Written by Jason Lochhead, SVP Research and Development, Cyxtera Technologies on August 22, 2018
The Making of the On-Demand Data Center
Welcome to the multi-part series on the Cyxtera Extensible Data Center (CXD). In this series, we’ll cover the overall thought process behind why and how we’ve developed CXD and then dive in to the various components that make up the platform.
Cyxtera is a relatively new company, but we have a well-established data center footprint and our staff has decades of expertise in the data center, hosting, and cloud space. When we first got started a little over a year ago, we immediately brought this knowledge to bear and started thinking about what we could do to improve the colocation experience.
The process of acquiring space and deploying equipment in a colocation facility can be time consuming and, at times, frustrating. Data center colocation hasn’t changed much in the last couple of decades and to be fair, a lot of the work that happens in the data center requires a person to physically do it.
If you think about the process from beginning to end, it looks something like this:
As you can see, there are a lot of steps in the process and many of them can only be performed sequentially. Also, adding additional network connectivity or compute after the initial setup is still laborious and time consuming. This extended deployment process isn’t desirable for our customers, or for us. There are, however, some things that can be simplified and automated. That’s what we’re focusing on with the Cyxtera Extensible Data Center platform.
With CXD, we're focusing on reducing the time to add connectivity, compute and other data center services by automating as much as possible. Automating these processes means that we can enable self-service via APIs and a web console. This reduces or eliminates any back-and-forth between Cyxtera and our customers. This is the experience that customers have come to expect in a world dominated by Software-as-a-Service and cloud platforms.
To make this work, we needed to first develop a way to dynamically provision connectivity. Without this, we’re stuck dragging fiber around the facilities. In the next part of this series, we’ll cover our solution to that problem: CXD’s software-defined network fabric and provisioning engine.