The data centre is at the heart of cloud computing – the internet, private networks and cloud computing rely on it for storage and connectivity – so the movement towards cloud computing does not diminish but enhances the strategic value of large scale, high power, high specification, colocation facilities such as NEXTDC’s.
NEXTDC hosts some of the biggest public and private cloud providers in the world, as well as large multi-national companies some of which remain anonymous for security purposes, whose large scale and increasingly low cost services are all driving increased cloud adoption. The cloud providers we work with offer the full selection of public, private and hybrid cloud solutions housed in our national data centre network and delivered though our ecosystem. These providers and the growth of cloud is what drives our business growth. They are not our competitors, they are our customers and strategic partners, and their continued success is an important part of our strategy to be the home of the colo-enabled cloud.
The crucial importance of data to all organisations means data centres are at the core of the IT world. The internet, private networks and the cloud use them for storage and connectivity, and businesses increasingly rely on cloud computing and virtualised IT environments, hosted in any number of data centre locations, for their day-to-day operations. Furthermore, mobile devices, social networks, big data and the Internet of Things are creating unprecedented growth in global data volumes.
The Frost & Sullivan report Australian Data Centre Services Market 2014 states that “A growing trend is for telcos and managed IT service providers to acquire data centre space in carrier neutral providers to supplement their existing data centres. The main carrier neutral data centre service providers will be key drivers of growth.” The report also estimates that over 75 percent of Australian organisations with a data centre service are utilising outsourced providers to some extent.
This is why large scale, highly connected colocation data centres are under increasing pressure to keep up with market demands. Their pivotal role in an organisation’s profitability and competitive success means that data centres and their business ecosystems are expected to enable greater innovation and business transformation than ever before.
Those facing these challenges need to develop ways to improve application and workload management by combining internal, cloud and colocation services into a unified whole. On this journey they will be supported by colocation services that have evolved to meet these needs by supporting high-density computing, remote management, customisation and importantly, access to the data centre’s community of carriers and services providers.
Colocation has traditionally been viewed as a commoditised and standardised service, but today’s business landscape requires a data centre that provides more than the essentials of secure space, power and cooling.
Data centres increasingly need to support flexible deployments and system integration to fulfil their customers’ rapidly changing need to run short-term workloads, build their public and private clouds and migrate applications between them.
Because this happens in an environment where different aspects of a company’s IT operations develop at different speeds in a fluctuating blend of technical, commercial, and operational models, a mixture of colocation and cloud in the one facility has become both a common strategy and a key enabler for further cloud utilisation.
Today, this kind of hybrid cloud strategy has become the standard, providing many organisations with an optimum combination of flexibility and security, and creating the new IT paradigm of cloud supported by colocation.
With flexible-use space, access to significant future power, high-levels of physical security and a diverse ecosystem of cloud service providers and carriers, the best modern colocation facilities have become a one-stop-shop for IT services.
These data centre operators are offering services that can be quickly provisioned in a similar way to the cloud, such as quarter and half racks, online ordering and short-term contracts. Services like these have really opened up the benefits of colocation to a broader range of organisations, and combined with onsite smart hands and project management, means that they don’t even need to set foot in their data centre.
Additionally, many colocation facilities provide marketing support for their customers to complement access to the data centre’s ecosystem community of carriers and services providers – a marketplace itself of potential customers and business partners.
When this ecosystem is combined with the flexible interconnect and carrier infrastructure available from next-generation colocation providers, they allow a company’s IT assets to be unified in a single integrated network to better align with the way they consume cloud services and provide the ideal environment for a customised IT service.
Another major benefit offered by the leading colocation providers are online management portals that deliver on-demand infrastructure analytics and a pipeline for 24/7 customer service. These remote management tools are part of the data centre’s evolution into the software-defined data centre (SDDC), which meets the demand for connectivity and flexibility with standardised hardware and virtualisation to lower costs and decrease complexity.
The result is an environment where compute, storage, networking, security and services are all virtualised and managed by software, and which integrates DCIM functions to give organisations the ability to manage their infrastructure with game-changing efficiency and speed.
Many colocation data centres have now evolved from being another relatively undifferentiated service provider into a business partner with a unique contribution to business profitability. By assisting organisations on a journey to colo-enabled cloud and a more efficient, manageable IT environment under a single service umbrella, the next-generation data centre has a central role to play in helping them realise the true value of their IT service.
Download our thought provoking paper today on the new paradigm of the colo-enabled cloud.
Are you looking for a cloud provider to help build your hybrid strategy? Visit Cloud Centre and connect with one of the world-class cloud providers in our ecosystem. If you would like to talk to NEXTDC about your hybrid cloud journey, contact us today.