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Colocation And IoT: Managing Increased Data Volume

Colocation And IoT: Managing Increased Data Volume


The growth of the IoT has opened up exciting new opportunities. At the same time, it is also posing technical challenges. In particular, it’s creating a high volume of additional traffic for data centers. Here is a brief guide to how colocation providers are managing this.

IoT-driven data centers

Here are five strategies colocation providers are using to accommodate the growth in traffic caused by the IoT.

Edge computing integration

Integrating edge computing into colocation solutions offers several benefits. From the colocation vendor’s perspective, it reduces the amount of traffic coming into the main data center. This lightens the load on both the data center and the network. As a bonus, it also gives the collocation vendor a new selling point with which to attract clients.

From a client’s perspective, using edge colocation provides a straightforward route into edge computing. Generally, the main reason clients’ want to use edge computing is to minimize latency in their service delivery. This, in turn, benefits their clients as it helps to deliver a more seamless user experience.

High-density infrastructure

Colocation vendors are often limited in their ability to expand their facilities outwards. This means they need to focus on maximizing their data centers’ internal capabilities. One way to do this is to implement high-density infrastructure. As the name implies, this approach involves packing equipment into the data center as tightly as safely possible.

Moreover, to get the utmost benefit from this, colocation vendors use advanced computing hardware which they configure for optimal performance. For example, they will start with blade servers and/or high-density storage arrays and then configure them for a specific task. This equipment will be updated as necessary so the facility always delivers its peak performance.

Network optimization

Connectivity has long been a major point of competition between colocation vendors. The advent of the IoT has given new impetus to it. Colocation vendors will generally already have invested in the highest quality networking equipment, particularly fiber-optic cabling. Additionally, they will have implemented plenty of redundancy along with intelligent routing mechanisms and automated load-balancing.

With the IoT becoming more widespread, managing Quality of Service will become even more of a priority. IoT applications are frequently applications that demand low latency. As such, they need to be prioritized over applications that are less time-sensitive.

Efficient cooling solutions

Powerful equipment demands powerful cooling solutions. The modern approach to cooling is to implement it in layers. This starts with the design and layout of the facility itself. Modern data centers are laid out in a way that helps to keep hot and cold air separate. This avoids the effect of the cool air being reduced through contamination by the hot air.

It’s also becoming increasingly common for data centers to leverage free sources of cooling as much as possible through passive cooling systems. These generally use air but sometimes use water. The final layer is mechanical cooling. This is now usually implemented by means of liquid cooling systems. These are much more efficient (and sustainable) than traditional solutions such as air conditioning and cooling towers.

Continuous monitoring and maintenance

As the volume of traffic to a data center increases, so too does the impact of any issues with it. This means both technical issues and cyberattacks. Colocation providers are therefore ramping up their monitoring and maintenance solutions even further. These are an essential front line of defense against both technical and security-related incidents.

Scalability for IoT

Here are five ways colocation providers are helping their clients to scale their use of infrastructure in line with their use of the IoT.

Resource pooling

Probably the most obvious way colocation facilities support scalability for the IoT is the fact that they enable businesses to pool resources. This means that clients benefit from both cost-sharing and economies of scale. As a result, they can often achieve much better value for money than they would from either traditional data centers or the public cloud.

Modular architecture

Modular architecture is becoming increasingly important to IT as a whole. It has particular relevance for data centers looking to maximize scalability. The use of modular architecture makes it easier to add, remove, and swap components. It therefore significantly enhances scalability.

Seamless integration with other infrastructure

Up until the IoT began to go mainstream, colocation vendors often used integration with public cloud infrastructure as a key selling point. This is still often very relevant for many clients. Now, however, increasing numbers of clients are looking for integration with edge services and/or edge colocation. Colocation vendors are therefore stepping up to respond to this demand.

Interconnectivity solutions

Robust interconnectivity options enable efficient communication and data exchange between diverse components. Implementing solutions such as high-speed networking protocols and advanced routing mechanisms simplifies the scaling process. Moreover, it helps the data center to accommodate the increasing demands of IoT-driven data center infrastructure.

Flexible contracts

In the context of colocation, scalability isn’t just about the technology itself. It’s also about the contract governing the use of the facility. By supporting flexible contracts, colocation providers are able to support their clients creating the infrastructure that works for them.

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