How to Build a Thriving Digital Ecosystem in a Data Center Environment
By: Ernest Sampera on July 20, 2021
The days of self-contained network environments have long since given way to a new breed of digital ecosystems that allow organizations to expand their reach far beyond their own infrastructure. Creating those ecosystems, however, can be quite a challenge. Most on-premises data solutions simply lack the capacity to accommodate them, and few organizations can afford to build and maintain the hyperscale-class data centers that are commonly associated with the most vibrant digital ecosystems. For most companies, migrating their assets into a colocation facility offers the best path to enhancing their network flexibility and potential.
Colocation vs On-Premises
Many IT operations managers are understandably hesitant to migrate from an on-prem data environment to a colocation facility that’s managed by a third party. They may be concerned about losing access, visibility, or control over infrastructure. What they often don’t consider, however, is just how little control they likely have over their infrastructure already. Unless they’re operating out of an enterprise-grade hyperscale facility with state-of-the-art cooling technology and automated environmental controls, their data solution will struggle with efficiency. That translates into higher power and cooling costs, to say nothing of maintaining consistent system uptime. Migrating into a colocation facility that was built with efficiency in mind and can leverage scale to reduce energy costs helps to make operation expenses much more manageable.
A quality colocation data center also offers far more transparency into server performance than most on-prem facilities can manage. Intelligent monitoring systems like vXchnge’s award-winning in\site platform use a combination of IoT sensors and software tools to constantly evaluate the status of every server and network connection. With organizations increasingly transitioning to remote work environments, having the ability to monitor the status of equipment in real-time simply by logging into a web portal is invaluable. And should any maintenance or work need to be done, experienced remote hands teams can quickly resolve any issues, which frees up IT personnel and operations managers to focus on other tasks.
Understanding The Colocation Digital Ecosystem
While colocation solutions offer plenty of advantages in terms of the physical infrastructure that delivers power and cooling, many companies stand to gain even more from the facility’s digital ecosystem. Carrier-neutral data centers are hubs of connectivity that provide tremendous flexibility for tenants looking to expand their services and reach new customers. Unlike an on-premises solution, which requires organizations to make a substantial capital investment to set up every potential connectivity option, colocation customers can simply pick and choose from an array of pre-existing options.
Direct Cloud On-Ramps
As more companies adopt cloud strategies that involve some form of multi-cloud or hybrid cloud deployment, having easy access to the leading cloud service providers on the market is critically important. In many cases, software defined networks (SDNs) can be quickly configured to connect colocated servers to a multitude of cloud applications. Services like Microsoft’s Azure ExpressRoute can even help companies bypass open internet connections when they tap into cloud services, which provides substantial benefits in terms of speed and security. A thriving digital ecosystem requires extensive connectivity options, and colocation facilities are one of the easiest ways to access them.
Business Continuity Backups
System downtime can be devastating for any organization. That’s why it’s critical to have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place to ensure that critical data will always be backed up and vital services will remain available as much as possible. In addition to backing up their infrastructure with service level agreements (SLAs), colocation data centers can also provide multiple backup solutions. This is especially true of providers that maintain multiple data centers in diverse geographic locations. They can offer both hot site and cold site backup options while ensuring that data will remain available in the event of a disaster event.
Sometimes organizations can’t afford to tolerate any latency or security risks when connecting to cloud services or vendors. This is often true of many financial services organizations that rely on high-speed connectivity and face security compliance issues that limit what data they can expose to a public internet connection. For these cases and other situations where speed and security are vital, the digital ecosystem of a colocation facility can accommodate customer needs with cross-connections that create physical, point-to-point connections between servers. Not only do these connections offer superior performance, but they also reduce the potential points of failure in a network system, which helps to boost uptime reliability for software services.
Edge Computing Access
Building a thriving digital ecosystem for any network service requires tremendous flexibility when it comes to workload placement. Centralizing all processing functions in the core of a network will often result in significant latency and other performance issues. Colocation data centers can expand the reach of digital ecosystems by pushing key processing workloads closer to the edge of the network where end users are located. Installing servers in edge facilities not only cuts down on latency, but also reduces processing demands on the core network.
As digital services become increasingly specialized, organizations are more likely to turn to managed service providers (MSPs) to handle different aspects of their network and infrastructure. From managing databases and cybersecurity to maintaining disaster recovery services, MSPs can perform a variety of functions that make life much easier for IT operations managers. Incorporating those vendors into a cohesive digital ecosystem is much easier in a colocation data center environment. Quality colocation providers generally have established relationships with highly-rated MSPs who are already embedded within the data center ecosystem. That means services can be ramped up quickly and combined with other colocation services like cross-connections and cloud integrations.
Build Your Ideal Digital Ecosystem with vXchnge
vXchnge data centers are designed from the ground up to provide the ideal digital ecosystem for today’s business needs. Our facilities are engineered for perfection and backed by 100% uptime SLAs to ensure data availability and continuity for your digital services. All vXchnge customers get access to in\site intelligent monitoring, which allows them to evaluate every aspect of their infrastructure and quickly provision new cross-connections and access cloud on-ramps. Thanks to our nationwide data center footprint, you can easily set up backup sites to ensure business continuity and expand your digital ecosystem with edge computing deployments.