3 Ways Co-location Data Centres Are Helping Your Business

3 Ways Co-location Data Centres Are Helping Your Business

by Ben Thompson


If you’ve found yourself reading this blog post then we’re guessing you’ve got a good grasp of what big data is and what it looks like (despite the elusiveness of any concrete definition).

Although relatively old lived, big data in its ‘latest’ form is hoping to combine a maze of new data combinations – internal and external, structured and unstructured being the two most obvious sets – to unveil new insights and remove the blinkers of decision making. But you already knew this.

Taking it one step further, Ian McVey, Director at Interxion, spoke with us to explain why and how big data should become the bridge to finally connect the business with IT – provided network capabilities are aligned to the business’s idea of its big data future.

Aside from talking about big data exclusively, Ian shared his view on data storage and suggested that the importance is where the solution is being built: “If the solution is built on a rock rather than on sand, that could be the very difference between that solution being a strategic competitive advantage for a company or failing versus the competition.”

In a recent study conducted by Interxion – Big Data: Beyond the hype – the company stated: “we believe that if big data is a strategic proposition, so too is where you ‘house’ your big data solution.” Co-location data centres – especially those of a carrier neutral nature – offer companies an off-site location to store their data that give them a means of physical security, storage, space, cooling, networking and power.

However, many businesses remain wary of certain factors of data centres and storage. So, in an attempt to quash some of the more common fears, we’ve put together a top three list. Feel free to drop in on the comments section and have your say. Did we nail it?

#1: Cost

CIOs and IT leaders are becoming increasingly concerned by cost, performance and impact. No change there. Building your own data centre and running big data through it is obviously the more expensive option – especially when you consider long-standing SLAs and fixed prices, regardless of how much data is actually used. ‘Colo’ centres on the other hand often offer a much more cost effective rental-style price plan – provided you’re in the market for flexibility. Let’s be honest here, there is no one-size-fits-all.

Regardless, a company investing in a co-location centre will free up resources, time and money by storing their data remotely and securely. Sharing servers with other companies will also reduce cost. Add carrier neutral centres into the picture – and this plug-and-play approach alleviates expensive SLAs and fixed costs across the board (you still have to commit to something though…this is business, after all!)

#2: Flexibility

Companies using co-location data services will have more flexibility to grow their business without the space restrictions inherent with an internal data centre. The data can be accessed remotely, with the company’s permission, via a secure Internet link.

Having servers stored off-site also means that internal networks become available for other uses; allowing the company to concentrate on growth and the fundamentals of the business. Any data centre – irrespective of its nature – will only ever function as successfully as the business goals and values driving it.

As a result, flexibility in this context comes down to the business first being able to derive direction for its data from its intended outcomes. Define clearly, and the flexibility to test and drive new innovation pays for itself.

#3: Innovation

Co-location data centres help businesses react to the market far quicker than in-house or outsourced data centres. Along with the flexibility and space available to test out new projects and cut them without incurring extortionate cost.

In a recent MeetTheBoss big data roundtable, one of our attendees made the statement that “…today, it’s not a case of technology; it’s a case of business models.”

If the IT team is guided by the business in terms of its value drivers and strategic goals, they can use the benefits of the co-location centres to be more innovative and play a larger part of the strategies put in place by the business owners. Simple, right?

Well, kind of. While the benefits of carrier neutral centres can help protect IT functions essential to the business in terms of future-proofing infrastructure shifts (as an example) – the direction has to be first defined by the business. What would you add to the list? Drop us a comment below and we’ll add it to the discussion.

Ben Thompson
Editor and Presenter at MeetTheBoss TV

As a journalist, editor and now presenter at MeetTheBoss TV, Ben has been writing and speaking about the intersection between business, people and technology for the past 15 years. In a career that’s taken him from working for consumer music and style mags to Editor-in-Chief of Business Management magazine – via work for the likes of The Guardian, Frost & Sullivan and Bloomberg, amongst others – he’s interviewed some of the biggest names in business, spoken at international events and moderated countless roundtable discussions.