With the explosion of big data and so much data and processing moving to the cloud, some might say that colocation as we know it is heading for extinction. Many experts in the technology industry, however, believe that colocation is taking on a slightly different—but equally important—role. With the evolution of data and the ways in which companies have to combine different types of data, a hybrid solution for information technology will live on, and colocation will remain an important piece of that solution.
In the “olden days,” companies built a system for one purpose—say, a transactional system to take orders—that had only one type of static data to manage and store. Today, those same transactional sites have to connect and integrate a lot of rich data to meet customer expectations, from social chat for customer service to demo videos and rich product data, to links driving to social channels for customer reviews.
The relationship between all of this data and the diverse systems delivering the data is increasingly complex and calls for a hybrid solution in which 1) legacy systems are delivered from a colocation data center or from an on-premise customer location, 2) recently built systems are delivered from private clouds, and 3) ancillary data such as videos, chat and social media are delivered from public clouds. Add in the regulatory constraints and control issues of proprietary data, and it is clear that data and systems should and will live in multiple infrastructure locations.
All of this complexity, coupled with a desire in enterprises to focus on the core business, leads to increased outsourcing of corporate data centers and server closets, as many enterprises conclude that providing their own data center and IT infrastructure does not make economic or strategic sense. The result is that hybrid IT companies are continually building new facilities, and although it seems like a data center could be built just about anywhere, a multitude of factors go into deciding the ideal location.
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