Nikhil Rathi, Founder & CEO, Web Werks
Colocation in itself is not sufficient for a complete digital transformation. The entire functionality is now dependent on a host of services. Business owners may have difficulty accessing data due to security breaches, disasters, or decentralised networks that disrupt business continuity. A multitude of supplementary activities, therefore, need to be taken that ensure your hybrid model of work has uncontested data availability.
With geographically distributed teams, it puts an added onus on the technologies to ensure virtual collaboration, asynchronous communication, and result-based tracking. In these scenarios, Colocation Data Centers play a critical role in handling Cloud storage, virtual meetings, VOIP traffic, and web-based applications.
Here are some of the crucial services to ask from your Colocation Data Center provider:
- Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS)
It is not a revelation that effective business continuity is dependent on creating ample redundancies within the Data Center ecosystem. Where IT teams are already overextended in the pandemic age, managing dispersed endpoints and increasingly complex cyber threats, BaaS protects the organisation’s information by replicating the entire contents on an offsite location. This makes an organisation less susceptible to evolving threats and frees up resources for revenue-generating operations.
In essence, organisations should look for:
- Enhanced validation in a sandbox environment.
- Multiple backup locations – both locally and in the Cloud.
- Automated Bare Metal recovery with bootable media customisation.
- Clustered exchange support for specific node backups.
- Remote recovery via WAN to reduce the RTOs.
- Security-as-a-Service (SECaaS)
When there are bundles of assets and information to protect, an organisation needs to develop a varied set of capabilities to keep up with DDoS and data loss threats in today’s time. SECaaS consolidates them all to provide network security, vulnerability scanning, identity and access management, encryption, intrusion prevention, continuous monitoring and security assessments. It is outsourcing the security of your company within a Cloud architecture. This ensures that you don’t have to increase your costs while scaling your business in a hybrid model.
Essentially, organisations must look for:
- Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) functions for the aggregation of relevant data from multiple sources.
- Web Application Firewall (WAF) to filter and monitor the HTTP traffic and mitigate any common attacks.
- DDoS protection to make sure that excess traffic is removed before it congests your network.
- Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) for uncovering technical and business logic flaws in the workflows.
- Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS)
Data loss is accelerating at an unprecedented pace due to both natural and man-made disasters. In the face of this uncertainty and its relative impact on a hybrid style of working, it is absolutely important to document and deploy a Disaster Recovery (DR) solution that provides failover for your Cloud computing environment. DRaaS is an effective option that can help you save recurring costs, ensure a faster recovery time, build in-house controls, and get cohesive data security.
Organisations should look for:
- A highly robust and resilient Cloud infrastructure setup across multiple locations with Colocation facilities.
- Hot, Warm, Cold DR sites with diverse options of Public, Private & Hybrid Cloud.
- The ability to rapidly scale down or ramp up storage options on a pay-per-use basis.
- Planning and assessment service with periodic DR drills.
- Any-to-any architecture that works seamlessly between physical and Cloud platforms from varied providers.
- Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS)
STaaS works as Cloud storage rented from a Cloud Service Provider (CSP) for data repositories, multimedia storage, backup, and DR. It is designed to handle heavy workloads without disrupting the ongoing business operations. A key benefit here is the offloading of any cost or effort involved in managing a full-fledged infrastructure and technology while giving you the bandwidth to scale up resources on demand. You can respond to market conditions faster and spin up new applications which turn out to be service differentiators in the evolving digital landscape.
Organisations should look for:
- An elastic file system, elastic block storage or simple storage service.
- Ability to implement a customised approach in line with the business expansion.
- Robust Cloud environment aimed at maintaining all equipment.
- Multitenancy models are enabled through virtual machines or containers.
- Intelligent Edge solutions with the potential to accelerate and optimise data access.
- Managed IT Services
Round-the-clock monitoring and issue resolution are the two indispensable aspects required to keep an organisation’s remote environment functional. This includes software patching, reporting, and performance tuning on a need-to-implement basis. In totality, a third party vendor 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, organisations should look for:
- Customised offerings in the fields of Server Monitoring and Management, OS Hardening, Patching, and Troubleshooting.
- A wide gamut of expertise in your industry and niche to cater to specific technological requirements.
- Multiple layers of physical and digital security that protect your information.
- Proactive services for monitoring, resource levelling and issue management.
- Cloud On-Ramp
A unified policy around the Clouds is crucial to optimise application experience and automate Cloud-agnostic connectivity. Hence, a Cloud networking solution should deliver extensive integrations, flexibility, scalability and security while promising a consistent Colocation environment that consolidates all enterprise functions. The ideal way to ensure seamless remote communication is to go for a low-latency route optimisation engine with maximum network performance.
Organisations should look for:
- Carrier-neutral facilities that house multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs).
- Multi-region availability.
- Guaranteed uptimes.
- A robust infrastructure with backups for power supply, network, load balancers and multiple HVAC systems.
- A comprehensive security protocol for data protection.
- Autoscaling features primed to maintain the performance of your applications.
- Hybrid Cloud servers and Cloud computing ecosystems to create tailored solutions.
To sum up
The pandemic has given rise to this new trend of working from home and office simultaneously, thus calling for a better infrastructure to support the trend. As this model is taken up by most companies, a hybrid data center architecture is needed as well, particularly for colocation providers. It is only this way that they can adjust to the changing dynamics of digital India.