colocation strategy

Storage Solutions for an Enhanced Colocation Strategy

The rise of cloud computing has overshadowed colocation in recent years, but colocation not only remains viable, but shows signs of renewed vigor.

As organizations become more savvy in their cloud strategies, more attention is falling on colocation facilities to meet many of their diverse needs. Some may wonder, why are colocation and other cloud-adjacent models becoming so popular?

Cloud invigorates colocation

We’re seeing interest in this space due to increased demand for hybrid and multicloud environments. In 2020, Flexera estimated that 93% of enterprises have a multicloud strategy and 87% have a hybrid cloud strategy. By linking off-premises private cloud infrastructure to public clouds, organizations can get the best of both worlds and power many different use cases.

Boosts from colocation facilities

Colocation services provide reinforcements for your hybrid, multicloud or edge environments.

1. Reliable and secure connections to public cloud providers

Agility and speed are imperative in a world in which low latency can make all the difference for business operations. Colocation facilities are often located very close in proximity to these public cloud providers, and provide dedicated fabric into them, lowering latency and securing data moving back and forth. Forrester urges IT leaders to consider a hybrid cloud model for deploying workloads. Here, critical applications are housed in a colocation facility and can have direct access to the cloud through gateways in the same facility.

2. Improve cloud economics

Organizations can benefit from reduced egress and access fees using a colocation-powered hybrid model to eliminate the constant running meter costs for storing data in a public cloud environment that sometimes breaks cloud economics. Linking a storage array at a colocation facility to public cloud compute and cloud native services can deliver the best of both worlds.

3. Real-time capabilities

Connecting your edge and colocation environments can also help to lower latency, as colocation facilities are vast. Choosing one that is close to your edge locations can cut down on the time it takes for data to travel. It also allows you to avoid building new data centers to store your data.

4. Rapid scalability

Colocation facilities allow organizations to quickly add a new environment to their IT landscape. This can help extend services to new geographic areas or address rapid growth with much needed capacity. This is critical as the alternatives would mean being fully reliant on a public cloud option or having to build out a new data center. The ability to source data center space and utilize auxiliary staff to support additional compute and storage capacity across the globe is just one reason utilizing a colocation facility is part of a winning cloud strategy. When paired with hybrid cloud capabilities, the organization can make workload placement decisions based on business and app needs.

5. Data protection

Organizations want to take advantage of the advanced services that public clouds offer, but they’re often concerned about the impact of leveraging these environments on data and its value. Colocation facilities allow organizations to tap into the unique features of public cloud providers, such as business intelligence, analytics, AI and ML, while allowing organizations to still keep data under their control in their own infrastructure. This control, as well as extra security and compliance, helps protect organizations’ most valuable asset — their data.

Also by keeping data in multiple locations, organizations can trust that a single point of failure will not disrupt business operations. Redundancy in data can also help to reduce the risk of data loss. This data protection method can replace less reliable and slower backup methods such as tape backups.

6. Protection from lock-in

The other reason why colocation offers a safe haven for data is eliminating public cloud data lock-in. Public cloud vendors have many innovative ways to move large amounts of data into their environments, but getting data out is a lot harder and takes a while. For those workloads that organizations want to consume a native cloud service, a secure and dedicated connection to the storage residing in colocation provides a low latency solution while keeping data sovereign.

Hybrid storage for your data needs

While colocation facilities can be used for a variety of infrastructure, storage platforms may be the most important infrastructure to consider for certain environments. The reason for this is that data, unlike apps, doesn’t typically scale up and down. In a public cloud, data is a running meter every time you access it, every month it’s stored, and every time it’s downloaded. For this reason, hybrid storage environments will continue to proliferate in 2021 and beyond.


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About the Authors

Sr. Consultant, Cloud Marketing

Nick Brackney

Nick is a product marketing professional with over 15 years of experience in the technology space. His areas of expertise include cloud technology, the role data plays in business, edge computing, storage platforms and IoT. He has been with Dell EMC since 2017 and works in the Dell Technologies Cloud group with a focus on helping organizations navigate a multicloud world. Nick recently was recognized as a top 100 Hybrid Cloud Influencer by Onalytica. You can find him on Twitter as @NickBrackney.

Read more about Nick Brackney