Are fit for purpose colocation facilities becoming increasingly vital?
A new whitepaper by Quocirca on behalf of data centre operator Next Generation Data (NGD) alerts user organisations to the performance risks of using the public internet for providing wide area (WAN) connectivity between their private, public and legacy environments. The published report also indicates the alternative of using dedicated WAN links will prove cost prohibitive for many.
The whitepaper addresses an array of concerns, discussing the benefits and pitfalls of hybrid cloud implementations and the increasing importance of colocation data centres for delivering optimum hybrid performance. Taking the recently launched Microsoft Azure Stack hybrid cloud solution as an example, it advises using a colocation facility rather than on premise in order to minimise latency when connecting to Azure public cloud services.
As part of this it emphasises the need for colocation data centres with sufficiently dense power availability and direct gateway connections into Microsoft’s dedicated ExpressRoute WAN. However, it warns there are currently very few data centres with such capabilities, potentially exposing organisations to facilities that are purely points of presence (PoP) along the ExpressRoute.
“In many cases, end customers will have to strike a deal with these PoP providers who will provide dedicated connections using quality of service technologies to connect into the end customer’s facility,” said Clive Longbottom, Quocirca’s principal research analyst. “So, there is still the issue of the last link between data centres that must be monitored and managed outside of the Microsoft environment.”
Clive added, “Such complexity is hard to avoid but can lead to problems for those aiming for a seamless logical hybrid cloud platform. The obvious solution is to find a colocation provider who is also an ExpressRoute termination point. Here, the end customer takes space within the colocation facility and places their Azure Stack equipment within it. Using intra-facility connectivity speeds, they then connect through to the ExpressRoute environment, giving an Azure Stack/Azure Public Cloud experience that is essentially one consistently performing platform.”
Simon Bearne, commercial director at NGD commented, “Relying on a hotchpotch of wide area network connections could be the downfall of any hybrid cloud implementation. Choosing a fit for purpose colocation facility will ensure user organisations enjoy a seamless, reliable fully-functional experience. For maximum flexibility, look for colocation providers which offer direct connectivity into the main public clouds and have dedicated high performance networks underpinning connectivity between their own and other facilities.”