Written by David Murphy on December 20, 2018
The Data Center's Days Are Numbered: Colocation's Role
By 2025, 80% of enterprises will have shut down their traditional data center, versus 10% today, according to Gartner’s report Prepare for the Death of the Data Center as We Know It.
Why the shift? Many organizations are adopting “cloud-first” strategies. But cloud isn’t always right for every workload. Security, compliance and latency requirements of legacy systems and many critical workloads often limit what can be migrated. The decision has to be made on what can move to the cloud and what needs an alternative strategy.
So organizations have two main options – keep infrastructure on-premises or move workloads to colocated environments.
Colocation offers three main advantages – cost, compliance and control.
- Cost – Colocation offers economies of scale and predictable cost models on-premise data centers can’t match without the 10 year+ leases and depreciating data center infrastructure.
- Compliance – Colocation providers assume much of the compliance burden, and offer improved uptime and availability, freeing enterprises to focus on their core business operations.
- Control – Colocation gives enterprises the control and autonomy of dedicated infrastructure previously only available in their own data centers.
But there is one main disadvantage colo has suffered from for decades – connectivity and capacity planning. Historically, businesses had two options: either under provision colocation capacity and power; or over provision and pay too much for capacity that’s not needed. This, along with the average 3-6 months to stand up new colocation environments, have hindered organizations’ ability to colocation’s advantages.
Colocation: A Strategic Alternative to a Cloud-first Mandate
According to Gartner’s report:
“Infrastructure and operations leaders planning for the future of infrastructure delivery should: Move legacy workloads into colocation or hosting models in order to retire on-premises data centers.”
To support this recommendation, and as we prepare for the death of the data center as we know it, a new deployment model is needed – where colocation can be provisioned and consumed like the cloud, on demand through APIs and a web console. Connectivity and dedicated, pre-configured hyperconverged infrastructure needs to be available via a software-powered architecture.
Gartner: Prepare for the Death of the Data Center as We Know It, Tiny Haynes, 22 May 2018.