Co-Location and Managed Services Can Pave Your Road to the Cloud

Co-Location enables you to initiate your company’s cloud migration strategy while preserving existing IT investments at the same time

The Burdens of Running a Data Center

If you have your own internal data center, then you know how demanding day-to-day operations can be.

First of all, it’s expensive. Capital investments in hardware and building out on-premises data centers, plus leasing and licensing costs, can really add up, especially in consideration of the fact that data center operations are not the primary focus of most businesses.

Then there’s the building and maintenance aspect. This requires a significant time commitment, as well as detailed planning for space, hardware and utilities. Not to mention, you also need to have operations personnel who can manage the data center and handle ongoing maintenance and support. It’s an incredibly challenging reality for many companies who continue to manage their own data centers, and it’s the reason why plenty of them are looking to leave internal data centers behind and opt for a more manageable alternative for running IT.

Building a Road to the Cloud with Co-Location

When you choose Co-Location services, you don’t have to leave your hardware behind right away. You can still make use of it, but forego the demands and woes of maintaining your data center. It makes life easier on your IT team and gives them the opportunity to spend time on technology projects that will directly impact revenue, rather than responding to alerts and blinking lights day in and day out. Your chosen Co-Location provider will take care of space, cooling and power, as well.

Now, let’s talk about cloud. It’s no surprise that cloud is an attractive endeavor and it’s currently top of mind for many organizations. According to several industry insiders and through ongoing conversations with our customers and prospects, the following trends are very evident in today’s market:

  • Most businesses are using cloud today in some capacity – from test/dev to production workloads, and everything in between.
  • Many SMEs and enterprises are evaluating the public cloud as a top priority, but many are struggling with a clear migration plan.
  • IT departments are under pressure internally to preserve existing investments in traditional hardware.
  • “Hybrid IT” and “multi-cloud” discussions are becoming more prevalent throughout businesses.

As evidenced by the above, many IT decision makers (who often receive input from several other areas of the business) are interested in optimizing and expanding their cloud usage, but figuring out how to do so isn’t always clear. This is especially true when their IT resides in an on-premises and self-managed data center.

Transitioning your on-premises data center into a Co-Location environment can help initiate your cloud migration strategy and/or digital transformation strategy. If you’re already in a Co-Location environment, having a conversation with your provider as to how they can assist with a partial or complete transition to the cloud is definitely worthwhile. We often find that an “all-in” approach to cloud is rarely successful, and the best path to the cloud is a gradual process. This naturally creates a “hybrid IT” environment, with IT workloads distributed across different infrastructure and platforms.

Then there’s the possibilities that supplementary managed services bring, and the easiest way to adopt managed services often begins with a Co-Location engagement. Managed services are typically designed to help you support or provide beneficial add-ons to your infrastructure, and vendors with strong portfolios of services can manage your IT across multiple locations and platforms. If you’re running multiple systems in disparate locations, or you’re just looking to offload management responsibilities and refocus your internal resources, managed services can also give you the time you need to invest in pursuing the cloud in greater depth.

Why Co-Location is an All-around Strategic Business Move

Co-Location is an effective tactic in supporting your current and future cloud investments, but it can also serve as an all-around strategic business move in many ways. Here’s a few opportunities Co-Location can enable when employed correctly:

  • Preserve hardware investments and plan your next IT steps. Co-Location gives you time to breathe after committing so much time and resources to your data center. You can take an inventory of hardware, contracts, end-of-life timing, and begin to re-focus your IT resources on developing a cloud and digital transformation strategy in addition to core business activities.
  • Enable hybrid IT and interconnected workloads across different infrastructures (Co-Location, bare metal, private cloud, public cloud; etc.) and avoid the unnecessary “all in” approach to the cloud in a single step.
  • Let your application or workload dictate the proper infrastructure solution. If certain workloads aren’t “cloud ready” or can run better on traditional hardware, Co-Location allows for this.
  • Access a gateway into the public cloud ecosystem via private connectivity, and simply connect co-location and cloud environments.
  • Achieve redundancy across Co-Location sites or from one Co-Location site into the cloud. This allows you to fulfill disaster recovery and business continuity objectives.
  • Take advantage of managed services for third-party clouds. This brings forth the opportunities to develop a comprehensive migration and optimization strategy unique to your cloud goals.

You Don’t Have to Leave Your Data Center Investments Behind All at Once. Start with Co-Lo.

Whether you’re looking to invest in the cloud, increase your cloud usage or you simply want to get out of the data center business, Co-Location is a great first step. It will significantly reduce the pressures on your internal technical resources and give them the opportunity to evaluate the next steps of your IT strategy, and in the midst of digital transformation, there’s no better time to refocus your IT team.

If you’ve put a lot of work into your data center, it doesn’t have to be for nothing. Co-Location allows you to get the most out of your hardware’s remaining life while foregoing its care and feeding. For more information on our co-location services please click here.