Why Data Centers Are Becoming Strategic Service Hubs

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2012-07-13 Print this article Print

Multinational corporations and large enterprise customers are being offered customized cloud services by global carriers that require increased investment in data centers.

Cloud computing is fundamentally changing the way users and enterprises use IT; most of us already know that. But what hasn't been discussed too often is how advancing on-demand software and services supplied via the Web are changing the identities of data centers.

Investment in data centers and related infrastructures by large enterprises is becoming integrated into wider strategies that include additional service layers and customized functionality beyond traditional network services, U.K.-based telecom market researcher Ovum reported.

The independent analyst firm said that data centers are becoming "strategic service hubs" for new enterprise IT and communications services.

Different Companies, Different Use Cases

Each carrier uses a slightly different approach, based on the individual carrier's capital available, service portfolio and inclination to partner up with other companies, Ovum said.

Nearly all global telcos are consolidating their data centers within their home regions typically and also expanding into new regions with a single major data center location, Ovum Principal Analyst Mike Sapien said. This includes increasing their investment into fewer premium data centers globally and upgrading the facilities that house their advanced cloud services.

Some global carriers are using third-party data center operators, such as Equinix and Interxion, to expand globally, Sapien said.

"This may seem like conflicting trends, but it is all about focus and concentrating on fewer, higher quality data centers to provide global advanced and cloud-based ICT services," Sapien said.

Start in One Location, Then Expand

The long-term prospects for global expansion are to start with one primary regional location and then expand incrementally to meet customer demand, Sapien said.

A key factor in this investment trend will be the mix of ecosystem partners within the carrier data centers, Sapien said. The report suggests that global carriers will have to develop this ecosystem inside each data center and major region to provide global availability of their respective advanced, cloud services.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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