Monday , 29 May 2017


Integrating Colo with the Cloud

By Jeff Plank, CEO Agile Data Sites

Raise your hand if you’re not using AWS in any way. Be honest. I’ll wait.

Cork, Ireland

Everybody has some kind of cloud footprint. It is just too good a deal to pass up for certain types of applications. If a workload fits certain criteria for storage, bandwidth, security and computation then AWS or other public cloud providers are lightyears ahead of the competition in terms of ease-of-use, scalability and cost.

But…

If you’ve been using AWS long enough, at some point you probably received an invoice that made your heart sink. Maybe you had more traffic than you were expecting, or an application used more compute resources than you were expecting. When that happens, you might want to roll back your public cloud presence but you can’t. You have already committed to it and you need that scalability for the next unexpected AWS binge.

You need a hybrid. Today it has become easier than ever to meld the public cloud with an enterprise or colocation data center. By leveraging software defined network appliances your network can seamlessly connect to the public cloud leveraging public cloud resources only when appropriate, and saving you money the rest of the time.

There are many software defined networking solutions in the wild. Velocloud, a software defined network provider, leverages a cloud delivered SD-WAN to run a WAN over ordinary broadband connections to connect as if through a dedicated line. These software defined networks can greatly reduce the cost of communication between sites including public cloud hosting.

Then there’s storage. Often storage is the least difficult piece of the cloud space. However, even storage costs can quickly balloon in a cloud environment depending on the application. So sometimes it can be more beneficial to leverage a private cloud storage provider. Several cloud providers actually place cloud storage appliances located within colocation facilities which can provide scalable storage as a service to colocation clients within the same facility.

Agile Data Sites is a NJ colocation provider that has partnered with Velocloud for their SD-WAN and Contour Data Solutions for our on-site hosted cloud computing services which can be provisioned rapidly. Contour can provide Public, Private and hosted clouds as well as cloud based disaster recovery using Veeam software. These three companies believe that they can leverage their unique abilities so that we can erase the divide between public and private clouds. Tenants at Agile Data Sites can deploy in a colocation facility yet have full and unimpeded access to the entire public cloud framework while maintaining complete control of their collocated infrastructure and dynamically move resources between the two.

Of course, integration is the biggest hurdle. These types of hybrid systems are great but it takes time and resources to migrate existing systems. Companies need someone to provide onboarding assistance to help with migration and integration ensuring that the entire transition is seamless from inception to implementation. Agile Data Sites, for example, can provide migration services but there are many companies that can aid in the migration process.

Everybody talks about convergence. Everybody dreams about a time when we don’t have to deal with a thousand disparate systems and can once and for all understand everything at a glance. I have news: we are not there yet. But we do have the tools to integrate all of the pieces. It is time to integrate colocation with the cloud.

About the Author

Jeff Plank is President/CEO of Agile Data Sites, LLC. He has more than 20 years experience in the hosting, colocation and managed services industry for both IBM and AT&T. Jeff served as EVP and CTO for Directlink, taking the company from startup to an extremely successful data center services provider with responsibilities including managing operations, sales, marketing and overall organizational direction.

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