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Is It Time to Break Free from Traditional Data Center Interconnection?

Ultimately, a long-term DCI strategy is a combination of a robust core network, SDN fabric and on-demand platform.


Jerzy Szlosarek is Co-founder and CEO for Epsilon.

Data Center Interconnect (DCI) is becoming an increasingly important strategy for enabling businesses to piece together their hybrid infrastructure. In the era of digital transformation, many organizations have upgraded their IT systems, but many are still stuck in a traditional DCI ecosystem that limits their growth and innovation.

According to Market Research Future, the DCI market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 11 percent between 2017 and 2023. It is projected to be worth $6.5 billion over the same timeframe. The widespread adoption of cloud-based applications and services, distributed IT systems and processes, continual enterprise transformation, and the borderless nature of the global economy are all driving the DCI market.

Whether it is a global enterprise business or a software as a service (SaaS) provider looking to roll out in new markets, DCI is a critical strategy for connecting to customers and partners. The challenge for many organizations is how to connect to a diversity of data center infrastructures efficiently, while ensuring that it will serve both current and future demands. 

Transforming the Ecosystem

Data centers have traditionally operated as standalone facilities or as closed ecosystems. In a market that is hyper-connected, cloud-centric, and moving faster than ever before, data center ecosystems are moving from closed and limited to open and agile.

Enterprises that find themselves locked into a traditional ecosystem will lose out on huge business opportunities if they are unable to reach consumers in new markets. Similarly, if they want to move quickly into an emerging region to capture a first-mover advantage, they cannot afford to have their infrastructure hold them back.

An organization locked into a single data center environment will be challenged as it grows in markets where a provider is not present. Such "lock-in" means that they will not have the freedom to grow seamlessly in new markets or instantly turn up services across a truly global footprint. 

It is becoming increasingly important for businesses to take control of how they connect, optimize and expand their operations around the world. They can choose software-defined networking (SDN) fabrics to interconnect their data centers on-demand, rather than being locked into one data center provider’s ecosystem.

Delivering Better Business Outcomes

SDN platforms have created an opportunity for enterprises, over-the-top (OTT) players, content providers, anything-as-a-service (XaaS) providers and all kinds of managed service providers to build their cloud-centric DCI ecosystems and create new competitive advantages. It is a new networking model that removes the limits on DCI to enable them to grow globally, while benefitting from greater speed, control and transparency.

With SDN fabrics, it is not as costly or complex to interconnect data centers and manage network connectivity. Customers are no longer restricted to a single data center environment or having to allocate resources to doing it yourself. They are leveraging a flexible, fluid and intelligent networking model to create a global interconnect fabric that support their immediate and future needs.

When new partners, customers or sites need to be connected, the organization must have the ability to turn up services on-demand with a cloud-centric DCI ecosystem that is ready to grow. Each data center site should offer a growing number of connectivity options, via a networking model that enables the organizations to control where and how they connect their business. The ecosystem is ready to adapt, change and grow to new global destinations.

SDN fabric allows enterprises to add depth to their infrastructure as well as increased scalability to link global data centers, public clouds, Internet Exchange Points (IXP) and a variety of networks. This enables businesses to string together an ecosystem of cloud-centric data centers with direct access to the cloud.

They can use a single platform to provision these connections with high levels of automation. This drives efficiency, reduces procurement time and removes the need for resources to manage multiple relationships. The entire DCI ecosystem can be aligned via one SDN platform for a simple user experience, offering real-time visibility into the network performance across the entire data center ecosystem.

Regardless of whether it is metro or long-haul DCI, being able to manage the service supported by network analytics is a huge differentiator. The organization can continually adapt and optimise the network connectivity with granular bandwidth options to meet changing needs on an intuitive and intelligent interface.

Intelligent DCI Ecosystems for Future Transformation

A cloud-centric DCI ecosystem removes the limit to global connectivity, creating a new opportunities for businesses to grow quickly and more efficiently. When built on a robust network backbone, it enables businesses to scale their infrastructure globally and extend their reach in new markets.

There is no longer a need to lease a colocation space to connect to other data centrers and networks. reducing the overall cost of entry and the need for additional investments or resources. This gives them complete control over the way they connect and deploy applications and services globally.

Ultimately, a long-term DCI strategy is a combination of a robust core network, SDN fabric and on-demand platform. It is a new networking model built for modern business services and applications.

Opinions expressed in the article above do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Data Center Knowledge and Informa.

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.

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