Delivering Continued Investment in the Cyxtera Platform — 2021 Updates
Despite the challenges of 2020 and 2021, businesses around the world have found new ways to thrive through adversity. Initially, managing the sudden onset of remote work and travel restrictions meant an added layer of complexity when it came to operating the core enterprise servers and networks that businesses rely upon. Yet, many took the last year as an opportunity to accelerate their digital transformation and reimagine their core IT infrastructure with an eye towards speed, simplicity, and flexibility.
Thanks to this growing trend, customers have embraced Cyxtera’s platform as the key to pulling off agile digital transformations. With click-to-provision services and software-defined networking alongside colocation, we’ve seen enterprises use our platform to migrate from in-house data centers, grow existing colocation deployments, and expand their businesses to take advantage of new markets.
When customers join our platform, they’re trusting us to help them simplify and accelerate their workflows. So, from their initial deployment to daily operation, we want to make sure that the Cyxtera platform is as intuitive and powerful as possible. To that end, Cyxtera’s software engineering teams are consistently expanding our core platform to bring even more speed, simplicity, and ease of use to the customers’ experience.
To stay ahead of demand, we work at a constant clip. Like many agile teams, Cyxtera software engineering operates on a two-week development sprint cycle, with a release at the end of each sprint. That means there is a near-constant stream of updates and fixes, which makes for a rapidly evolving platform. In the first half of 2021, we developed the following new capabilities while refining the core customer experience.
Easier Service Provisioning and Automation
The first task for customers on the Digital Exchange is to deploy new services and configure them according to the needs of their business. We improved our tools and automation to make this process easier.
For example, we simplified the process to create Digital Cross-Connects, enabling customers to create direct, high-performance connections to their business partners with minimal back-and-forth. If desired, the entire process can now be automated, helping customers bring in the solutions and partners they need to accelerate their time to solution.
Similarly, we’ve improved network fabric flexibility to make it easier to set up and reconfigure network settings without submitting an order or sacrificing uptime. Customers can edit VLAN settings in IP connect instances, change VLANS for private networks, and modify network types on the fly. In addition, customers with IP Connect + BGP can now track their LOA, making it easy to bring their own IPs and integrate their deployment into their larger corporate infrastructure.
Taken together, these improvements streamline connectivity and give customers even more control over networking policy, enabling them to seamlessly expand their data center environment with the platform.
Improved Diagnostics and Reporting
Once customers are up and running in the Digital Exchange, their focus shifts to supporting ongoing operations. To help customers better manage their infrastructure, we made key improvements to diagnostics and reporting, aiming to provide increased transparency and more information to customers.
Customers connecting their colocation to our platform through an Exchange Port can now do so with the benefit of Port Interface Metrics and VLAN Diagnostics within the Command Center. These features provide port connectivity status, metrics such as speed, MTU, and errors on the port, and visibility into any of the customers’ VLANs and MAC addresses that our equipment is aware of. These features make it easier to monitor performance and troubleshoot any issues that may arise while configuring Cyxtera Ports.
In addition to live diagnostics and monitoring, teams often require offline reports to review cumulative data. Business leaders also find these reports to be useful for gauging resource consumption. This is especially true for customers using our popular IP Connect product, and customers can now download IP Connect bandwidth usage data in CSV format. As with other reports like power usage and visitor access, the bandwidth report helps provide a live, 360-degree view of a customer’s complete infrastructure, and can be invaluable for troubleshooting and future planning.
The Cyxtera Portal: End-to-end monitoring and management of the data center
In addition to the Digital Exchange updates, we rolled out a new, completely redesigned Cyxtera Portal, which is now in daily use by over 1,000 customers.
This is the first release that will eventually culminate in a single Cyxtera portal for all services, including the Digital Exchange. The new portal includes all the functionality of the previous portal and adds key features like live power monitoring and on-demand reports. All of this is delivered through an interface that has been rebuilt from the ground up to incorporate best practices for intuitive, modern application design.
The new Cyxtera Portal provides a complete suite of tools to monitor and manage your entire data center environment from a single screen. In our portal documentation, you can dig into its rich feature set to see how it works in detail. Some highlights include:
- Mobile-friendly dashboards that make it easy to intuitively review your data center environment. See your assets in context of a data center or cage, get real-time and historical power data, review shipping and billing overviews, and more.
- Simpler interconnection driven by an integration with the Cyxtera Marketplace and easy ordering for Cross Connects and Ecosystem Connects.
- Enhanced asset management, with the ability to view a list of all assets and create aliases for BANS, Ports, and Racks.
- Full contact and data center access management, with detailed visitor logs and streamlined workflows to provision access for to multiple sites.
- One-click export of reports for anything, from power monitoring to visitor access logs.
- API-driven architecture that lets you set up custom, automated workflows for anything and everything through code.
This is just the start for the Cyxtera Portal and the Digital Exchange. We look forward to delivering many new capabilities in the second half of 2021 across our entire platform that enable our customers to reach the next level of their digital transformation. For more information on those updates, visit our Cyxtera platform changelog. In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you. Let us know what you like about these updates and where we can continue to improve your experience.
Views and opinions expressed in our blog posts are those of the employees who made them and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Company. A reader should not unduly rely on any statements made therein.