Mark Gaydos is Chief Marketing Officer for Nlyte Software.
As more organizations turn from owning and operating in-house data centers to colocation models, the pressure is on the colocation and hosting providers to enhance their services to better meet customer needs.
The competition to gain and retain new colocation tenants is fierce. The more colocation providers can set themselves apart from competitors by offering value-added services, the more likely a tenant will become a long-term, loyal customer.
DCIM Benefits for Colocation Providers and Hosts
Offering Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) solutions to tenants is one example of a value-add offering that yields a competitive edge for colocation providers. More importantly a DCIM solution benefits both colocation providers and their tenants – it’s not a one-way value proposition.
The best choice is a DCIM solution designed specifically to meet the needs of colocation providers and offering their tenants:
- Distinct portals, with secure individual access, that provide tenants with views into their own power, space, capacity and usage information -- without compromising the security of other tenants.
- Accurate billing based on actual usage.
- Access to power reports so tenants can identify power issues before they cause outages.
- Real-time power monitoring and alarming – with flexible power and space reporting capabilities.
- Proof of SLA compliance allowing tenants to generate reports to determine compliance.
- Sub-leasing choices offering DCIM benefits to tenants’ customers.
Colocation providers benefit with such real-time features as:
- Monitoring to locate and sell stranded capacity for increased revenue.
- Power information for risk reduction and power savings.
- Space availability reports, alerting the sales team of valuable, revenue-generating rack space availability.
- Ability to separate the facility into zones for individual tracking and accurate billing.
- Alerts to inform the provider when a tenant is reaching a pre-defined limit.
- Analytics driven into ITSM ecosystems ensuring IT service continuity, unmatched visibility for both the tenant and host.
- Comprehensive location overview with ability to drill down to the device level.
- Power trending reports to help with long-term capacity planning.
- SLA compliance proof reporting.
- Individual, secure access to tenant information.
- Ability to generate reports for the tenants at reduced time and costs.
Multi-tenant data centers are making great advances in solving the energy efficiency equation. For example real-time temperature monitoring with a DCIM solution allows a data center manager to raise the ambient temperature of the facility – without negatively impacting customers’ equipment. And for each degree of temperature raised, an average of 4 percent is saved on energy bills – for large colocation providers the savings is even greater. Sharing this savings with tenants, while keeping them informed and comfortable with the changes throughout the process, is one of the greatest value-add benefits of retaining tenants.
Seven DCIM Considerations for Colocation Tenants
When deciding to become a colocation facility tenant, consider these 7 DCIM factors, before migrating:
Location, location, location: Just as you would scope out any real estate, location is never far from a top consideration -- this means both the physical and the support locations.
The power supply situation: You must consider the robustness of regional power grid infrastructure and redundancy capabilities of the facility – and the location of power stations, substations and feeds to the facility not to mention redundancy throughout the delivery system.
The cooling situation: Proper cooling is indispensable in a colocation space. Power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating is crucial in optimizing cooling costs and effectiveness- PUE shows how much overhead is associated with delivery of power to the rack.
The providers’ level of DCIM literacy: Even though DCIM software has become standard in managing data centers, not all colocation providers are equally well-equipped.
The physical security situation: Your data center assets are critical to your business – and most valuable assets aside from your human capital – and must be secured in a secure facility with in-house security teams.
The workload and workflow management offerings: Focus on how the facility will deliver workload and how the workflow will be managed. Ensure your colocation provider is not only in-the-know, but is also capable of keeping up so it doesn’t render your data center management obsolete quicker than it should. Additionally, balancing the workload, continuity and disaster recovery are critical for sustainability.
Providing an ideal environment is becoming easier, but providing one that offers a competitive edge -- with the aforementioned benefits of a DCIM solution for both providers and their tenants, will help providers stand out in today’s very competitive colocation market, and tenants gain utmost benefits and savings while securely housing their critical data.
Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Penton.