As more and more businesses pivot to hybrid cloud architectures, colocation providers are working to make sure their data centers jive with hybrid models. But they are doing so in different ways. To assess the state of hybrid cloud within the colocation market, Data Center Knowledge is interviewing a series of colocation providers about their hybrid strategies. This article focuses on Cologix.
Configuring connectivity between colocated infrastructure and public clouds is not usually a trivial affair. But Cologix wants to make it essentially as easy as installing an app within an app store.
Delivering a real-time, user-friendly solution to setting up connectivity circuits is a key element of Cologix’s strategy for enabling hybrid cloud and hybrid IT architectures within its colocation network. Here’s how Cologix views the hybrid cloud market and which strategies it is deploying to make it easy for customers to build hybrid environments.
A Connectivity-Centric Approach to Hybrid Cloud
Solving the connectivity part of the hybrid cloud equation is at the core of Cologix’s hybrid cloud strategy.
Cologix, which operates over 30 data centers spread across 10 markets in North America, hosts about 75% of all cloud service provider on-ramps in Canada and over 25% of service on-ramps overall in North America, according to Neal Elinski, general manager for cloud and connectivity platforms at Cologix. It makes sense, then, that the company would seek to leverage its connectivity solutions as the crux of its strategy for catering to the hybrid cloud market.
To capitalize fully on connectivity services, Elinski said, Cologix focuses on making it as simple as possible for customers to set up circuits between their data centers, public clouds and other service providers. It does this primarily through its Access Marketplace platform, a self-service solution where customers can select and deploy private connections between Cologix facilities and third-party resources in minutes.
“Our Cologix Access Marketplace offers automated, on-demand circuit provisioning and management services to customers, helping them get connected to the cloud and networks on their timeline and terms,” Elinski said. “Every Cologix facility is tethered back to our carrier hotels to provide access to the major clouds and service providers.”
Speeding Hybrid Cloud Deployments
Cologix believes that making it easy to set up connectivity for hybrid architectures is important not just from a convenience standpoint, but because it solves a key logistical challenge that many businesses face as they seek to build out hybrid environments: keeping to schedule.
“Most businesses overrun their hybrid cloud or public cloud transition by months or even years,” Elinksi said. “Cologix helps by simplifying the foundational aspects of a hybrid cloud deployment, while guiding customers through installation and interconnection within our facility.”
He added that Cologix’s connectivity service platform is enjoying rapid growth. “Our Access Marketplace grew at 70% year over year in 2020, and it continues to see strong adoption from customers looking for an easy and on-demand way to connect to cloud and other service providers,” Elinski said.
Conclusion: Self-Service Connectivity as the Key to Hybrid Cloud?
Unlike some other colo providers, Cologix hasn’t invested heavily in other types of solutions that may cater to businesses looking to build hybrid environments, such as management services or endorsement of specific hybrid cloud frameworks offered by public cloud providers.
Instead, it has stuck to a carrier-neutral hybrid strategy that keeps the focus on one simple, but critical, element of virtually any hybrid architecture that includes colocation facilities: connectivity.
Cologix “helps customers get as close as possible to the major public cloud providers, to provide a simple, high-performance, private and reliable connection between their public and private environments,” Elinski said. “Without a trustworthy circuit in place to tether public and private sites, the customer puts their whole hybrid environment at risk.”
Whether Cologix’s offerings are the ideal fit for a given business’s hybrid strategy will depend on how many services the business seeks beyond connection solutions. But for companies that are happy to manage other facets of their hybrid strategy on their own but that need a flexible and simple approach to connectivity, Cologix’s singular focus could be a strength.