To be successful in the competitive colocation market today, colocation providers must differentiate themselves with emerging connectivity services and develop a well-defined product and service portfolio.
Though there are many different types of connectivity services that data centers can sell to their customers – all are derived from two basic forms of connection: intracolocation and intercolocation.
Intracolocation connectivity services typically connect enterprise customers to partners and peering networks by connecting them within the colocation facility to other participants. This is done via fiber or copper-based cross-connects with very low latency, high-speed switching, high bandwidth and high security. Connectivity to multiple network providers or internet exchange connects are well-established connectivity services often provided to data center customers. From network peering, to direct connect, hosting or cloud providers – these services allow for a direct connection to enterprise-connected routers, or colocated compute and storage assets.
It is important to note that connectivity-to-cloud platforms are quickly emerging as an important service in colocation facilities. The ability to deliver dedicated connections to cloud providers, and bypass the public internet, with increased performance and higher security to colocation customers is in high demand. Offering these platforms can ultimately be a deciding factor in whether or not a facility becomes a strategic core provider for companies.
On the other side of the spectrum are intercolocation connectivity services which involve multiple data centers. Significant benefits can be achieved from leveraging two or more colocation centers and utilizing high-speed connectivity between the connected data centers. These services are often provided in carrier-neutral facilities, where the multitude of carrier types and areas served increase the options and variations of products provided.
Reportbuyer, a leading industry intelligence solution providing market research, expects the global data center colocation market to grow to 50.18 billion by the end of 2020. With so many MTDCs and colocation providers vying for the same customers – unique products and services must also be offered in order to be successful in this market. A well-defined product portfolio can effectively showcase the services a facility brings to the table. Several important connectivity services customers are looking for today include disaster recovery, network peering, end-to-end Ethernet connections, hybrid cloud deployment, cloud bursting, turnkey clouds, marketplaces and meet me rooms (MMR).
Once a colocation provider determines which services to offer, they must then operationalize the differentiation strategy. Standardizing network operations to support innovative connectivity services is key. By implementing a comprehensive data center connectivity management solution, colocation providers can seamlessly execute their differentiation strategy.
FNT Command delivers accurate capacity management, connectivity planning, and fast impact analysis in one central database. Network operation teams can use FNT Command to improve workflows and service delivery, analyze and trace entire signal chains, and identify port capacities across all network devices and services. The top features of FNT Command include the planning and documentation of all active infrastructures for data center intraconnect and interconnect services independent from the vendor, cable management functionalities such as auto-routing of connections to customer cages and suites, and the automatic generation of work orders for patches and splices based on a graphical planning process, to name a few.
To read more about FNT’s solutions for colocation connectivity – download our white paper here.