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4 Aug 2020
Datacenters.com Adds Business Internet to the IGNITE Project Platform®
The addition of Internet services makes it easy for users to access proposals and pricing directly from top ISPs, telecom carriers, and network providers globally.ENGLEWOOD, CO. AUGUST 8, 2020 Datacenters.com, the leading technology platform and marketplace for IT buyers and sellers of colocation, cloud and connectivity, announces the addition of business Internet to the Datacenters.com IGNITE Project Platform.Connectivity is critical for all IT environments whether on-premise, offsite, physical, or virtual. Todays bandwidth-intensive applications require low latency and high availability to meet user experience expectations. Demand for Internet service is compounded by current digital transformation initiatives and growing adoption of future technologies including the cloud infrastructure, edge computing, 5G, and Internet of Things (IoT).Globalization is also a major factor in increasing demand. As enterprises expand into new markets, IT infrastructure is required to connect local customers, employees, partners, and suppliers in that market. Secure, reliable, and fast Internet and networking technologies including dedicated Internet, Ethernet, private line, SD-WAN, and MPLS make global connectivity possible.However, challenges impede the process of finding available ISPs, telecom carriers, and network providers for their office, data center, and cloud platform locations. Researching lit buildings, fiber maps, and on-net carrier lists becomes laborsome and time-consuming. Navigating the technology landscape of available service providers, options and pricing only add complexity.Datacenters.com created IGNITE Internet Projects to help users streamline the procurement of Internet services by intelligently matching user requirements with available ISPs, telecom carriers, and network service providers. With IGNITE, users can configure their Internet requirements for a single or multiple locations and receive direct from provider proposals and pricing for their IT projects. Datacenters.com also created a bulk upload feature for businesses with tens, hundreds, or even thousands of locations.A major benefit of using the Datacenters.com IGNITE Project Platform is that it stores all provider proposals, documents, and price quotes in a centralized platform. This feature allows for side-by-side comparisons of providers, service offerings, and pricing. Users also benefit from having the ability to invite and collaborate with colleagues to projects within IGNITE Project Platform.In addition to Internet services, Datacenters.com will soon be launching IGNITE Network Projects to help users build their global, wide area network (WAN) infrastructure with technologies such as SD-WAN and MPLS. This is anticipated to launch at the end of August in 2020.###QuotesAdding Internet and network services to Datacenters.com was always in the roadmap as part of our long term strategy and vision, said Joel St. Germain, CEO of Datacenters.com. IGNITE Internet Projects will help our clients, consultants, and agents streamline the purchasing process for these services.Its time-consuming researching lit building lists and fiber maps for available ISPs, carriers and network providers, said Mike Allen, SVP of Solutions and Engineering at Datacenters.com. IGNITE Internet Projects is going to make finding available providers and generating competitive pricing a lot easier.The feedback we have received on demos of IGNITE Internet Projects has been nothing short of amazing, said April Armijo, VP of Operations and Provider Relationships. All of our partners have been very positive on the platform and theres a lot of excitement around it.About Datacenters.comDatacenters.com is the #1 technology platform and marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of colocation, cloud, connectivity, managed services, and related IT services. We are dedicated to one thing helping IT professionals research, purchase, and manage their technologies across a diverse range of solutions, providers, and vendors.Since 2014, Datacenters.com has attracted more than 1.4 million visitors. The platform provides detailed information on 328 providers, 2,921 data center facilities, and 204 marketplace products globally.Datacenters.com is the sister company of Global Consulting Group, Inc. (GCG), a leading technology services distributor and IT consulting company headquartered in Englewood, Colorado.Learn more at Datacenters.com and follow us on LinkedIn.
22 Jul 2020
What is Data Center Consolidation and Why Might My Business Need It?
