups and smaller companies. For many of these companies, cloud providers once seemed like the ideal solution, but concerns about data availability and security have caused some to reconsider the public cloud.

Fortunately, there is an alternative. Colocation data centers can provide companies with all the power and control they expect from an on-premises solution as well as the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the cloud. With the data center as a service (DCaaS) model, today’s data center providers are finding ways to offer compelling solutions for fast-growing organizations looking to compete in an increasingly crowded market where speed and adaptability are critical to success.

5 Reasons Why DCaaS is the Future of Colocation Data Centers

Hybrid & Multi-Cloud Solutions

Despite the appeal of shifting resources to public cloud providers, many organizations are still wary about giving up the control that comes with maintaining their own private cloud. In some instances, it simply makes more sense to store business-critical data and processes in a private cloud environment. For these companies, hybrid cloud architectures implemented through a colocation provider offer an ideal solution. Combining the scalable flexibility of the public cloud with the increased security and control of a private cloud, hybrid cloud environments make it easy to transport data and applications between the two as needed over encrypted connections that limit exposure.

Of course, sometimes one cloud just isn’t enough. Many companies need to utilize multiple cloud services to meet different business needs. For these customers, a multi-cloud solution that incorporates several cloud providers into a single network is an ideal solution. Whether building these networks through a single vendor or piecing together a “best of breed” system, DCaaS colocation providers can design cloud networks that meet the specific needs of even the most complex organizations.

Setting up a private cloud, however, can be quite a challenge for smaller organizations. The servers and equipment needed to manage a private cloud are both expensive and time-consuming to maintain. Colocation data centers offer a great solution for companies fortunate enough to own this equipment, allowing them to rent rack space and relieve their IT professionals from the burden of maintaining their network infrastructure. Traditionally, though, companies without these resources had to rely on the public cloud for all their computing needs.

With DCaaS offerings, even the smallest organizations can reap the benefits of cloud deployments. Server virtualization makes it possible for colocation providers to build the virtual private networks these companies need to structure their data and computing operations in ways that allow them to punch well above their weight. Rather than waiting to invest in computing hardware, they can instead dedicate their resources into innovations that drive their business forward.

Cost Controls

By essentially off-loading IT infrastructure to a data center, DCaaS allows companies to lower their capital costs significantly. They can also ensure that they’re not burdening themselves with unnecessary costs, paying only for the capacity they need based on their short-term and long-term needs. For organizations looking to scale their data operations over time, DCaaS options allow them to get started right away rather than waiting until they’re in a position to make an investment. Every moment they spend waiting to act is a moment their competitors are potentially moving past them.

Partnering with a colocation data center also presents clear cost savings compared to building a private data center. Even if a company planned to operate its IT infrastructure without obtaining additional space, squeezing servers into existing space (the infamous “data closet”), simply running all that computing equipment can carry a high cost in terms of energy usage. Furthermore, in-house servers generally operate less efficiently and carry a far greater carbon footprint in terms of sustainability. Combined with inefficient cooling and power management, these units end up being quite expensive to operate on an ongoing basis.

Always-On Services

Data centers are designed from the ground-up to offer continuous, unmatched uptime. This is critical for companies that count on reliable networks to deliver services to clients. In addition to the significant financial costs, unexpected downtime can cause serious damage to even a well-established company. Relying purely on the public cloud leaves companies exposed to outages, rendering them helpless and without any alternatives when something goes wrong. There’s also the danger that a public cloud provider may go out of business altogether.

With DCaaS hybrid or multi-cloud architecture within a colocation data center, a combination of backups and redundancies afford some flexibility that allows companies to keep their services up and running. Furthermore, having colocation provider’s remote hands personnel standing by to manage physical IT assets makes it easier to identify potential problems and deal with them quickly to avoid costly service disruption.

Unmatched Agility

Scalability always presents a problem for IT infrastructures. It’s one thing for a company to make plans to expand its services, but increasing the server and computing capacity to make those plans a reality is quite another. For organizations operating within their own private data center, their growth potential is forever limited by their existing IT infrastructure; if they don’t have the capacity to expand operations, then they simply can’t do it. Furthermore, this hard limitation makes it difficult to react to changes in the market, causing them to miss out on opportunities and potentially waste substantial resources investing in infrastructure they need today, but might not need tomorrow.

 By partnering with a colocation data center through a DCaaS relationship, companies can ensure that they get the IT resources they need at the exact moment they need them. Scaling their operations up or down is a simple matter of adjusting monthly billing rather than planning a long-term investment in expensive equipment that will continue to incur costs even if it isn’t being used to its fullest extent.

Superior Security

In addition to providing superior uptime, colocation providers are committed to maintaining the highest levels of security for their clients. When a company enters into a relationship with a data center, it isn’t just getting access to equipment; it’s also entering a network environment built to ensure maximum security on both physical and digital fronts. From proactive protections against cyber threats like Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks to secure perimeters and server rooms, data centers are modern-day fortresses of the digital age. 

For companies looking to ensure regulatory compliance with various federal laws, data centers incorporate compliance assurances into their everyday operations and policies. By colocating or utilizing DCaaS offerings, companies can avoid much of the worry and headache associated with fulfilling compliance needs.

Today’s colocation data centers offer comprehensive services that can help organizations keep their costs under control while maintaining maximum flexibility. While the traditional colocation provider approach will continue to be valuable for companies with existing IT infrastructure, the extensive options provided by DCaaS will surely make data centers an increasingly attractive option for companies of all sizes.

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