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.