Choosing the right data centre for your hybrid IT strategy
Gone are the days of costly and cumbersome hardware, bloated service packages and lengthy service provision times.
The digital business model is the new common standard, expanding a company's reach further and faster than traditional setups could ever dream of.
In recent years, the addition of cloud technology and cloud computing to this model has taken business agility and flexibility to a whole new level, and businesses are enthusiastically embracing the trend to stay lean and efficient.
However, moving to the cloud isn't without its own challenges.
Companies have cited the huge volumes of data involved, the fear of downtime, and uncertainty over security and privacy as barriers to entering the cloud space.
Mission-critical or sensitive personal data may not be suitable for third-party hosting due to local compliance regulations, and weak connectivity can cripple a business' ease of access to their data on the cloud.
In order to enjoy the best of both worlds, many companies choose the middle ground by adopting a hybrid IT infrastructure.
In a hybrid IT infrastructure, businesses can benefit from the agility and efficiency of cloud services without sacrificing control over mission-critical data and legacy systems.
It is also popular because it is scalable to all company verticals and sizes, and affords a high degree of customisation according to company needs and goals.The role of data centers in hybrid IT infrastructure
The gravitation towards cloud computing and hybrid IT infrastructure has also sparked a transformation in data centers.
Many data centers now offer complementary services that support both cloud computing and traditional infrastructure needs.
These may include everything from virtualisation and private clouds to co-location and hosting capabilities.
Since organisations will use data centers and the cloud in tandem within a hybrid IT infrastructure, choosing the right data center partner is critical to establishing a seamless workflow system.
Besides offering the facilities needed for hybrid IT infrastructure, the right data center partner should also be well-versed in the latest industry trends and have the expertise needed to help facilitate the customer's transformation journey.Factors to look out for
What criteria make a data center a suitable partner for hybrid IT infrastructure? Here are a few factors to consider:
A data center that is able to provide direct connectivity to cloud providers via nodes has a significant advantage. Being able to connect directly to the public cloud via the data center instead of over the public Internet means that customers enjoy low latency, good security and high-speed connectivity, eliminating most of the major concerns associated with adopting cloud technology.
If various Internet Service Providers (ISPs) terminate within a carrier-neutral data center, this offers significant benefits both cost and choice-wise to the customer. Fierce competition keeps prices low and customers are free to choose the provider that provides the best service quality. The importance of reliable connectivity to the cloud cannot be understated as it affects the cloud experience in processes such as uploading and downloading data.
Global and domestic standard compliance
Many countries have local and international standard compliance laws with regards to the storage of sensitive personal information, which particularly affects companies in the financial services sector. These laws prevent data of this nature from being stored on the cloud, but a local data center in the company's country of operations can acquire the necessary certifications for local compliance and for ease of integration with international infrastructure.
Disaster recovery capacity
The right data center partner should have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan to ensure business continuity in the event of any disasters, including but not limited to data recovery and alternative workspaces. In a similar vein, splitting data assets between the cloud and the data center ensures that not all access is lost if the cloud or the connections to the cloud experience downtime.
With the right technical expertise, a data center partner can provide advice and consultancy services on whether a company is employing an optimal hybrid IT infrastructure strategy, which can be invaluable for maximising its benefits. Outsourcing this expertise also eliminates the need to hire in-house consultative experts.The AIMS Factor
A leading provider of data center and managed services in the ASEAN region, AIMS Data Center in Malaysia is no stranger to the cloud or hybrid IT infrastructure.
In AIMS' efforts to support the transition of its customers and partners to the hybrid model, it expanded its infrastructure capacity, established strategic partnerships with hyperscale cloud service providers and tailored its consulting services accordingly.
For instance, AIMS is the only provider to have a Direct Connect Point of Presence in Malaysia for Amazon Web Services (AWS).
This cloud-centric approach earned it a nomination by Frost - Sullivan as a company to watch out for in 2018.
As Malaysia's leading interconnection hub, AIMS has the widest range of connectivity options in the country with all domestic telcos and 80% of international telcos hosted within its premises.
It is the anchor site of the Malaysia Internet Exchange (MyIX) with five data centers in the ASEAN region that enjoy a wide global network reach, and it is also a Protected Place endorsed by the Malaysia National Security Council.
Quality and regulatory compliance are important for the AIMS experience.
It is compliant with various ISO standards for quality management, information security management and more, as well as the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This careful compliance enables AIMS to serve companies in even the most stringent industries.
With businesses moving towards digitalisation and cloud computing as the new common standard, the key competitive advantages for businesses will be speed, flexibility, and cost-efficiency.
Businesses seeking to benefit from the hybrid IT infrastructure model need a data center partner they can trust, and AIMS stands ready to support them as they embark upon their journey of transformation.