When organizations develop plans to work with a colocation provider, they often emphasize issues like floor space and power capabilities, potentially neglecting other key issues. The network is a one aspect of a colocation plan that businesses cannot afford to neglect. More robust processing solutions, trends like increased video use and emerging technologies like cloud computing are all putting a greater strain on networks. An effective colocation plan can help organizations establish both internal and external network strategies that make it easier to deal with rising connectivity demands.
In some cases, a colocation partnership will directly make it easier to access better network resources through high-performance interconnects and other advanced technologies. In other instances, the impact may be indirect, such as reducing facility costs to create fiscal room for network upgrades. Regardless of which of these benefits a company chooses to take advantage of, there are a few key network considerations to keep in mind when implementing data center colocation strategies.
1. Facility location
High-performance interconnects and access to good operator networks are a huge asset when turning to colocation, but those benefits can be undermined if the colocation facility is not in the best location for your specific needs. Operator networks crisscross around the world, with different connectivity systems providing more direct pathways between locations. Organizations using colocation to reach specific target markets or connect branch offices often have IT assets that are separated by significant distances.
Choosing a colocation facility that provides the most direct operator connection between your data centers can lead to a major network performance increase, especially if the colocation provider you choose has high-performance interconnects that get data between facilities and operator networks quickly.
Meeting rising network challenges often means bundling copper cables. This means that the network ducts, cable trays and raised floor space within the colocation facility needs to be equipped to support more cabling. Alternately, organizations can implement more fiber-optic cabling, but such plans depend on being able to handle the more expensive cabling format – something that may be easier with the reduced capital expenses that often come into play when leasing space in a colocation facility.
Furthermore, increased cabling densities can lead to issues like increased power consumption and airflow management challenges. Colocation facilities capable of supporting high cabling and infrastructure densities can make it much easier for organizations to scale their network for different demands over time.
Getting information from the data center out to operator networks is an incredibly important component in limiting latency and supporting the demands created by solutions like cloud computing and similar trends. Moving data through the Web hinges on the quality of operator networks, and the ability to get information from those networks into the colocation facility plays a critical role in maximizing performance.
Beyond improving performance by eliminating latency, organizations also need to to deal with data coming into and going out of the data center from and to a more diverse range of sources. This creates a situation in which the network must be able to handle large amounts of information coming at the data center from all angles. The end result is an environment in which organizations need to have an incredibly robust interconnect setup that can take in all of the data entering and exiting the data center and get it out to the Web with minimal latency.
Establishing effective network systems can be much easier when organizations partner with a colocation provider. However, finding success in this area hinges on keeping data center connectivity in mind when establishing colocation plans.