Everything You Need To Know About Data Centre Interconnection

By Alex Hawkes|8 March, 2021

Getting data centre interconnection right is essential for scalable growth and agility.

Whether you’re a global enterprise with operations in multiple markets around the world or a SaaS provider looking to roll out in new geographies, data centre interconnection is a key building block for connecting to customers and ecosystem partners.

Read on to find out more about:

  • What is driving global demand for private data centre and public cloud interconnection
  • How Software Defined Interconnection is changing the game for rapidly moving industries
  • How to turn your legacy data centre into a strategic asset
  • Using Console Connect to pull all your network assets together

Migrating to the cloud

data centreA significant portion of storage, compute, and application hosting has moved to the public cloud, but not everything.

Many organisations have either held back from migrating highly bespoke or legacy workloads out of their private data centres and some have even reversed migrations back from public to private clouds.

But as is the way with any kind of legacy network asset, the challenge is ensuring accessibility of the incumbent infrastructure in a way that doesn’t hinder growth or agility.

Traditionally, data centres were standalone facilities, with access constrained to the private corporate network. But in a world where ecosystems have become cloud-centric, the focus is shifting these data centre ecosystems from closed and limited to open and agile.

Appropriate interconnection is required to connect to a diversity of data centre infrastructures efficiently, while ensuring your network can meet future requirements.

Data centre interconnection is relevant to every industry

Data centre interconnection, sometimes just referred to as DCI, is the mechanism for connecting one cloud or data centre to another, and is at the heart of new global business models, particularly in the financial, content and tech sectors.

Although public cloud adoption and an explosion in digital content delivery are driving demand for data centre interconnection among network service providers and content distributors, it is a growing consideration for players in just about any industry.

Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to transform how they operate, increasing demand for digital services and increased interconnection as a result. Organisations that don’t have the right infrastructure pieces in place have struggled to respond to changing demands.

At a micro level, as cloud and edge requirements mature, the consumption of interconnection bandwidth is shifting with network providers expected to consume 67% of global bandwidth, cloud and IT services around 16% and finance and content providers around 17%, according to Equinix's Global Interconnection Index.

Responding to changing demands

Organisations that don’t migrate out of a traditional ecosystem - whether that’s due to world-changing events like the pandemic, or more agile and tech-savvy competitors - will lose out on business opportunities as they are unable to reach new opportunities.

CCT - azure cloudBusinesses locked into a private-only, or single data centre, environment will struggle to grow in markets where they don’t have a point of presence or the right partnerships.

But Software Defined Interconnection (SDI) fabrics, such as Console Connect by PCCW Global, enable enterprises to interconnect their data centres and other assets such as public cloud on-demand, globally, rather than being locked into any single ecosystem.

Ultimately this gives digital-centric businesses the freedom to grow quickly in new markets or instantly turn up services across a truly global footprint.

The benefits are the same, whether you’re a network operator, enterprise, over-the-top (OTT) player, content provider, or SaaS provider because the networking model removes the limits on traditional data centre interconnection.

Interconnection fabrics simplify control

Software defined fabrics mean it is not as costly or complex to interconnect data centres and manage network connectivity.

Furthermore, customers are no longer restricted to a single data centre environment but are instead tapping into a flexible, fluid and intelligent networking model to create a global interconnect fabric that grows with their future needs.

When new partners, customers or sites need to be connected, the organisation can turn up services on-demand, connecting data centres, public clouds, Internet Exchange Points (IXP) and their own various networks.

Furthermore, the simplified user experience offers real-time visibility into network performance across the entire data centre ecosystem. This means you can continually adapt and optimise the network connectivity with granular and real-time control over bandwidth to meet changing needs on an intuitive and intelligent network.

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Turning private data centres into a powerful new asset

With the mass migration to the cloud, on-premise data centres are being left underutilised and unloved.

But it's not easy to just get rid of network infrastructure. Organisations are reluctant to throw all that expensive networking kit out and decommission the infrastructure.

coming-up-img-2So organisations suddenly find they have an underutilised - and not inconsiderable - asset that can be redeployed. In many cases, this is a data centre that can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. The problem is it’s isolated.

In order to get the most potential out of this asset, you need to interconnect this data centre to the rest of the network, or the other data centres or the cloud and you can set this up to be a very powerful resource on the end of a flexible connection.

With Console Connect, a network manager can set up a connection between the on-premise data centre and the cloud, or another network asset, within a matter of minutes from a single portal.

They can also bump the interconnect bandwidth between these assets in order to maximise the potential of a hybrid infrastructure model. The commercial implications here are that every minute that you don't have to run your increased bandwidth you can dial it back down and you’re not paying for it, but when you need more it’s there in near real time.

Top considerations for interconnection

If you’re investigating a wholesale migration to the cloud but are not yet sure what to do with your existing data centre, consider these three points as the solution you seek may be down to interconnection rather than public versus private cloud:

  • Are there factors that would make certain of your workloads now or in the future better suited for an on-premises deployment?
  • These factors are not always obvious and are influenced by workload, data, performance characteristics and expected growth, as well as specifics regarding the business and the IT department making the decision.
  • If you are investigating a cloud-first deployment strategy, have you done enough upfront work to investigate these factors and make an informed decision?

Data-centre-to-data-centre interconnection is growing fast

The Internet of Things, 4K video, advertising, social media, and cloud services are all markets seeing exponential growth, driving demand for data centre infrastructure and data centre interconnection.

Screenshot for DCI blogIn order to meet surging demand, the internet content provider community continues to invest in hyperscale data centre properties and network operators continue to build out connectivity to and between these data centres.

In the past, the focus has been on increasing capabilities within the data centre and from the data centre to the business. But today, multiple data centres and multiple public clouds now need to talk to each other, so businesses need to deploy data centre interconnection that is flexible and agile.

It used to be the case that it was too complex, time consuming and expensive to shift data between data centres.

But now, given the investment in infrastructure, businesses are now empowered to establish dedicated, private and dependable connections between connected data centres within metros, regionally, nationally and internationally, in just a few clicks.

Moreover, with the on-demand nature of services such as Console Connect, you can better manage your workloads between data centres with scalable bandwidth, meaning you only ever use what you need and only ever pay for what you use.

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