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The Synergy Of Colocation And Interconnection Strategies In Hybrid IT Environments
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The Synergy Of Colocation And Interconnection Strategies In Hybrid IT Environments


Implementing hybrid IT environments allows businesses to leverage the best of private infrastructure together with the best of the public cloud. Colocation and interconnection are natural partners both in general and in a hybrid IT strategy specifically. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know.

Understanding colocation

Colocation is the provision of managed data center infrastructure as a service. The colocation vendor takes care of everything to do with the facility itself. Clients lease or rent dedicated spaces where they deploy their own equipment. This equipment (and the data on it) stays under their direct control.

Benefits of colocation

The headline benefits of colocation are convenience, control, and cost-effectiveness.

Convenience: The colocation vendor will take care of all the practicalities of running a data center. All the client has to do is manage their own equipment and data (and the access to it).

Control: One of the biggest differences between colocation and the public cloud is that using colocation enables clients to keep their own data on their own equipment. Moreover, that equipment will be kept in a dedicated, secured space. This means that third parties will only touch that data if the client explicitly permits them to do so. The fact that clients use their own equipment also means that they can customize that equipment for optimal performance.

Cost-effectiveness: With colocation, businesses completely avoid the hefty upfront costs of implementing on-premises data centers. Moreover, they benefit from sharing the cost of core infrastructure. They may even be able to leverage group purchasing power to unlock significant economies of scale.

Understanding interconnection

In the context of IT, interconnection refers to the direct linking of various computing devices, systems, or networks to enable seamless communication and data exchange.

Interconnection plays a crucial role in enhancing overall performance, scalability, and responsiveness within complex IT environments. It is particularly relevant to hybrid and distributed architectures.

Benefits of interconnection

Interconnection is used to deliver two main benefits. These are low-latency connectivity and bandwidth scalability.

Low-latency connectivity: Lower latency equals faster data transmission speeds. Fast data transmission benefits all online services and applications. In some cases, it is essential. For example, real-time communications such as videoconferencing depend on real-time data transmission.

Bandwidth scalability: Very few, if any, businesses have completely stable workloads. Using interconnection makes it much easier for businesses to scale their bandwidth, even dynamically. This enables them to accommodate fluctuating workloads efficiently and ensures consistent, high-performance data transfer.

Understanding hybrid IT environments

Hybrid IT is a computing environment that combines on-premises infrastructure with cloud services (private and/or public).

Benefits of hybrid IT environments

The three main benefits of hybrid IT environments are flexibility, cost efficiency, and risk mitigation.

Flexibility: Using a hybrid IT environment allows businesses to use the best environment for any given job. Typically private infrastructure (on-premises or cloud) is used for core tasks. The public cloud is used when extra resources are needed on a short-term basis (for example to cope with spikes in traffic).

Cost efficiency: By using the right environment for the right task, businesses can make their operations more cost-effective overall. In particular, they can benefit from the lower cost of in-house processing for their core tasks while knowing they can expand into the public cloud if necessary.

Risk mitigation: With a hybrid cloud strategy, businesses avoid putting all their eggs in one basket. If one of their environments fails, they can move operations into another environment. Even if this environment does not deliver the same level of performance as the main environment, it will keep them going until a solution is found.

Challenges of hybrid IT environments

The three main challenges of hybrid IT environments are complexity, cost management, and data governance.

Complexity

Managing a hybrid environment is inherently more complex than managing a single environment. Using colocation allows businesses to offload the everyday practicalities of running a data center and its infrastructure. This in turn enables them to focus on managing their equipment and data.

Using interconnection technologies enables seamless communication between on-premises and cloud resources. This reduces the complexity of network configuration and management.

Cost management

On a similar note, implementing a hybrid infrastructure can make it more challenging to manage costs. Using colocation services can vastly simplify budgeting, especially if businesses use an unmetered connection. It is also likely to be more cost-effective than using the public cloud. This is particularly true for businesses that process high volumes of data.

Data governance

Ensuring consistent data governance policies across on-premises and cloud environments is challenging. Colocation services offer a secure environment for on-premises infrastructure. Many colocation facilities achieve and maintain certification in a range of data security frameworks and standards.

Interconnection technologies facilitate secure and direct data transfer between these environments. This ensures data governance policies are uniformly applied and, hence, that compliance standards are upheld.

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