DCN December 2016 - Page 26

modular systems KEYS TO THE FUTURE Forget a turnkey approach, modular data centres unlock real innovation. Lex Coors of Interxion explains why an adjustable design philosophy is crucial to the future of IT innovation. The pace of digital innovation has never been faster. We’re now hurtling towards a world where mobile connections outnumber people, billions of smart devices dominate the Internet and machine learning transforms entire industries. The opportunities are unprecedented. The data centre is the key to unlocking this digital potential, enabling all the connectivity, processing and storage we depend on day-to-day. However, to support this fast moving digital economy, data centres need the agility to flex with new innovations and unpredictable demand. Traditional data centre deployments are anything but agile. Major capital investment, extensive construction and huge logistic hurdles are the norm when setting up any new facility. Facing the need to build 11 data centres across Europe in the late 1990s, Interxion pioneered a new approach to meet these challenges: Modular data centres. By supporting phased infrastructure roll outs that seamlessly increase capacity, this design philosophy meant we could regularly adapt to new demands without disrupting our existing services. By designing facilities to support a high capacity per square meter, but initially only implementing a low load, this scalable approach reduces total cost of ownership and overall deployment time, while allowing firms to adapt their data centre strategy in response to changing business needs. It’s a design philosophy that has only become more important in the last two decades, as successive waves of disruptive innovation have washed across the digital world. Ahead in the cloud The cloud is certainly one such wave of disruption; in fact, it’s now making every CIO rethink their approach to IT infrastructure. Overengineered, on-premise IT is looking increasingly costly and cumbersome in comparison to nimble service based offerings from industry heavyweights like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and IBM SoftLayer. However, most companies still can’t rely entirely on the public cloud due to the need to safeguard sensitive data, adhere to compliance requirements, or ensure the application performance their customers demand. That’s why hybrid approaches to IT – combining the security and performance of on-premise facilities with the public cloud’s agility and cost savings – have become increasingly common. In an IT environment redefined by the cloud, modular data centres have proven to be vital to the growing success of colocation providers. By taking a modular approach to design and build, colocation facilities have ensured they can rapidly respond to market demand and act as magnets for communities of interest during the cloud revolution, while right-sizing IT infrastructure to keep tight control over costs. Carrier neutral facilities enticed in high density, high capacity cloud players by offering a flexible platform that can support their critical infrastructure and adjust to accelerating demand, while also enabling simple interconnectivity with a host of major networks from a single location. Despite this easy access to connectivity, cloud providers balked at leaving customers at the mercy of the public Internet’s performance and security issues for long. To address these concerns, they now offer private connection services, such as Microsoft ExpressRoute and AWS Direct Access. Once again, colocation providers were able to take advantage of this emerging trend. As enterprises and service providers rushed to adopt 26 modular systems KEYS TO THE FUTURE Forget a turnkey approach, modular data centres unlock real innovation. Lex Coors of Interxion explains why an adjustable design philosophy is crucial to the future of IT innovation. T he pace of digital innovation has never been faster. 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