When the time comes to migrate their technology stack from an outdated on-premise solution into something better suited to the needs of their business, many companies feel like they have to choose between colocation services and cloud platforms. In reality, however, this is largely a false choice. Thanks to the power of cloud interconnections, colocation data centers are fast becoming the new epicenters of the cloud computing revolution.
What is Cloud Interconnection?
Also known as direct cloud on-ramps, cloud interconnections create a direct link between a private server and a cloud platform. In most instances, the cloud provider operates a public cloud environment. The advantage of the interconnection is that the customer doesn’t have to use a public internet connection or a series of “go-betweens” to connect to cloud resources. There are tremendous security and performance advantages to this approach. In the first place, the connection is much faster because there is less competition for bandwidth. A customer’s servers are connected directly to their cloud assets, completely eliminating any intermediary stops that might result in bottlenecks or increased latency.
Since cloud interconnections bypass the public internet, they are far more secure than other methods of accessing the cloud. Data is not exposed to dangerous “man in the middle” attacks, and the overall connectivity infrastructure is far more reliable. Stronger security means less chance of data loss or a cyberattack that could bring a company to its knees, such as ransomware or DDoS attacks.
How Interconnection Will Change the Future of Colocation
Cloud interconnections typically come in two forms in a data center. They can be facilitated through physical cables that connect a customer’s equipment to a cloud provider’s servers or through virtual connections that use secure, software-defined networks. The second option provides more versatility because it doesn’t require both parties (the cloud customer and the cloud provider) to have assets within the same data center environment.
Although cloud computing services are often treated as a competitor to colocation services, most colocation providers have embraced the potential of cloud computing to provide their customers with unmatched IT flexibility. In fact, a key competitive advantage for a data center is the number of cloud providers available through their interconnection marketplace. This has seen the proliferation of services like Megaport, which provides software-defined networking environments that allow companies to rapidly provision cloud resources and create dynamic hybrid IT environments that meet their evolving business needs.
Advantages of Cloud Interconnection for Data Centers
For many companies, the appeal of migrating into a colocation data center is the ability to gain access to an extensive suite of cloud interconnection options. Private, on-premises data solutions are not only expensive to maintain and quite inefficient in terms of energy usage, but they’re also limited in connectivity. Getting a dedicated interconnection from a major public cloud provider can be quite expensive, usually involving some capital investment in new infrastructure. While that might be viable for an enterprise operating out of a private hyperscale data center, it’s beyond the reach of most small to medium businesses. Even if they could afford to put such a solution in place, the investment would effectively lock them into using it for the foreseeable future and limit their IT flexibility.
Colocation data centers offer a less expensive and more versatile solution. Facilities that have invested in cloud interconnections can deliver a wide range of expansive cloud services to their customers without locking them into a relationship with a single vendor. That benefits both colocation customers, who get to build their network using the best available platforms, and the data centers themselves, which can greatly expand their IT capabilities without having to create their own services from scratch and maintain them.
For example, a data center that wants to offer its customers a disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solution may not be in a position to design the applications and software necessary to deliver it. By partnering with a cloud provider that offers DRaaS services, the data center can set up a cloud interconnection at a fraction of the cost and make the service available to their customers. Even better, adding new cloud interconnections takes far less time than building a new solution from the ground up. This arrangement also allows data centers to focus on the operational tasks that help them to deliver consistent uptime rather than trying to compete with existing cloud services that are already available.
Data centers still have a number of key advantages that make them an attractive option compared to a pure cloud solution. The ability to reduce latency by locating colocation customers closer to their end-users is something no cloud provider can truly match. A quality data center also provides much greater visibility into how computing resources are being utilized and is in a position to be more responsive to their customers’ needs.
How Cloud Interconnection Can Help You Develop a Competitive Advantage as You Adopt the Hybrid Cloud
Colocation customers stand to benefit the most from cloud interconnections within a colocation data center. That’s because it puts a world of innovative technology services at their fingertips. While their essential data and applications can remain on their own private servers, they can build a network within the data center environment that extends far beyond the data floor to incorporate a wide variety of cloud computing platforms.
This is the essence of hybrid IT deployments. They leverage the security and control that only private infrastructure can provide with the dynamic and scalable power of cloud computing. With a truly hybrid IT deployment, organizations can customize their network on the fly, adding or eliminating services as business needs arise. For larger organizations that have many different departmental needs when it comes to their networks, a hybrid IT arrangement allows them to incorporate radically different software capabilities into their network with minimal friction.
With hybrid IT options at their disposal, even smaller companies can rapidly shift their technology priorities to meet the changing demands of their industry and deliver a quality customer experience. They can scale faster by adding cloud capacity and branch into new services to keep pace with changing customer needs. In a world where disruption and change have accelerated for almost every industry, the ability to react quickly and adapt to shifting expectations is critical for any company trying to develop a competitive advantage.
Experience Cloud Interconnection with vXchnge
As an award-winning colocation provider, vXchnge has long believed in the power of cloud interconnections to transform data center services. It’s why we’ve worked hard to provide our customers with lightning-fast direct cloud on-ramps to help customers connect quickly and securely to the platforms they depend on. With multiple data centers located in key growth markets across the country, vXchnge facilities deliver low-latency connectivity that allows our clients to connect to their customers faster and more securely.
Every one of our data centers is engineered for perfection and backed by a 100% uptime reliability SLA. To learn more about the power of cloud interconnections within vXchnge data centers, talk to one of our colocation experts today.
About Tom Banta
Tom is the Senior Vice President of Product Management & Development at vXchnge. Tom is responsible for the company’s product strategy and development.