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How is the Cloud Transforming Data Centers?

By: Ernest Sampera on February 13, 2019

Cloud computing has upended many “truisms” of IT infrastructure. Where the potential for market growth was once limited by the amount of computing hardware a company was able to invest in, many of today’s organizations have been able to ditch their physical infrastructure altogether. As the various forms of cloud computing services become increasingly important to their operations, companies are looking for creative solutions that address their specific business needs.

Data centers have the resources needed to step into this role. Whether they’re offering infrastructure solutions as a direct partner or simply providing the platform for a third party to build a customized solution for clients, data centers are transforming and adapting to the needs of today’s market in order to facilitate the very best cloud computing experiences.

Data Center as a Service

The versatility offered by cloud computing has led many data centers to reposition themselves as platforms capable of solving a wide array of IT challenges. Far from a mere storehouse for data and computing equipment, today’s data centers are designed to empower their customers and provide the infrastructure they need, regardless of their size or market needs. Whether through building hybrid cloud and multi-cloud environments or empowering edge computing architectures, the data center as a service (DCaaS) model allows customers to build solutions that are ideal for their business needs. This a la carte approach to IT infrastructure has been a boon for managed service providers (MSPs) with the expertise to bundle customized services using the array of options presented by a DCaaS facility.

Software Defined Data Centers

With many companies looking to shift away from managing physical infrastructure entirely and rely exclusively on the cloud, data centers have had to find new ways of accommodating those needs. One solution has come through server virtualization, the practice of virtualizing computing assets and segmenting them to allow many different “virtual” servers to run on a single machine. For companies who want to access the power of cloud computing, but want to retain the security and control that comes with having a private network, software defined data centers (SDDCs) can deliver the best of both worlds. More importantly, SDDCs make it easier than ever for smaller organization to scale their IT infrastructure to accommodate business growth. By virtualizing IT resources within the data center environment, facilities can provide a wide range of cloud computing and DCaaS options to build the ideal solution for any company.

Colocation Connectivity

Cloud computing may offer a lot of advantages, but many companies still prefer to store their valuable data and manage their infrastructure on physical equipment that they own. For these organizations, colocation services through a data center are an ideal solution. Not only do data centers provide excellent physical security to safeguard against data breaches, but they also offer myriad connectivity options to industry-leading cloud computing platforms. In many cases, they can even build a hybrid cloud or multi-cloud solution that allows companies to leverage the security and control of a private network while still having speedy access to the software and platform services they need. These new colocation solutions are only one way data centers are transforming to accommodate cloud computing.

The Internet of Things

The miniaturization of processing power has made it possible for companies to deploy internet-connected devices with the power to gather huge amounts of data and actually generate insights and responses based on it. Building the infrastructure that allows these internet of things (IoT) devices to operate on the edge of cloud networks, however, is quite a challenge. Data centers are uniquely positioned to facilitate growth in the IoT market. The combination of edge data centers that extend the reach of networks and edge computing architectures that streamline data management makes it easier to maximize the potential of IoT devices. Once implemented, these solutions can help companies deliver better services to their clients and capitalize on the data they’re gathering throughout their cloud-based infrastructure.

While data centers still stand ready to provide their more traditional storage and computing services, most of today’s facilities have adapted to the cloud-based needs of their customers. By redefining what it means to be a data center and rethinking the types of solutions they offer, these facilities will find ways to build services that help organizations of all sizes accomplish their goals more effectively and efficiently.

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