While data centers have been around a lot longer than the cloud, it’s hard to separate them from one another in our current IT world. Data centers make cloud computing possible and offer customers a wide range of options for connecting to cloud services. Despite these connections, however, data centers don’t always do enough to highlight the ways in which they can better serve customers looking to take advantage of cloud computing.
Data centers possess tremendous versatility and power that allows them to leverage cloud computing in ways that can solve a variety of problems for today’s organizations. Whether they’re offering services directly or partnering with managed service providers (MSPs) to deliver bundled services, data centers can offer an on-ramp to the cloud for businesses of all sizes.
Many organizations depend on cloud computing for critical operations but have reservations about data security in a public environment. From downtime concerns and data breach fears to lack of control over their assets in the public cloud, companies are looking for data center solutions that offer privacy and security while providing access to critical cloud computing services. Hybrid cloud deployments give them the best of both worlds, storing their valuable data and proprietary applications in a secure network environment and transferring it into a public cloud only when necessary. With proper encryption protocols in place, their data can remain secure and protected from service outages.
For many companies, one cloud simply isn’t enough. Different departments within an organization often have different needs, causing them to turn to a variety of cloud computing providers to meet them. Rather than establishing a scattershot array of relationships that require separate protocols and access standards, a data center can build a comprehensive multi-cloud environment to bring these functions into a single network. Data can remain protected while still being made available for a variety of cloud computing services, streamlining operations and enhancing visibility throughout an organization.
Today’s data centers offer a huge variety of IT infrastructure services that companies can take advantage of to enhance their operations. Partnering with a data center to access cloud services and build network environments that deliver high levels of uptime and robust scalability can ensure that companies get the IT resources they need precisely when they need them. For companies looking to move on from on-premises solutions or private data centers, data center as a service (DCaaS) facilities can deliver cost-effective solutions that provide a level of flexibility they simply couldn’t deliver on their own. When it comes to cloud services, the data center as a service model allows customers and MSPs to build solutions that meet their exact business needs rather than settling for “good enough” alternatives.
Server virtualization has fundamentally transformed the way data centers deliver cloud services. Software defined data centers (SDDCs) make it possible for even the smallest businesses to put their IT infrastructure in the best possible environment for it to deliver results and grow to meet their future needs. Virtualization allows data centers to manage customer resources more effectively than ever in a cloud environment, providing a finely-tuned level of control over storage and processing resources as well as visibility into power usage and traffic.
When companies make the decision to store their IT assets with a colocation data center, a new world of connectivity options opens up to them. Blended ISP connections provide substantial protection against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks to ensure that organizations can keep customer data safe and avoid the damaging effects of system downtime. For colocation customers utilizing Microsoft Azure, ExpressRoute connectivity allows them to plug directly into Microsoft’s cloud servers, bypassing the public internet completely to minimize latency and deliver unparalleled security. The rich cloud and ISP connectivity options available in a data center environment help to keep costs low and help both individual customers and MSPs to build the services that make the most sense for their business goals
Streaming content providers and organizations venturing into the burgeoning internet of things (IoT) market can’t rely on the cloud architectures of the last decade. They need to push key processing functions to the edge of their networks and incorporate strategically located edge data centers into their networks to deliver faster, more efficient services. Edge computing relocates key processing functions to the edge of the network, where data is gathered, rather than routing all of it back to centralized servers. Data centers can use their unique blend of connectivity and cloud provider options to build the edge computing networks that companies need to help IoT devices reach their full potential.
As more organizations seek to take advantage of the power and potential of cloud computing, data centers are well positioned to deliver those services. By leveraging their virtualization, computing, and connectivity options, data centers and their MSP partners can build a variety of bundled services that solve critical pain points and give companies the tools they need to gain a competitive edge in the future.