When is it sensible to deploy colocation and capacity services?

Outsourced capacity solutions can be examined from three benefit perspectives. At the moment, more and more companies want to place the telecommunications core of their customer network in an external service provider's data center. On the other hand, a company may need, as part of its contingency and recovery plan, a second data center to secure the most critical applications and services in exceptional situations.

As a result of cloudification, companies have less need for an in-house data center, as workloads and services are increasingly run on cloud platforms. As the capacity needed in an in-house data center decreases, its maintenance and development may no longer be financially sensible.

Telia's data center specialist Eero Lindqvist is familiar with business customers' needs related to data center solutions. Lindqvist is also one of the key people in Telia’s data center project. Finland’s largest open data center, Telia Helsinki Data Center, is scheduled to open in the spring of 2018. The center offers data center services to all companies and organizations. Lindqvist sheds more light on the three perspectives on colocation and capacity services.

1. Changing service providers is possible without making changes to the network core

"Companies see it as a natural step to place the telecommunications core of their customer network in an external data center. Typically, it is located either in the customer's own or an external IT service provider‘s data center," Lindqvist explains. "When the company decides to change its IT service provider, the telecommunications hub must also be transferred from one place to another. As a rule, companies want to avoid this."

“If the customer places their network core in our data center, they can change the service provider of their server and workstation infrastructure without the need to make changes to the customer network. The Telia data center provides connections from several operators, and compared to an in-house data center, the connections are better and more versatile. Independence of IT service providers and flexibility are the key words here," Lindqvist explains.

2. Backup and recovery solutions help manage risks and business continuity

Disaster recovery makes sure that the most important services and applications can be maintained in the event of a service disruption in the primary data center.

"A company may store critical data in two different data centers – either in a combination of an in-house data center and a service provider’s data center or in two outsourced data centers. This is seen as essential for risk management and business continuity. Critical services must also be secured in exceptional situations," says Lindqvist.

3. Cloud services leave your own “cleaning cupboard” empty

The maintenance of an in-house data center requires resources. Investments are also needed to keep the data center up-to-date with the advancements in IT infrastructures. With the digitalization of business, it is often better to focus company resources on developing the core business rather than on running an in-house data center.

"Cloud services are increasingly used, which means that the significance of an in-house data center is reduced. If an in-house data center is under-used, it is not sensible to tie up resources in it. In such cases, it makes more sense to outsource data center solutions completely," Lindqvist explains.

"We must also keep in mind that economies of scale also apply to data center services. Larger units have more efficient production costs compared to small units. A large data center can also implement effective connections to a public cloud, such as Azure or Amazon."

"In addition, a large data center provides inherently safer services compared with an in-house data center. An outsourced solution also enables flexible up- or downscaling of services when necessary."