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Many organizations are making the switch from on-premise data centers to colocation facilities. It allows them to lighten the load from their IT infrastructure, while still maintaining complete control over their servers and data. To realize the full benefits of the switch, these organizations need to choose the right colocation facility.

Adequate power density, efficient use of server space, physical and digital security, and cooling system are some of the key attributes organizations look for in a colocation center. Some facilities distinguish themselves from others by offering additional benefits like smart monitoring, scalability, and additional on-site security. From reliability to value-add services, there are several things an organization can compare different colocation data center facilities on.

Perhaps one of the most important things to look for in a colocation data center is whether or not it’s carrier neutral.

Colocation Facilities

Colocation data centers offer crucial infrastructure, and all the relevant facilities that an organization needs for a data center. Instead of creating and maintaining a facility from scratch, they can keep their servers and infrastructure in a designated area in a colocation facility. Many companies leverage the presence of these colocation data centers to run an entire business, without investing and engaging significant resources on the underlying infrastructure. This allows them to use their available resources (whether monetary or human) more efficiently. They can focus more on their core competencies, research, and innovation.

Carrier-Neutral Colocation Data Centers

While many provide the same service and similar underlying infrastructure, there are various differences between different colocation data centers. One major difference is whether a facility is carrier-neutral or a traditional telco, single-carrier provider.

Connectivity is a crucial part of a data center’s infrastructure.  Having a reliable ISP(s) is needed to keep a data center up and running, connecting customers and stakeholders (data scientists, analysts, etc.), in addition to a company’s everyday business. Therefore, when a company migrates from an on-premise space to a colocation provider, they very often continue operations with their current connectivity partner.

This is where carrier-neutral colocation data centers come in. A carrier-neutral/network-neutral data center is independent of network providers, and typical telco ISPs. In a neutral provider space, the data center customer is offered an array of options that can meet their connectivity and network requirements. In contrast with single-carrier data centers (usually owned and operated by a specific telco or ISP provider), the connectivity is likely provided by only a single network provider.

Importance of Carrier-Neutrality

The benefit of Carrier-neutrality isn’t just the availability of multiple options, but also the independence from a single-carrier, and a single point of failure if the network is compromised. When migrating infrastructure to a colocation facility, the hardware remains the property of the customer, but everything needed to run, maintain, and secure the data center, are provided by the data center facility.  The mission-critical infrastructure becomes an asset of value, including the connectivity options offered by multiple ISP’s.

When telco and ISP networks operate in a single-carrier colocation facility, it prevents competitors access to their customers. When this is the case, it is imperative that data center customers understand the possible connectivity risk and limitations of the network in such facilities.

With a colocation facility, it’s not always an easy task to migrate infrastructure. Disruptions are always a risk, and without the presence of backups or redundant servers, it can be a painful experience. With these concerns, lack of flexibility and choice, limits clients to such facilities. So, if a single-carrier colocation facility decides to increase the price of internet service, or experiences a concern in network quality, the client’s service level and finances will suffer along in that situation. The fear of data disruptions and network meltdown can be too much to overcome.

In contrast, a carrier-neutral colocation facility that offers multiple ISPs and multiple network carriers, brings an increased level of freedom, choice, redundancy, and cost savings that aren’t available in single carrier data centers.

Benefits of Carrier-Neutral Data Centers

There are several key benefits of a carrier-neutral facility:

Operational Reliability

This is a key benefit that carrier-neutral data centers have over both, single-carrier facilities, and on-premise data centers. In today’s digital world data-centric business landscape, experiencing frequent and long lasting downtime is simply not feasible for a business. Being a risk at a single-carrier facility, carrier-neutral data centers can lower the risks of outages, thanks to the levels of ISP redundancy.

Additionally, a comprehensive blend of ISP providers can minimize the risk of cybersecurity intrusions, and protect against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. By ensuring ISP redundancy, a carrier-neutral facility offers superior operations and reliability.

Carrier-neutral facilities can also deliver services over a multiple cross-connects, keeping the connectivity chain strong, diverse, and ensuring protection and network reliability.

Cost-effectiveness

With multiple carriers, a carrier-neutral facility creates a competitive ISP market within the facility. Carriers and ISPs provide services with competitive prices and superior service offerings.  This Is attractive to many  data-center tenants.  Internet pricing can get very cost effective to any customer, small and large.

In a carrier-neutral data center, an organization can switch between different carriers without minimal to zero downtime. For instance, if a business believes their current carrier is charging them unfairly, they can compare pricing to any other carrier in the facility.  This sort of leverage isn’t available in a single-carrier data center.  By moving to a carrier-neutral facility, there is often significant cost savings of internet pricing.   

Scalability and Flexibility

Carrier-neutral data centers are in a much better position to cater to their clients’ expansion needs. If the organizations that have data centers in their facility want to scale up, carrier-neutral facilities can provide the underlying infrastructure, and a wide ISP collection to accommodate the new and extended needs. Carrier-neutral facilities are also more flexible when it comes to interconnections and offer more disaster recovery options.    

Conclusion

Carrier-neutral facilities have a clear edge over single-carrier colocation data centers when quality, choice, redundancy, and cost savings are important to an organization’s needs. RACK59’s Data Center was built around the vision of creating one of the region’s largest and most diverse carrier hotels. With the mission-critical infrastructure located on the 7725 Connect campus, RACK59 has attracted over 23+ internet service providers who rely on us to offer 99.999% uptime for their local carrier networks. 

RACK59 is the largest Carrier-Neutral facility in the State of Oklahoma, with 23+ internet providers, and growing. 

For an opportunity to see how a carrier-neutral colocation data center could benefit your IT model contact us online utilizing the “Contact Us” or “Tour Button” below.

Bryan Bundy

Bryan Bundy

20+ years helping clients with their communication and data solutions while building solid long term relationships.

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