Two multi-tenant data centres slowing the “stampede to the cloud”
Modern economy revolves around data, and organisations are generating an unprecedented volume of bits and zetabytes. These massive amounts of information, while considered a valued asset to the extent of being termed a “new gold”, are also giving businesses headaches in figuring out the best possible way to store and manage all that resource.
One great option to alleviate storage issues without necessarily breaking the bank, we are told by pages such as this, is to move to the cloud. It is cheap, scalable, and does not require a team of IT specialists on the payroll. Moreover, you can move to another provider whenever you want – services are, on the whole, non-proprietary, and utilise interchangeable open-source platforms.
Companies should understand that once they migrate to a cloud facility and decommission their in-house IT infrastructure, they’re bound to what the cloud provider gives them. In other words, you are at the cloud service provider’s mercy, unless you decide to migrate, again, and even then, you might experience some headaches. It is also worth noting that while most cloud providers flaunt ‘portability’ as a major selling point, it is not in their interest to facilitate any migration away from their highly optimised services.
So, what can organisations do if they want to retain control, and have ultimate oversight on data and services while making savings and achieving quantifiable efficiencies? The answer may lie with the trusty stalwart of IT: multi-tenant data centres (MTDC).
MTDC, otherwise known as co-location data centres (or co-los for those fond of portmanteaux) are run by third-party providers for multiple businesses and organisations. They generally rent out or otherwise lease physical space & services to clients. Like cloud providers, the owners are responsible for maintaining the physical space and providing crucial services such as power, power failover, connectivity, security (digital and physical), cooling, environmental offsetting and so forth. In the IT market at the moment, the MTDC segment is among the fastest expanding, forecasted to grow at CAGR of 15.4 percent through 2020.
Why are more businesses are taking up MTDC for their data management needs? Let’s look at a few distinct benefits, compared to other options.
Most businesses do not know how quickly they’ll grow, how big they’ll get and just what they’ll become. And thus, they require a solution that is both scalable and modular. An MTDC allows you to rent the space according to your business needs and take advantage of some of the most advanced connectivity technology. It allows for rapid deployment, most often with strict SLAs, and in order to stay attractive to new customers, needs to be very much future-ready.
Having a reliable IT infrastructure is crucial for any business to access the information it needs at a moment’s notice. MTDC providers deploy redundant systems that ensure system uptimes with negligible effect on latencies or throughputs. These providers also use state of the art cooling, power and communication systems to enable optimal equipment performance, way beyond the capabilities of most on-prem data centres, and certainly leagues above a simple server cupboard in the corner of a ROBO. Beyond that, these data centres maintain dedicated support systems comprising of least a few warm bodies that (and who) continually monitor the performance of your infrastructure.
MTDC facilities are designed with security in mind. Numerous protective measures are put in place to make sure that your data equipment is safe from simple thievery and other disasters that could potentially destroy your data – floods, earthquakes, acts of Trump, and so on. Having mission-critical servers and machines operating offsite with redundant security systems in place helps mitigate business interruptions.
Finally, migrating to MTDC allows businesses to be much more cost-efficient. Operating and maintaining (and frequently updating) extensive IT infrastructure with appropriate connectivity, cooling systems, power and monitoring is simply not feasible in-house and perhaps, more importantly, not necessary for most businesses. By outsourcing to an MTDC, organisations can redeploy savings into their core business functions.
And despite the cloud providers’ claims, their services are not incredibly cheap: competitive, perhaps, but the longer their services are deployed, the greater the embedding of their particular flavours of services. Essentially, once you’re in (for more than a short while, at least), you’re in for good. Price hikes or service throttling are significant risks, and not under your control.
Therefore, due to all the benefits of MTDC, demand for services continues to skyrocket and competition among the providers is also heating up – and that drives prices down, of course.
Tech Wire Asia has filtered through the noise and picked two MTDC providers that are offering services at price points that even the most cloud-oriented die-hard might find attractive.
With more than 210 data centres worldwide, global data centre and connectivity specialist Digital Realty has established itself as a globe-straddling MTDC provider in a fiercely-competitive market. The company’s interconnectivity options are a clear differentiator, with prioritised connections to multiple clouds via one route, including to Alibaba. That’s something that any company with even a passing eye on Chinese markets will appreciate.
The company includes packages in its portfolio that massively simplify (and cheap-ify) complex hybrid deployments, so diverse topologies covering AWS, Oracle, Azure, Alibaba, Google Cloud et al. can all be centrally managed, with dynamic bandwidth allocation, data prioritisation and automatic failover.
Businesses of all sizes can scale at will on enterprise-grade frameworks, and connect locally to reduce hop-counts. From there, direct connections to points of presence on the other side of the world can be utilised, and the company’s 100 percent uptime record and accompanying SLAs should mean that services are pretty much uninterrupted: good news for your customers and partners, and a valuable bargaining chip when resource and procurement discussions start in your boardroom.
You can read more about Digital Realty’s offerings on Tech Wire Asia.
Global Switch prides itself on building solutions on some of the most robust infrastructures the industry has to offer. The London-based company is one of the longer-in-the-tooth players in the data centre space and enjoys its proximity to international fibre routes, with minimimum latency to the backbone.
Global Switch’s solutions come as standard with multiple layers of redundant systems to avoid downtime and service interruption, and it offers bespoke solutions specifically to companies: unlike major public clouds’ beliefs, ‘out-of-the-box’ solutions are so very yesterday.
The company deploys highly sophisticated building management systems to constantly monitor all the crucial elements of its data centers: power, cooling, site security, and access, to ensure your data is as secure as it can get. As a UK supplier, its facilities, business systems and its clients’ data is open to inspection for GDPR purposes (although at the time of writing, the UK’s situation with regards the EU is up in the air).
Global Switch has developed a name for itself as something of a presence in APAC as well as the UK and Europe, so businesses looking to the far east would do well to pick up the phone to London.
*Some of the companies featured in this article are commercial partners of Tech Wire Asia
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