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Importance of colocation in hybrid working

Posted May 15, 2022

Nikhil Rathi, Founder and CEO, Web Werks

Colocation on its own is not enough for full digital transformation. The entire functionality now depends on a multitude of services. Business owners may have difficulty accessing data due to security breaches, disasters, or decentralized networks that disrupt business continuity. A multitude of additional activities must therefore be taken to ensure that your hybrid working model has undisputed data availability.

With geographically distributed teams, it places an additional burden on technologies to provide virtual collaboration, asynchronous communication, and outcome-based tracking. In these scenarios, colocation data centers play a critical role in managing cloud storage, virtual meetings, VOIP traffic, and web applications.

Here are some of the crucial services to request from your colocation data center provider:

1. Backup as a Service (BaaS)

It’s no revelation that effective business continuity depends on creating plenty of redundancy within the data center ecosystem. Where IT teams are already overstretched in the pandemic era, managing dispersed endpoints and increasingly complex cyber threats, BaaS protects organizational information by mirroring all content to an offsite location. This makes an organization less susceptible to evolving threats and frees up resources for revenue-generating operations.

Essentially, organizations should look for:

  • Improved validation in a sandbox environment.
  • Multiple backup locations – both locally and in the cloud.
  • Automated bare metal recovery with bootable media customization.
  • Cluster swap support for specific node backups.
  • Remote recovery via WAN to reduce RTOs.

2. Security as a Service (SECaaS)

When there are sets of assets and information to protect, an organization must develop a diverse set of capabilities to deal with DDoS and data loss threats today. SECaaS consolidates them all to provide network security, vulnerability scanning, identity and access management, encryption, intrusion prevention, continuous monitoring and security assessments. It’s outsourcing your company’s security within a Cloud architecture. This ensures that you don’t have to increase your costs while scaling your business into a hybrid model.

Essentially, organizations should look for:

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) functions for aggregating relevant data from multiple sources.
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF) to filter and monitor HTTP traffic and mitigate common attacks.
  • DDoS protection to ensure excess traffic is removed before it congests your network.
  • Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) to uncover technical and business logic flaws in workflows.

3. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

Data loss is accelerating at an unprecedented rate due to natural and man-made disasters. In the face of this uncertainty and its relative impact on a hybrid working style, it is absolutely important to document and deploy a disaster recovery (DR) solution that fails over your cloud computing environment. DRaaS is an effective option that can help you reduce recurring costs, ensure faster recovery time, create internal controls, and achieve consistent data security.

Organizations should look for:

  • A highly robust and resilient cloud infrastructure setup across multiple sites with colocation facilities.
  • Hot, Warm, Cold DR sites with various public, private and hybrid cloud options.
  • The ability to quickly scale down or scale up storage options on a pay-as-you-go basis.
  • Planning and evaluation service with periodic DR exercises.
  • Any-to-Any architecture that works seamlessly between physical and cloud platforms from various vendors.

4. Storage as a Service (STaaS)

STaaS functions as cloud storage leased from a cloud service provider (CSP) for data repositories, media storage, backup, and DR. It is designed to handle heavy workloads without disrupting ongoing business operations. A key benefit here is the offloading of any cost or effort involved in running full fledged infrastructure and technology while giving you the bandwidth to scale resources on demand. You can react faster to market conditions and launch new applications that prove to differentiate services in the changing digital landscape.

Organizations should look for:

  • An elastic file system, elastic block storage, or simple storage service.
  • Ability to implement a personalized approach based on business expansion.
  • Robust Cloud environment aimed at maintaining all equipment.
  • Multi-tenant models are enabled through virtual machines or containers.
  • Intelligent Edge solutions with the potential to accelerate and optimize data access.

5. Managed IT Services

Round-the-clock monitoring and troubleshooting are the two essential aspects of keeping an organization’s remote environment functional. This includes applying software patches, reporting, and performance tuning based on implementation needs. In total, a third-party provider within a colocation data center can cover your applications, middleware, web hosting, data management, and other critical missions within the ecosystem that allow you to access technology and scalability without breaking the budget.

To ensure 24/7 availability, organizations should look for:

  • Customized offerings in the areas of server monitoring and management, OS hardening, patching and troubleshooting.
  • A wide range of expertise in your industry and niche to meet specific technology requirements.
  • Multiple layers of physical and digital security that protect your information.
  • Proactive services for monitoring, resource leveling and problem management.

6. Cloud On-Ramp

A unified policy around clouds is crucial to optimizing the application experience and automating cloud-agnostic connectivity. Therefore, a cloud networking solution must offer extensive integrations, flexibility, scalability, and security while promising a cohesive colocation environment that consolidates all business functions. The ideal way to ensure seamless remote communication is to opt for a low latency routing optimization engine with maximum network performance.

Organizations should look for:

  • Carrier-independent facilities that host multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
  • Multi-regional availability.
  • Availability guaranteed.
  • A robust infrastructure with backups for power, network, load balancers, and multiple HVAC systems.
  • A comprehensive security protocol for data protection.
  • Autoscaling features are designed to maintain the performance of your applications.
  • Hybrid cloud servers and cloud computing ecosystems to create tailor-made solutions.

to summarize

The pandemic has given rise to this new trend of working from home and office simultaneously, thus calling for better infrastructure to support the trend. As this model is adopted by most enterprises, a hybrid data center architecture is also required, especially for colocation providers. Only then can they adapt to the changing dynamics of digital India.