Data center consolidation plays an important role in the IT strategies of many of the worlds most successful businesses. The practice, which is primarily focused on efficiency improvements, encompasses a wide range of different technologies and tactics, which all have a common goal: to reduce the resources that a data center needs. In many cases, data center consolidation will involve changes to the way that data is stored, for instance when a company decides to move from using multiple data centers to focusing on one sole data center for all of its storage requirements.If youre considering data center consolidation, but youre unsure whether your business will benefit from it, or how to go about making consolidation changes, read on. Well take you through what data center consolidation could mean for your company, why you should be thinking about it and how your business could profit from the strategy going forward.What is data center consolidation?In simple terms, data center consolidation is a way in which businesses streamline their IT systems. Many companies will have grown rapidly over the years, and its often the case that IT systems have struggled to keep up with increasing demand. And thats why a huge number of companies stand to benefit from data center consolidation. By consolidating, companies can make IT architecture far more efficient. In the long run, the strategy saves time and money, while also paving the way for future growth by maximizing capabilities.Why you might want to think about consolidatingThere are a number of reasons why businesses start to think about data center consolidation. Some of the primary causes of data center consolidation include changes to a companys needs, due to mergers, growth, or a reduction in data requirements.Many companies will also look to consolidate data centers in order to reduce the size and space needed for their existing setup, in order to make cost savings and efficiency improvements. Often companies will be looking to merge multiple data centers into a single more dynamic and seamless solution.Legacy solutions can also spark conversations about data center consolidation, with a good number of companies leaning towards consolidation to enhance their capabilities here, allowing them to update legacy solutions and ensure smoother running in the future.When should we be thinking about consolidation?Unfortunately, theres no simple answer to this one. Consolidation can seem like an insurmountable task at first, which is why companies tend not to go through the process more often than is absolutely necessary. Theres no single right time to do it, its more a case of getting down to business and doing the hard work.While theres no doubt that data center consolidation is hard work, companies shouldnt put off consolidation for that reason alone. If you feel that your systems would benefit, then its time to tackle the challenge head on. Dont be put off by the amount of work involved, because once the changes have been made and the project comes to a close, you and your team will be reaping the rewards for a good number of years to come. Trust us, this is something thats definitely worth your time.How to consolidate: a step by step guideThere are a number of different methods commonly used by IT professionals working on data consolidation projects. In our experience, the most effective methods tend to incorporate a hybrid cloud work environment, which enables more effective running on fewer resources. Take a look at our step by step guide to data center consolidation for a brief guide to how it works.Step 1: Capacity planningFirst things first, think about space. Consider whether or not youre using all the space you currently have, and whether the unused space in your data center is costing you money. Far too many companies end up paying for space that theyve never used and have no plans to use, simply because their existing contracts are inflexible. This is something youll definitely want to avoid, so make it a priority in new data center consolidation plans.Look into data centers offeringcage free infrastructure, which will allow you to scale up or down as required. Other things to look out for in new data centers include free cross connects, set up, rack and stack, and free remote hands-on that will consolidate unused space or cabinets for you, as time goes on and requirements change.Step 2: Remove or replace inefficient hardware and softwareWe bet youve already heard all about theMarie Kondo method, the trailblazing organization strategy thats taken the world by storm, sparking so much joy in the process! But did you know you can apply the same approach in data center consolidation?Take a look at your existing hardware - if you immediately start to feel frustrated then you can safely say that it doesnt spark joy, and it needs to be replaced or upgraded. Remove inefficient hardware or software and look out for better alternatives thatll help you stay one step ahead.Step 3: Enjoy the fruits of your laborOnce youve finished consolidating youll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy your hard work. Consolidation can be enormously helpful for all kinds of businesses, helping to improve their total cost of ownership and allowing teams to regain control over their data center space. If this sounds like something your company might find useful, nows the time to look into data center consolidation. Start thinking about consolidation and considering how you might approach the task, and before long youll have a thorough plan of action ready to go.---Data center consolidation is overlooked all too often, but it shouldnt be. The practice offers a whole range of benefits for teams willing to take on the challenge, and some great rewards lay in store following effective consolidation strategies. Read up on how consolidation works and what it might offer your team, and you could soon be enhancing the efficiency of your own systems, and saving a considerable sum of money in the process.This article was contributed byTRG Datacenters, the first data center to offer full service colocation that is easy, fast, and reliable.
