The data center is thriving and still powering the APAC enterprise: why?
It was only a few years ago when technology websites, especially those with a business focus, were talking about a “stampede” to the cloud. The concept was that in just a few years, there would be very little compute or storage left on-premise, and the big cloud platforms (dominated then, as now by AWS and Alibaba) would be the place from which enterprises would run all their applications and services.
As time passed, however, it became clear that the cloud, as it was envisaged at the time, was not the complete answer to every computing paradigm. And while there are indisputable benefits from pushing out many applications and sometimes even infrastructure to the cloud, most enterprises use a mix of on-premise, data center, and cloud – and in the latter setting, multiple cloud providers.
And the data center business model has moved according to business trends, now providing enterprises with localized, scalable, and highly elastic resources from which to run applications and services in complement to, and sometimes in replacement for, the “big” cloud names’ services.
Part of the reason for this being possible is the non-proprietary basis of most cloud services: anyone can spin up a massively scalable container-based service, or deploy a cluster of database instances using free-to-download and deploy software that’s the same stack as Google et al. will happily charge you money to use.
But there are significant advantages in using data centers, either privately owned or multi-tenant. For businesses today, the keys are agility, scalability, elasticity, and being demand-driven. Demand emanates from customers and service-users, but also comes from the internal business units of the enterprise. Responding to either “flavor” of demand with cloud-based services form the big names can have significant downsides, perhaps the most obvious being the eye-watering and often surprising bills that might land on the Finance Department’s desks. But there are other issues at play here, too, and the purpose of this article is to push a little further into this area of most enterprises’ hybrid topologies.
If today’s customer (and partner) experiences are predominant in the minds of the business, then it’s puzzling as to the frequency of well-crafted, expensive services that are, to put it simply, too slow. With competitors just a click or screen tap away, it’s often essential that your applications are as close to customers or users as possible.
There’s also the issue of governance. All over the world, many countries or even discrete areas inside states have their own rules and regs with regards to data privacy and management. Placing data locally, therefore, satisfies this highly complex, ever-changing burden of legislative concern.
Many companies are keen to embrace a distributed topology, but managing complexity is always an overhead and one that can prevent overall business agility. Luckily, data center providers of any scale are cognisant of this fact and are keen to offer platforms that not only oversee multiple data centers’ provisions but also can either extend over or be integrated into on-premise and public cloud service management, too.
Rationalize, develop, and secure
Enterprises wishing to push their digital transformation initiatives are, these days, able to do so at a much lower CAPEX cost than in previous decades. Even a rewiring project that would have involved contractors with cable ties and the odd power tool or two now only requires software reconfiguration – and/or a minimum of hardware and disruption. That’s because of software abstraction at scale, which is gradually creating hyperconvergent data solutions.
The further advantage of the convergent model for data center use is, of course, the possibility of duplication, failover, and backup in parallel with global deployments. With rapid, standardized infrastructure deployment templates, enterprises can replicate key services close to users and customers but simultaneously provide massively reliable failover globally.
This type of resilience can be gained as legacy data centers are consolidated, and the entire digital environment transitioned to better support the business goals.
Here at Tech Wire Asia, we come across a high number of data center providers and provisioners both in the APAC region and much further afield. For Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Korea, we’d recommend the PlatformDIGITAL option from Digital Realty as the type of business-focussed data center operator that will proactively aid and even accelerate any organization’s digital transformation.
With many dozens of global data centers located at informational hubs, it’s a simple matter to, for instance, interconnect multiple data centers across different geographies, without a need for complex architecture.
There are dozens of testimonials on the company’s websites, many of them from household names in the APAC, but also smaller, agile, disruptive startups. You can read more about the PlatformDIGITAL offering here on the pages of Tech Wire Asia, where we go into a little more depth as to the specific advantages of using this vendor, or you can go straight to speak to a representative from the company near you, today.
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