By David Mettler, Vice President Sales, Market Director – U.S., IO (www.io.com)
From finance and healthcare to manufacturing and education, organizations in many markets are looking to tap one of the latest technology trends: the Internet of Things. However, as the application of the Internet of Things continues to emerge, computer systems and networks are in high gear trying to keep up with the demand and scale of all the data that is being generated. Add to the mix the tremendous growth in software as a service (SaaS) and mobile solutions. And while delivering strong value to business, all of these technologies put enormous new demands on data center and communications infrastructure.
In order to meet the increasing capacity requirements and advance your organization’s Internet of Things strategy, data center infrastructure must be at the center of your plan. A growing number of companies are already moving away from traditional on-premises IT facilities and turning to service providers that deliver data center services, such as colocation and cloud computing. In fact, market research firm IDC reports the Internet of Things alone will generate the need for 750 percent more data center capacity in service provider facilities than consumed today.
What Colocation Provides
Security and transparency are among the advantages for companies looking to leverage data center colocation services. With colocation, instead of maintaining computing systems in a private data center, an organization houses them in a data center owned and managed by a colocation provider.
The colocation customer retains all control over its systems, with the colocation provider managing the data center security, network connections, power, and cooling. In some cases, the colocation provider offers value-added services to customers, such as a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) system that provides value-add layers of visibility and control – improving operations transparency.
One of the key benefits of colocation is scalability. Additional capacity can be brought on quickly, which is an essential requirement for fast-growing Interne of Things deployments. Colocation also allows for lower total cost of ownership, meaning organizations can typically maintain their data center operations for much lower total cost than they could build and operate a private data center.
Multi-tenant data centers are enabling companies to reduce capital investments and only purchase what they require, while providing infrastructure and delivering robust and highly reliable enterprise and carrier-grade telecom solutions.
The Colocation Advantage
By tapping colocation, organizations can achieve a number of operational improvements, including:
Agility and time to market. The colocation model turns the capital expenditures associated with building a data center into operating expenditures associated with “renting” data center space. In other words, customers are not being locked into a sunk capital cost. As a result, organizations can be more agile. They can more quickly scale IT capacity where they need it, and reduce or eliminate IT capacity where there’s no longer a business case for it. These capabilities can position firms to take advantage of new market opportunities and implement them quickly.
Focus. Companies need to be focused on delivering innovation to customers. And data center infrastructure should be an enabler not an impediment to achieving this goal. Colocation services can relieve organizations from many of the necessary but mundane aspects of IT (such as data center management and monitoring) that are not core to their strategic plan. This will allow IT teams to focus on the company’s strategic mission and vision instead of repetitive tasks such as monitoring and maintenance.
Availability and security. In Internet of Things deployments, the large volume of devices connected to the data center can present an availability and security challenge for organizations. Colocation providers have the focus and core competency to provide the uptime level commitments needed for critical support infrastructure. Additionally, their facilities are typically composed of multiple active and failover power and cooling distribution paths and redundant components, which make them more secure.
Driving Internet of Things Success
Any company moving forward with an Internet of Things strategy needs to have their data center infrastructure at the core of their plan. The role of the data center in the industrial Internet is as an enabler, fueling the success of organizations in the Internet of Things. After all, the data center is the foundation of the IT stack, so as the IT stack becomes more critical to competitive advantage, so too will the data center.
David Mettler is IO’s Vice President of Sales and the Market Director for the United States. David is an experienced and seasoned data center management executive, having held positions previously with CenturyLink Business for Enterprise and Sprint. David received a Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. He is currently based at IO.New Jersey.