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What Data Center Transformation Means for Your Network

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on September 3, 2020

Transformation is a term that gets applied to many different organizations undergoing significant technological change. It emphasizes the ways in which many businesses are adapting their operations to manage disruption more effectively as well as position themselves to take advantage of new opportunities made possible by technological innovations. As might be expected, companies in the tech sector often find themselves on the leading edge of transformation. That’s why being aware of data center transformation has been so important for companies looking to position themselves for future success in a rapidly changing economy.

What is Data Center Transformation?

Organizations have long depended on data centers to manage their IT systems. In many cases, they housed their essential hardware within a private facility that required significant capital investment to build. Although these data centers gave them full control over their infrastructure, they tended to be inefficient in terms of energy usage and limited when it came to connectivity. They may have stored the servers that kept the company’s network running, but they didn’t offer much in the way of flexibility.

Today’s data center industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Organizations are moving out of their aging, inefficient private data centers in favor of more sophisticated colocation facilities that incorporate the latest in data center design and technology. These newer, more versatile facilities are judged less on their technical specifications (although those are still important!) and more on the basis of what they allow their customers to do.

Measuring Data Center Transformation

In a traditional data center, only three characteristics were really worth discussing were “space, power, and pipe.” These qualities determined the size of the facility, how much equipment it could supply with energy, and how much bandwidth it could deliver. Data center transformation has encouraged organizations to ask more from their colocation facilities.

Infrastructure Monitoring

The biggest area of consideration is infrastructure monitoring. One of the reasons companies are often hesitant to migrate their stack into a colocation data center is the fear of losing visibility and control over their IT systems. And while there should be some concern over how much transparency a colocation provider extends to their customers, it’s important to remember that many on-premises data centers don’t always provide much in the way of visibility. Just because a facility is private doesn’t mean it’s easier to see what’s actually happening on the data floor. Power inefficiencies may be hard to spot and monitoring tools may not be in place to deliver real-time information on performance.

Thanks to intelligent monitoring platforms like vXchnge’s award-winning in\site, data center transformation is providing organizations with an entirely new way to look at their data center deployment. Having a fully transparent infrastructure allows them to monitor power and bandwidth utilization in real-time and generate reports over any time-span to identify fluctuations and trends that make capacity planning much easier.

Connectivity Options

With cloud computing services becoming so essential for many businesses, connectivity options have become a key consideration when evaluating a data center partner. The days of single-carrier data centers that are served by only one ISP and lack direct on-ramps to the cloud are quickly coming to an end. Versatility is an important part of data center transformation, and any facility that doesn’t allow its customers to choose from multiple ISPs or cloud service providers will struggle to win over and keep clients.

Today’s companies leverage multiple cloud platforms on a regular basis to meet the needs of their customers. It’s no longer enough to simply have a server rack or two hosting a network. Opportunities come and go quickly, and organizations that can’t tap into the scalable power of cloud computing can easily be left in the dust by competitors who have the flexibility to adapt their IT capabilities through multiple cloud providers. When it comes to measuring data center transformation, having the right connectivity options can help a facility (and their customers) do far more than might be apparent from their physical infrastructure.

Size Matters

In a very simplistic sense, a large hyperscale data center provides more options and services to an organization. These massive facilities are able to leverage economies of scale to keep their prices low and offer every connectivity and intelligent monitoring option a company could ask for. Hyperscale data centers typically utilize the most advanced power and cooling infrastructure as well as state-of-the-art security and access to just about every cloud provider imaginable.

But bigger isn’t always better, especially when it comes to data centers. One fascinating aspect of data center transformation has been the emphasis on latency and edge computing architecture. While hyperscale data centers offer a number of important advantages, some companies are better served by smaller facilities that can be located closer to end-users, which cuts down on latency. Whether it’s edge data centers located in growing markets or innovative micro data-centers positioned at a more local level to reduce latency and enhance reliable connectivity, data center transformation can take many different forms to help organizations adapt their network systems to meet business needs.

What Data Center Transformation Means for Your Business

For many companies, data center transformation necessarily begins with migration into a third-party colocation facility. Most private data centers are either too outdated or inefficient to be transformed in a way that meets the needs of today’s businesses. By turning to innovative colocation data centers that have embraced true transformation, companies can unlock the potential of cutting-edge technology to build networks that meet the diverse needs of their customers.

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