21 Jul 2020
Is Your Network Ready for the Cloud? Network Modernization for Cloud-First Enterprises
The cloud is starting to take over nearly all aspects of IT and empowering the modern enterprise to innovate quicker, deliver faster, and provide a better user experience for their customers and employees. Agree or disagree?Its estimated that 83% of enterprise workloads will operate in the cloud by the end of 2020. For enterprises focused on the cloud as part of their digital transformation, the underlying network may impede progress as it was not designed with cloud-based workloads in mind.Operating legacy network infrastructure becomes a real challenge for IT as it evaluates the impacts of cloud on performance, availability, security, and costs.Is Your Network Ready for the Cloud?Its a not so simple question. Is your network ready for the cloud? For many businesses, legacy network technology and infrastructure is an impediment to your digital transformation. This is especially true when implementing hybrid cloud and multi-cloud infrastructure.Your network is a critical piece of the cloud equation. It determines how your data traverses your network. It determines how users connect to your network. It determines how your cloud-based applications and platforms interact with your network.Legacy Network Infrastructure Designed Pre-CloudTodays IT operates very differently than in the past. For starters, theres input and direction from new IT groups and departments like DevOps, SysOps, and SecOps. And with each group and department adding to the conversation, requirements for your network become increasingly complex. It is further compounded as your enterprise becomes increasingly dependent on the cloud for services such as cloud communications, software, apps, servers, data storage, and backup. All of which places a tremendous strain on IT, network administrators, and the enterprise as a whole.Its a simple fact that many present-day network technologies were designed before the advent of big data, internet of things (IoT), Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). Although compatible with the cloud, theyre typically not best suited from a performance, availability, and cost standpoint to meet future cloud demands.Whether you realize it or not, it is likely that your end-users are feeling the strain of the network on their performance. According to a recent study, 37 percent of executives agree that their legacy networks arent ready to support cloud applications, although many enterprises rely heavily on public and private cloud applications.Rushing into Digital TransformationSo, why are so many enterprises implementing a cloud-first strategy without addressing their fundamental and underlying network infrastructure? Thats a good question.Many enterprises rush to implement exciting new technologies as a part of their digital transformation and rush to jump into the cloud. They do so without fully understanding the network and bandwidth constraints placed on their IT infrastructure prior to implementation. In reality, network modernization should be one of your first steps and not just an afterthought.Within your digital transformation plan, theres the opportunity to make recommendations for new network architecture and technologies. Make sure to point out how network infrastructure can help future-proof your technology, streamline your network operations, simplify management, and reduce costs.Recognizing the Need for Better ConnectivityWhether using a private cloud that is connected to a corporate Wide Area Network (WAN) or multiple public cloud providers interconnected with private clouds across the globe, your enterprise is at risk for network congestion and oversubscribed bandwidth which impacts performance and ultimately leads to poor user experience for customers, partners and employees.Poor user experience has measurable effects on the bottom line. A recent study concluded that 52% of employees are unhappy at work due to the software they are using, and 24% said poor resources have made them consider leaving their jobs.As for the customer, application and software providers understand that in order to win over their customers, they must provide the best possible experience. A study showed that for 73% of users, application performance impacts their opinion of the provider, and 38% reported being disappointed with the performance of their apps.Most digital applications and services including video and audio streaming, software and applications operate on month-to-month subscriptions. The ease of switching to another provider means customers are not held back from ditching a bad service provider. This is a fact that should concern providers that have not yet give thought to network modernization.With this in mind, the consequence of poor connectivity and network design is even more pronounced in case you have users accessing apps from throughout the globe. Routes become congested because theyre not optimally designed for how users interact with data and applications now.Because of this, enterprises face not only lower throughput and greater latency but also greater costs. The urge to solve network congestion leads to a focus on prioritizing certain services while demoting others or simply adding bandwidth. However, these upgrades do not provide the required visibility and control over connectivity.Starting Your Network ModernizationThus, what can you do to address Network Modernization challenges within your enterprise? Forging your way to higher-functioning cloud connectivity starts with gaining a deeper understanding of the relationship between data usage patterns and your network infrastructure.Its important to start by exploring your data usage as well as where your data and applications live. Gain an understanding of where your people are and what applications theyre accessing day-to-day. Throughout this process, you should ask yourself questions such as the following:- Wheres our cloud infrastructure located?- How does our enterprise connect to the cloud?- Do we have public or private connections to the cloud?- Where does our data reside?- Where is our physical infrastructure located?- Where are our users located?- How are our users accessing the cloud and our network?- Do we have domestic and international locations?- What is our hourly, daily, weekly, and or monthly bandwidth patterns?- Are there spikes in our bandwidth utilization?- What type of network are we using today?- Is our network built for cloud-based workloads?Taking the time to understand these questions offers valuable insight into your network strategy. It can also assist in formulating a strategy on how to allocate network infrastructure resources and where for optimal performance.When you do so, it becomes clear which areas of your network are ready for optimization.Network Modernization and Digital Transformation StrategyTo begin implementing your network modernization strategy, youll have to start by examining your current architecture versus new technologies, providers, and end-to-end management capabilities. It is important to realize that there is not any single network solution that reaches everywhere for everything. When defining your transformed hybrid network, you will most likely have to look at multiple providers and technologies, then plan to handle those services cohesively for optimal performance.Depending on the information map of where your visitors and customers are located and the type of cloud services and data centers you use, examine, and design network technologies that solve for the usage at each location. Your transformed architecture will likely be a hybrid including a combination of fiber, Ethernet, and IP services. A hybrid network may also leverage existing services at which they still work best and add optimized new services to achieve the desired overall results.Hiring an IT consultant, such as Global Consulting Group (GCG), can enable you to access all these elements and optimize your own cloud connectivity strategy based on your business drivers and technology requirements. In researching the best consultant and provider to partner with, you should keep specific requirements in mind. To begin with, your IT consultant must offer a wide portfolio of technology options after all, no one technology or provider will be the right fit for every location or business.Second, you should prioritize providers that center on software-defined intelligence to monitor and route your workloads depending on traffic patterns and congestion points. With unified, end-to-end visibility, and service management across fiber, Ethernet, and IP services, the provider should be able to consciously manage the bandwidth your business is using from every office location to data centers, to each of the private and public cloud applications your enterprise relies on.Future-Proofing Your Network for Cloud AppsAs your users become more reliant on the cloud to run and build their internal and external applications, a connectivity catastrophe could occur if the network isnt managed properly.Because of technologys rising role in all our lives, users are more accustomed to lower latency and greater performance in all the applications they use. Enterprises that do not act on network modernization will eventually reach a tipping point in which their un-optimized networks inability to function renders them totally incapable of keeping pace with competitors and satisfying their users.The challenges posed by legacy Infrastructure against ever-increasing cloud use can compel enterprises to get smarter about its cloud connectivity strategy. The ideal network transformation could supply a future-proof solution that will grow with enterprise business and its digital strategy.With a software-defined Interconnected network material, the WAN could be optimized and groomed as new Services become available or new enterprise requirements are created. Delivering an agile, dynamic solution capable of seamlessly absorbing new Technology innovations will keep your enterprise competitive for many years to come.
13 Jul 2020
Commoditization of Colocation: Coming to a Data Center Near You?
Is commoditization about to hit colocation services? Some would argue that it already has. Think about it. What is a data center? Is it not just an industrial building, retrofitted for high power utilization, internet and network connectivity from multiple ISPs? Yes, but there is more to it. They are very expensive to build, located in strategic areas, and feature redundancy at every potential failure point. So technically, not just a building, right?There are many different definitions of a data center. It is everything from an on-premise telco closet housing servers to an enterprise data center owned and operated by a business unit. Data centers can be public or private. A public data center offers colocation services that allow the data center to be subdivided into a multi-tenant hosting environment that has locking cabinets, private cages or suites, or individual customers. Public, multi-tenant data centers can be built as wholesale colocation facilities for hyperscale cloud providers like AWS, Microsoft, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud, and Alibaba Cloud.Retail and wholesale colocation markets are more competitive than ever. There are literally hundreds of colocation providers and tens of thousands of data centers in existence today. IT workloads are being migrated directly to the cloud at an astonishing rate. Hardware manufacturers like Dell and HPE are creating new generations of servers that are more powerful than ever before. They are also being virtualized which shrinks the colocation footprint and rack space requirements.Manufacturers are like NVIDIA are also exploring on-demand, pay-as-you-go, scalable infrastructure options for their customers. NVIDIA is building its own data centers as well as purchasing wholesale colocation.The Tale of Two MarketsThis leaves you with two markets for colocation. It is not exactly black and white but it is getting there. There is still a grey area. Retail colocation customers increasingly have smaller colocation requirements than they have had in the past. Think about it. Do you need an exchange server if your email is hosted in the cloud? Do you need a database server if you migrated your database to a cloud server or cloud database? Do you need a data storage and backup solution or are there better options such as DRaaS?Retail Colocation CustomersWhat is running on physical servers in a colocation data center are workloads that perform better on physical servers or that cannot be migrated to the cloud. Another use case is software licensing issues. Some software vendors prohibit their software from being used on multi-tenant, public cloud instances. Security concerns and compliance is another reason why businesses and enterprise customers select colocation over cloud services. However, the requirement for physical servers hosted in a colocation environment is shrinking. Many large businesses have a colocation requirement of fewer than 10 cabinets or 60kW. Medium businesses require just 1-2 cabinets and under 10kW. Most start-ups and small businesses typically require 1 cabinet or less.Hyperscale Data Center CustomersOn the other hand, there is a major growth area occurring for colocation. That area is the wholesale and hyperscale data center market. As business and large enterprise customers migrate IT workloads from on-premise and collocated data centers, they move to the cloud. In turn, cloud service providers (CSPs) like AWS, Microsoft, and Google Cloud require more infrastructure to support demand. Many CSPs purchase wholesale colocation before building their own private data centers. This is used to support their growth until they reach a point where it makes more sense to own and operate a data center. For CSPs, these deals ranging in size from 500kW to 3MW. The majority of wholesale colocation requests are 1.5-2MW in deal size. How many retail colocation data centers have an extra megawatt or two lying around?What Happens Next? Pricing PressuresSo, where does that leave the colocation industry? You have two extremes, small retail customers and large wholesale colocation opportunities. Here is the kicker. Many of the smaller, older, and perhaps outdated data center facilities cannot support the infrastructure requirements of hyperscalers. They simply do not have the space, power, or infrastructure to support the requirements.What happens next? You have shrinking demand from retail colocation buyers and increasing demand for wholesale colocation from hyperscalers. It is the large colocation providers like Equinix, Digital Realty, Vantage, Sabey Data Centers, EdgeCore Internet Real Estate, CoreSite, and others are positioned to take advantage of this. Smaller colocation providers will have to focus on smaller customers with smaller requirements.There are more small colocation providers, data center owners, and operators than large ones. The market is highly concentrated at the top by a few providers. That leaves an increasingly competitive market for the smaller providers and price wars. It is supply and demand principles.Pricing TransparencyColocation providers have long resisted sharing any details about their pricing unless they have a qualified quote request. The fear is that it will lead to the commoditization of colocation services.Colocation pricing has never been standardized throughout the industry. It varies greatly from provider to provider and country to country. Everything is a custom quote despite the fact that many customers have pre-determined space and power requirements such as 2kW and 5kW with 100Mbps Internet. Bundled colocation packages that include the space, power, and internet connectivity are just starting to make their way onto platforms like the Datacenters.com Marketplace despite heavy reluctance.Why cant providers offer standardized pricing for their space, power, and internet? Its a good question. How could they standardize it? Would they even want to?One way to standardize pricing would be to charge per kW or kVA. Some data centers in Europe already offer this type of pricing for colocation. In this case, bandwidth is a separate charge billed by the telecom carrier or ISP. It would make sense for colocation providers to offer all-in packages on a kW basis. For example, maybe it is $200 per kW which includes the space, power, 100Mbps blended internet and cross-connects. For a 2kW rack, the cost would be $400 per month. For 5kW, the cost would be $1,000.With IP transit, we are seeing the growing trend of on-demand, pay-as-yo-go, or for what-you-use bandwidth. Could colocation take this same approach? Probably not. Some colocation providers have experimented with metered power to no success. However, most wholesale colocation customers typically pay an all-in cost per kWh.As much resistance as there is to offer transparent pricing, I feel that change is coming sooner rather than later.Technology InnovationsColocation providers need to innovate and adapt to the changing technology landscape. The future is the subscription model. Companies like Rolls Royce no longer charges for their jet engines. They charge for the usage on an hourly rate. Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft are the future of transportation and charge based on the trip. Is a subscription model for colocation in the cards? Maybe.Were also trending towards an eCommerce model for everything products and services. If you think about it, waiting days or weeks for pricing is ridiculous. This has to be figured out. You should be able to with the click of a button configure your requirements, view pricing, and purchase online. That would take an inventory and pricing management platform for the data centers.Going to a data center and staging servers, installing, managing, and monitoring them should be a thing of the past. You should never have to set foot in a data center again. What if you could buy your servers, storage devices, and networking hardware online and then shipped it directly to a data center where it was installed within 24-48 hours. TRG Datacenters is one such company that is focused on delivering the Un-Datacenter experience to its clients. Simply ship your servers and they will take care of the rest.Bare metal and hardware on demand are the future. Equinix realized the demand for on-demand, bare-metal servers. Equinix purchased Packet.com for $330M to meet the demands of a new group of buyers millennials. I have a feeling that other colocation will be following this approach in the years to come.Last but not least, the edge is coming. Edge computing provides small, regional data centers with the chance to build significant demand from both large and small customers. With the edge, data is pushed and pulled from the user wherever theyre located. Regional colocation data centers will be required at the edge to interact with near proximity users and also to communicate with central data centers in large metros.Conclusion: Get Ready. Data Center 2.0 Is Coming!If you want to compete with the cloud, you have to compete with the cloud. The cloud is all about provisioning compute and storage resources on-demand. Its not waiting six months to deploy infrastructure. The cloud is fully transparent on pricing and allows users to compare options. Colocation space and power availability is a mystery. Pricing is an even larger mystery for the industry.Need Help? Have Questions?Are you searching for the best colocation pricing or a custom cloud configuration? Were here to help with your IT deployments. Whether you need colocation or cloud, internet or network, we have the solutions and providers to create a fully customized, end-to-end IT solution for your business. Theres no cost to use our services and we can help you streamline your provisioning process. Check out the IGNITE Colocation Projects and IGNITE Cloud Projects to connect directly with top providers.