The Colocation Advantage: Seamlessly Connecting to the Cloud

2021 Global Tech Trends Survey reports growing confidence in cloud, including hybrid and multicloud

Chris Castle
The Colocation Advantage: Seamlessly Connecting to the Cloud

Turns out, HOW you connect to cloud services matters. Nearly all cloud service providers make it easy to connect, yet cloud services present a complex web of decision making which needs to be anchored in sound architectural choices. To better understand the technology trends affecting businesses, Equinix captured insights from 2,600 IT decision makers from diverse enterprises across 26 countries in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions. Let’s take a closer look at some of the top priorities and challenges that these digital leaders reported and use the lens of colocation to better understand how connecting with cloud services the right way can lead to improved performance, access to a wide array of services and remarkable end-user experiences.

Equinix 2020-21 Global Tech Trends Survey

Exploring global digital leaders' views on the trends, challenges and opportunities shaping businesses around the world.

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From network optimization to end-user experiences, how you connect matters

On their path to increased cloud utilization digital leaders are looking to optimize, simplify and secure their environments – not a small task. 68% of GTTS respondents indicated that they would be actively moving services to the cloud in the next year but how, and more importantly where they establish cloud connections impacts performance, flexibility, and security – and the resultant end-customer experience.

74% of GTTS respondents see network optimization as a top priority guiding decision-making. By leveraging colocation to establish regional core and hub sites for network traffic, the distance and latency are reduced with simple direct connections established at the on-ramps to clouds. Colocated deployments serve as private hubs for traffic exchange with clouds without the need for third-party network providers to establish a connection. By positioning infrastructure within an Equinix International Business Exchange™ (IBX®) data center, the deployment can be directly and privately interconnected with any of the local service providers through cross connects, while Equinix Fabric™ enables software-defined interconnection with ecosystem network service providers across the platform in minutes.

Optimization aside, a clear priority is to deliver exceptional end-user experiences. In fact, more than 76% of respondents identified improving their customers’ experience as a top priority, while 71% identified employee experience as a priority. A colocated hub architecture designed to optimize network traffic to clouds also may streamline the employee experience while translating the benefits of improved performance to the end customer. That’s because a deployment at an Equinix IBX puts your infrastructure at the heart of a vibrant ecosystem of XaaS providers and service partners, all located close to major internet exchange points, enabling local routing of service traffic through well-defined network routes.

Improving cybersecurity is a top priority for IT leaders

The top priority by far that GTTS respondents identified — more than 81% — was the need for improving cybersecurity, which is no surprise given the increased attack surface that IT departments must defend with cloud adoption. Colocated deployments enjoy the privacy and control of in-house deployments while benefiting from local placement on Platform Equinix® and access to localized services within the Equinix ecosystem. Since these deployments are housed within physically secure facilities and monitored continually with strict access controls, the deployment itself becomes a safeguard against intrusion and social engineering. Digitally, the hub remains fully in control, serving as the private side of a hybrid deployment strategy. Local zone traffic can be routed through the deployment for continuous monitoring using integrated security services, or through directly interconnected services within the Equinix ecosystem.

Adopting a hybrid cloud approach makes sense when moving functions off the cloud

When moving to the cloud, the benefits of a colocation strategy focused on optimization, end-user experience and security are compelling, but what about functions that need to move away from the cloud? Cloud services are certainly an integral part of the IT puzzle, but so are critical strategic functions that need to remain 100% within control of the organization. More than 11% of respondents indicated that they would be moving functions away from the cloud in the coming year, which shouldn’t be surprising. Perhaps the implementation didn’t deliver as promised, the company changed its strategy, or the compliance landscape changed. Whatever the driver, these ‘boomerang’ functions need more control, but also shouldn’t suffer from uptime risk, network complexity or added latency.

Since our 2019-20 Global Technology Trends Survey, hybrid cloud adoption has increased by 12% and is now the most common form of cloud deployment globally. Without changing architectures, colocated deployments at the hub of cloud on-ramps retain the performance and benefits of the platform, while enabling the privatization desired in a hybrid strategy. The GTTS also shows that 21% of respondents don’t plan to change their cloud position in the next year. Even without planned cloud changes, pressing issues stemming from existing operational complexity, such as changing regulatory environments (43+%), the challenge of digital disruptors (41%) and moving infrastructure to third-party locations (51%) are realities that IT teams face today.

Go global with a robust colocation deployment platform

Solving for the complex array of factors digital leaders face in modern IT requires a platform that offers the ability to adapt while delivering functional excellence. With Platform Equinix, colocated deployments can be placed in nearly every compliance region worldwide while simultaneously delivering the most secure environment with the highest uptime. Services such as Equinix Fabric, Equinix Metal™, and Network Edge are available within a moment’s notice, offering a complete package of service agility designed for distributed architectures.

How you connect to clouds does matter; and the advantages of colocation go far beyond infrastructure to deliver advantages for optimizing your network performance, mitigating complexities and risk and adding degrees of flexibility and resilience.

For more insights, read the Equinix 2021 Global Tech Trends Survey.

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