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Colocation: Sell Your Way to the Cloud

October 31, 2014

Good news!  Your customers and prospects are ready to move to the cloud. That opens up a number of opportunities for helping them select the appropriate cloud solutions to meet their needs — and, quite likely, a few managed services to  assuage some of their concerns or to meet more specific business goals.  (Peak 10 has you covered on both.)  So does that mean an end to selling colocation services? Actually, colocation can — and in many cases should — continue to play a key role in the IT strategies of your customers and prospects.  Here are some things to consider to help you best serve your customers and prospects — and boost sales.

To the Cloud or Not

First, there’s a good chance that not all of your customers’ or prospects’ applications can easily be moved to the cloud or even belong there.  Most applications can potentially exist either partially or fully in the cloud, but there may be trade-offs in an application’s attributes or functionality if they weren’t originally developed for the cloud.

Encourage your customers and prospects to conduct an assessment of their applications — who uses them, how they are used, their impact on workflows, as well as security needs, latency issues and other factors. This will help determine the best place for their applications.   Do the applications they want to move need to scale? Do they require load-balancing capabilities, not just for service availability, but also for distributing workloads and automatically redistributing resources when needed? Are there applications that will require secure communication to a back-end database that needs to remain in a data center? Are services needed to run from different geographic regions for disaster recovery purposes?

For many of your customers and prospects, Peak 10 cloud solutions can successfully accommodate their applications.  After all, the Peak 10 cloud is designed to handle production workloads but is still cost-effective enough to handle all application tiers.  Nonetheless, there may be some applications that will be better served by remaining in a data center — or that your customers and prospects just aren’t comfortable moving to the cloud yet.

In these cases, a hybrid IT strategy that combines cloud resources with colocation makes sense. This is where it is important to help customers and prospects understand that the cloud is just another tool they can leverage; it doesn’t need to replace their existing IT systems — including any colocation facility they use or should consider using.

Ease Customers into the Cloud

Simply outsourcing some data and applications to a colocation facility is a great first step for customers and prospects who fear letting go of some of the day-to-day control of their IT assets.  Colocation allows them to maintain ownership of their IT systems; they just don’t have to invest in the facilities to keep them in-house. And, they get the option of having experts to help manage their IT assets.  They can then start gradually moving data little by little to the cloud.

Working with Peak 10, which offers colocation services AND cloud services, has a solid track record of success and has the security and regulatory compliance requirements they may need in place, will make it all the easier for your customers and prospects.  Plus, Peak 10 takes a consultative approach, working with your customers and prospects — and you — to develop the most appropriate solutions.  Peak 10 cloud and colocation services also come with 24/7/365 technical support, providing additional value and peace of mind for you and your customers and prospects.

The Savings Side

Keeping colocation in the mix also has financial benefits for your customers and prospects. While the cloud offers savings based on shared server and storage resources, colocation offers savings based on shared facility functionality. Your customers and prospects get access to highly efficient, technologically advanced data center resources at a fraction of the cost of building their own systems.  Plus, a colocation and cloud services provider like Peak 10 can offer a level of performance and management functionality that most organizations can rarely match, creating a return on investment that greatly exceeds the cost of the colocation plan.

Good Connections

One issue to keep in mind regarding a hybrid IT strategy is that data needs to move in a variety of directions between internal and external resources. It also needs to move fast and reliably. Few organizations have or can afford to invest in advanced networking capabilities. There is also the issue of actually moving data to the cloud or, in the case of a hybrid IT strategy, between internal and external resources.   A colocation provider, like Peak 10, that also offer cloud services can help on both counts.  In the case of Peak 10, we enable your customers and prospects to put their non-cloud infrastructure in the same facility as your cloud systems, making it easier to move data between the two environments.

Peak 10 also provides access to our operator and interconnect networks, which makes it easier and more cost efficient for your customers and prospects to quickly move data over large geographical areas and between internal and external assets.   These private interconnects and specialized network systems get data to corporate WAN and LAN systems, adding a layer of security in how information is delivered. We offer a combination of network resources, including high-performance interconnects and robust internal connectivity systems, to support smooth data workflows between colocation and cloud environments.

There can also be regulatory requirements that make colocation a better option than the cloud —at least for now as regulatory bodies become more familiar with the protections the cloud can and can’t offer.  Working with Peak 10, which offers both colocation and cloud services, takes care of this issue on both the cloud and data center side.  Our data centers and cloud infrastructure have all undergone independent assessments for compliance with the requirements of HIPAA, PCI DSS and other standards.

Colocation Still Sells

The fact is that colocation still has a place in most IT strategies.  You can capitalize on this by helping your customers and prospects understand that it is not necessary to take an all-or-nothing approach to moving to the cloud.  The goal shouldn’t be for them to move everything into the cloud, but rather to optimize all their IT resources.

Resources for Your Use

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest