Aaron Patrick is Cloud Architect at Markley Group. He is an accomplished systems architect with more than a decade of experience in the information technology industry. Aaron leads the design, development and deployment of the company’s cloud computing platform, featuring Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
In today’s IT landscape the benefits of cloud computing – flexibility, lower costs, higher productivity – are well understood. However, now that the term “cloud computing” is everywhere, companies need to work proactively to ensure they have put their business in the best possible position to succeed now and in the future.
A huge component of this success will be dependent on where your organization’s cloud infrastructure is housed. The data center that your cloud calls home will have certain capabilities and features that may be the difference in whether your cloud keeps pace or falls behind. Uptimes, network bandwidth and security are some of the most important aspects of the data center infrastructure that companies must take into account.
To succeed, however, you need to know what to look for. Below are some key variables that need to be taken into consideration when searching for a data center partner that can manage your cloud computing infrastructure:
One of the biggest reasons companies opt for the cloud is the increased flexibility it provides. No longer do employees need to be hardwired into a company’s server to access data and complete critical functions. This flexibility also allows businesses to outsource their infrastructure needs and costs to data centers where customers do not need to personally maintain and staff the facility.
However, this all relies on the data center’s ability to ensure the cloud is active, accessible and doesn’t suffer downtimes that cause productivity to come to a screeching halt. Before agreeing to house your essential cloud infrastructure in any data center, take the time to ensure it is reliable and gives you the confidence that your cloud will be active whenever you need it. Examine the uptime rates for potential data centers and if there have been downtimes in the past look into what caused them. Repetition in events can be the sign of a larger problem.
Strong data center partners will also allow for increased redundancy and backup potential, so that your data would not be lost in case of a disaster. The peace of mind that all of your valuable data would be recoverable is extremely important, especially in today’s big data world. Do research into what kind of cloud computing backup solution the data center offers, backing up your information offsite is an added benefit to protect against disaster.
Network bandwidth is an extremely important, if sometimes overlooked, factor to cloud performance. Companies should be looking for a data center with multiple network providers available. An option to consider is putting your data center into a carrier hotel, which is a colocation facility where many carriers are physically present. With a large number of providers all under one roof, customers are guaranteed increased bandwidth and network reliability.
Also, carrier hotels may provide low costs for bandwidth since there are competing providers present in the same location, driving the price down. Yet another added bonus that some data centers provide is a direct cross connection into the carrier’s router itself. This kind of connection will further lower costs, while increasing security, performance and reliability. All the things you need to ensure your cloud has a strong infrastructure behind it.
As previously mentioned a cross connect with a carrier’s routers can increase security for your cloud, but it is not the only way to improve security. Many companies store much of their most confidential and important information on their cloud server and that makes security of the utmost concern for IT departments enabling or upgrading their deployment. Data centers, and specifically enterprise class centers, offer very robust security options for cloud infrastructure and have 24/7/365 monitoring to ensure that the data stored there is safe there.
Hybrid Cloud Deployment and the Next Level
These features cover some of the most important aspects of a hybrid cloud deployment and are important for IT departments to consider when looking to take their cloud strategy to the next level.
As the industry continues to evolve and change at a breakneck pace, companies need to make sure their data center will help their cloud infrastructure grow and thrive. By following these guidelines IT departments will be able to find the right partner and guarantee that they are not left behind.
Industry Perspectives is a content channel at Data Center Knowledge highlighting thought leadership in the data center arena. See our guidelines and submission process for information on participating. View previously published Industry Perspectives in our Knowledge Library.