Anyone who has been in the “colo” (colocation) industry for some time can attest that things are changing. As technology skyrockets businesses and enterprises into new territory like cloud storage, DCIM, and the Internet of Things, our business tends to follow. It has to. It’s our job as a data center company to evolve for and with our clientele. If we don’t, we’re doing them (and ourselves) a huge disservice.
After all, we’re responsible for keeping clients’ data and systems up-and-running and secure, and we can’t meet those needs if we’re behind the times. However, lately these hot, new trends are revolutionizing the colocation industry in a big way. Businesses are requiring more freedom than ever before as they seek mobility features and mass storage capabilities that can flex to their unique needs.
Skylink Data Centers has evolved to meet the needs of 21st century computing. We realize that colo is growing in popularity among not just private enterprises, but commercial businesses -large and small – who desire fast, reliable, secure services without the monumental price tag of owning their own data center facility and equipment.
But is your data center provider doing the same? Here’s a rundown of some of the colocation industries biggest changes, and why it’s important for those in the data storage and management business to keep up with the times:
We’re Pitching to a New Kind of Client—And They’re Tech-Savvy
Gone are the days where the data center’s staff possessed the only IT expertise between the service provider and the client. Most large businesses now have an IT expert on staff to help manage daily operations. That means data center representatives will be interfacing directly with people who “talk the talk and walk the walk.”
These employees often become major decision-makers in the relationship between data center and client, working with the colocation facility to properly manage the business’ IT operations. That means you can’t have your data center run by novices. No matter how dependable your technology may be, it needs to be managed by knowledgeable and certified IT administrators and engineers. Otherwise, your clientele is going to know more than you—and that won’t sit well with prospective or existing subscribers to your services. Nor should it.
DCIM Tools and Flexible Services
Data Center Infrastructure Management, or DCIM, bridges the gap between IT and facilities management. These valuable tools have allowed data center providers to better manage operating costs, work more efficiently, proactively monitor and react more quickly to issues and maximize savings to clients. One of the most significant tool in any DCIM solution allows for the monitoring and collection of information about power consumption. For data centers, this helps manage daily operations by providing insight into power usage – down to the rack level. DCIM provides detailed reporting to clients giving them concrete information on how much power they are consuming, where, and why.
That ability to measure energy (and internet bandwidth) consumption is imperative as today’s clients gravitate toward flexible subscription services. Ones that can be scaled up or down so that the business pays only for what they’re actually using. As clients develop a keener understanding of their workloads and needs thereof, data centers must be able to meet them with the capacity and density options they need.
Data Centers are Dividing into Niche Services
You’ll notice lately that data centers are starting to vary greatly in the types of services and technology they provide. While there are some like SkyLink Data Centers who have turned toward offering higher level services (IE: managed hosting, DaaS, SaaS, IaaS, and other cloud services), others are following a different route, such as retail colocation, and interconnection space or low-cost space, cooling, and power. Each path has its own place, with a different type of customer base.
However, there is one element amidst all of this that is quickly becoming an essential element to daily business operations.
The Rise of the Cloud
If you haven’t picked up on the importance of cloud by our frequent mention of it throughout these articles, feel free to go back and read them again. Cloud has become a close companion to colocation. Look no further than Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft, who own their own private data centers just to support the cloud services users utilize every day.
For data center clients, the mobility and freedom of the cloud is essential. That’s why so many data centers have become hubs for cloud services. The ability to access stored data, desktops, and mission critical applications from anywhere with wifi has become more than just a luxury; it’s part of daily operations.
Not everyone uses just one cloud provider either. Many large enterprises use multiple providers. Managing these providers is much easier when you’re accessing them all from a central colocation site that houses your infrastructure.
Learn More About Today’s Data Center Industry
On top of our custom services, SkyLink Data Centers offers a host of information on current data center specifications, questions, and trends. Continue to explore by clicking one of the article links below: