Going neutral

27 August 2014 | Richard Dorgan

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Richard Dorgan

Blog Author | Interxion; Marketing Director


Richard Dorgan, marketing director at Interxion, defines data centre neutrality and explores how it could transform operations for businesses in the digital economy.

Richard Dorgan, marketing director at Interxion, defines data centre neutrality and explores how it could transform operations for businesses in the digital economy.

Defining neutrality
An enterprise requiring cloud, hosting, IT infrastructure or connectivity services needs to identify the most appropriate type of data centre for its needs. This is where neutrality comes into play.

A "carrier-neutral" data centre refers to a provider that does not provide connectivity services. The concept of "cloud neutrality" has been used to refer to an operator that does not deliver any managed services itself – whether traditional, cloud-based, infrastructure or applications. Neutral data centres are not in competition with the connectivity and cloud service providers who make up their customer base.

Both types have pros and cons, but there is another alternative for organisations looking to access the broadest of services: the cloud and carrier-neutral data centre. These are owned and operated by a provider that does not offer any services itself and is independent of all network, hardware and software vendors.

A great place to do business
Organisations co-locating in a cloud and carrier-neutral facility benefit from having everything under one roof – be it cloud, hosting, infrastructure or connectivity services:

• The ability to work with multiple providers to build redundancy and resilience into solutions for continuity and disaster purposes
• Freedom to add or change providers as business requirements evolve without having to move infrastructure
• Commercial relationships with cloud, hosting, infrastructure and connectivity providers remain separate from the organisation’s co-location agreement

A cloud and carrier-neutral data centre acts like a marketplace, where communities of companies locate alongside one another and can forge partnerships. The more service providers the data centre houses, the more customers are attracted to it, which in turn attracts more providers. The marketplace grows and thrives, driving business and revenues for all concerned.

Looking to the future
The ability to access multiple carriers has long been an important feature of neutral data centres, and as new disruptive technologies challenge the way that IT operations are being run, having access to multiple cloud or hosting providers becomes increasingly crucial. Co-locating in a cloud and carrier-neutral data centre makes it easier to take advantage of new service offerings, and rapidly develop new partnerships and service delivery models.

The future for neutrality is bright, allowing enterprises choice and access to a marketplace, a tightly integrated digital community that can accelerate revenue generation and deliver seamless services that customers expect. As long as technology evolves, neutrality will grow in importance, as companies look for ways to deliver on customer demand and remain competitive, scalable, agile and successful.