Given the virtual and mobile nature of how companies do business today, data center connectivity plays a vital role. All companies large and small rely on managing and distributing huge amounts of data across multiple locations.
More than ever, organizations are leveraging data centers to connect with employees, facilities, customers, vendors, and the Internet.
A well-rounded data center solution should offer connectivity on several levels:
- Internet Connectivity – IP Bandwidth should include a high-availability multi-carrier infrastructure platform service with 24×7 real-time monitoring and alerting. Most importantly, a data center solution should be carrier-neutral, meaning, a company can house its equipment in a data center and connect to any carrier it wants.
Carrier neutrality provides the greatest flexibility. Because a good data center provider will have partnerships with many major carriers, businesses can choose to exploit these relationships. Or, they can bring their own carriers into the fold.
Also, using a carrier-neutral provider allows companies to take advantage of changing market conditions. Businesses won’t get locked into long contracts with any particular carrier. Instead, they can leverage pricing fluctuations and new route availability. Connectivity decisions become based entirely on what’s in the company’s best interest.
- Site-to-site Interconnection – Interconnection is fiber running from one data center to another. High-bandwidth connectivity typically provides more security and reduced latency.
Interconnection can create opportunities for many businesses. It creates flexibility to connect multiple sites and multiple customers. In addition, direct connections can lower costs by eliminating the need to lease local transport lines. Those savings can be used to fund other business initiates.
- Internet Exchange (IX) – This physical infrastructure enables different networks to exchange Internet traffic. Rather than traffic being routed through third-party networks, a business can connect directly to an IX to reap a number of benefits:
- Lower Costs – Peering agreements among different service providers usually reduces routing costs.
- Lower Latency – Data traveling to its final destination incurs fewer server hops which typically slow down transmission.
- Greater Bandwidths – Internet Exchanges are better equipped to handle bandwidth-intensive applications like video conferencing and VoIP.
- Better Redundancy – Since many service providers participate in an IX, one provider’s connectivity issues would not significantly impact the connectivity of the IX customers.
- Increased Competition – Because service providers are evaluated on their pricing and service, they are motivated to perform at the highest levels possible.
Data center connectivity is a critical element in colocation solutions. The more flexibility a solution provider builds into connectivity, the better the end result for the small business or enterprise.
Scott Brueggeman, CMO for CyrusOne