Why? It’s the rude awakening that companies suffer when they find that applications running way out there don’t have the same zip as the ones running on servers down the hall. That can be fixed, of course. It requires engineering your connections to the cloud so that they have sufficient amounts of bandwidth and very low latency, jitter and packet loss. But why go that that expense when you can just cozy up to your service provider with little more than a long patch cord connecting you?
That’s what Telx thinks. They’re throwing open their doors and working to lure cloud service providers to take up residence in one or more of their high performance colocation centers. It’s an acknowledgement that the speed of computing has gotten to the point where interconnections are the weak link. The venerable T1 line or DS3 connection that worked so well when all you needed to do was surf the Web, exchange email or generate sales leads quickly chokes when you start adding virtual servers by the dozens or hundreds.
There are a couple of big crunches that strain the cloud service model. One is business processes that are now automated and support hundreds or thousands of employees. The other is high performance e-commerce, with enormous catalogs and thousands of simultaneous shoppers who have little patience for sluggish servers and none at all for errors in their shopping experience.
The cloud is becoming a victim of its own success. Cloud service providers have mastered the technology of being able to ramp up or down the number of servers online in a matter of seconds. Storage is a bottomless well that data fills as needed. Public-facing bandwidth is easily handled with multiple Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Internet connections with enough margin to serve all customers. While cloud companies have gotten used to this scale of resources, most businesses have not. They don’t have the private line connectivity to take full advantage of near-infinite, near-instantaneous computing resources.
More savvy companies have mastered the connectivity issues, but who’s going to turn down the opportunity to get more performance for less money? The notion of being on the same floor of the same building with your service provider and ditching the telecom line in favor of a local fiber or wire connection has a lot of appeal. The issues of bandwidth, latency, jitter, and packet loss simply disappear.
A lot of medium and larger companies already have equipment in colocation centers, such as Telx. The economic tradeoff between running your own environmentally controlled facilities with backup power, fire suppression and round the clock monitoring and simply renting space in a larger facility with its economies of scale makes colocation attractive. On top of that is the fact that you have easier access to competitive carrier services with more attractive pricing than you can get locally. Now, add to these advantages the opportunity to connect to a cloud service provider in-house and you are looking at really attractive cost vs performance figures.
The new Telx Cloud Connectivity Centers with cloud-optimized infrastructure to support cloud service providers in each of their 15 data centers is an idea who’s time has come. Enterprise users and cloud companies are like opposite magnetic poles trying to get as close to each other as possible. Colocation is the obvious answer.
Can your business benefit from colocation as a service provider or service user? Get pricing and technical specs for the IT resources you need and compare with what you are doing now.
Note: Photo of clouds and building courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.