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Google's Last Mile — Colocation Hosting Goes the Distance

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on July 14, 2014

Data transfer requirements are skyrocketing, especially over the last mile — the final stretch between a local service provider and your business. As a result, several large Internet providers have proposed a 'tiered' system in which vendors with high data streaming requirements, such as Netflix, must pay more for faster speeds. Opposed to this idea are proponents of Net Neutrality, who wants all data treated equally regardless of size, type or company of origin. Search giant Google has its own answer, taken from the pages of data center experts: Colocation hosting.

Getting Your Fiber?

According to a recent Slashgear article, the plan goes like this: Businesses with high data streaming requirements house their servers alongside Google's — for free — and take advantage of the company's gigabit transfer speeds via Fiber. The search giant says that this kind of colocation has a minimal impact on their own server loads and could help eliminate the need for 'fast' and 'slow' lanes on the Internet: If everyone has access to speedy service, the problem of a two tiered model disappears.

No Slowdown

Of course, not every city has access to Fiber, and not every company has a Google server farm nearby. But not all companies have the bandwidth requirements of a Netflix or an Akamai — and if you're not streaming video or transferring massive files, what's the big rush?

As noted by Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI), however, there's a data explosion on the horizon. By 2018, the company predicts more than four billion people (half the world's population) will regularly use the Internet. What's more, the average mobile broadband speed will increase to 42 megabytes per second (Mpbs) and IP video traffic will dominate the Web, representing almost 80 percent of all Internet traffic. Bottom line? More users and faster connections mean the expectation of speed from end-to-end.

The Right Start

It's no longer enough to keep pace; companies need to future-proof their ability to send and receive large volumes of data in very short amounts of time. Carrier-neutral colocation is one viable option, letting you pick the ideal provider for your needs while simultaneously taking advantage of a physically secure and continuously-monitored environment. Scalability is also critical. Increased server densities and networking demands mean you need more power; the ideal colocation hosting provider supports standard cabinets from 5 to 20 kW with the option to scale up as required.

Cisco's predictions and Google's efforts make it clear: Data transfer from company servers to last mile must be lightning-fast and without interruption. To achieve this goal, Google is jumping on the colocation hosting bandwagon, showcasing what many companies already know: It's possible to own cabinets, rent space, and get the best of both worlds.

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