Data centers have long played an essential role in the IT world. Coming onto the scene as a way to centralize any of the shared IT processes and tools of a particular company, data centers have progressed and evolved over time.
The evolution of data centers has followed the evolution of IT. While some changes have been slow and sporadic, others have been propelled due to pressing needs. Recent years have seen a huge shift in data centers, as COVID, the remote work revolution, and other cultural happenings have spurred the industry forward.
In fact, one of the most drastic changes has been the rapid move away from the classic and on-site data center. Even before the pandemic, it was expected that technology and cultural shifts would lead the vast majority of organizations to close their on-site data centers by the year 2025. However, the unforeseen situation brought about by the pandemic perpetuated the move away from on-premise centers, with these data centers closing in droves.
This shift has reached the current foundation of data centers, with the needs of organizations looking different than they ever have before. Specifically, colocation sites and the Cloud have taken the reins, evolving alongside organizational needs.
The Cloud and Colocation
As the prevalence of digital data continues to grow, those organizations using all that data are faced with the very real needs of storage and security. In the past, data was stored at an on-site facility within the organization. However, with the vast majority of these types of data centers closing, colocation and the Cloud have become the prevalent method of data centers.
Colocation, also known as colos, is a third-party data center where an organization’s data is stored and maintained. The Cloud is a tool used to store, organize, share, and manage data off-premises. Many colocation data centers use the Cloud,however, the Cloud can also be used separately, away from colocation centers.
The introduction of the Cloud has led to great changes within data centers, including causing the switch from carrier-neutral data centers to cloud-neutral data centers. With more and more organizations using the Cloud for data storage and sharing, data centers have changed to a cloud-neutral process that offers multiple Cloud options.
Thus, colocation centers are beginning to offer access to multiple clouds, meeting the needs and desires of organizations. On the other hand, some colocation providers offer the hybrid cloud, which is a combination of colocation and Cloud services.
Hybrid Cloud Services
These hybrid cloud services give organizations an opportunity to organize their data, storing certain data in the Cloud and certain data on the physical colocation servers. This combination gives greater control to the organization as they determine what will be stored well and manage their own data. It also provides more flexibility, reduces storage costs, and ensures greater security for data stored in the colocation center.
It’s important for colocation centers to offer Cloud services, as the majority of organizations claim they are either completely on the Cloud or will be shortly. While the on-site data center wanes, colocation and Cloud services remain the top options for companies.
Hybrid cloud services offer the most value to organizations looking for the simplicity of Cloud storage with the security of colocation centers for their most valuable and private data.
As colocation continues to be the current state of data centers, customization and personalization are becoming increasingly necessary. Colocation centers can provide multiple solutions, including cooling, storage, security, and more. However, many organizations are looking to pick and choose the services they acquire from their colocation center instead of needing to use every service offered.
This means that colocation data centers must begin to offer customization and flexibility in their services. From offering multiple Cloud vendors to service customization and the opportunity to choose hybrid cloud services, colocation data centers have the ability to meet the need of the ever-changing world of IT.