The widespread transition to cloud computing has led many industry observers to speculate that traditional data centers may become less relevant in the years to come. However, the reality is more nuanced, with many organizations opting for hybrid strategies that combine the benefits of cloud computing with the control, security, and customization offered by colocation or enterprise data centers. In this evolving landscape, data centers continue to play a vital role, particularly for applications that are well-suited to the unique characteristics of data centers. While the future of data centers will certainly continue to be shaped by their ability to complement and integrate with expanding cloud-based services, they still remain the preferred location for a handful of specialized workloads.
The Enduring Advantages of Data Center Infrastructure
Despite the growing popularity and capabilities of cloud computing services, many organizations still find value in keeping at least some of their assets within an enterprise or colocation data center. One key reason for this continued reliance is the need for enhanced control and customization. Data center facilities allow businesses to tailor their infrastructure to meet unique requirements, ensuring that their systems are optimized for specific workloads, applications, and security measures. This level of customization is often vital for organizations operating within highly regulated industries, such as finance and healthcare, where compliance with stringent data protection and privacy regulations necessitates a greater degree of control over data management.
Colocation data centers also offer significant uptime reliability advantages over many cloud providers, which is a crucial factor for organizations striving to maintain uninterrupted access to their critical data and applications. These facilities are specifically designed and managed to provide optimal conditions for data center operations, including redundant power supplies, cooling systems, and network connections. By housing their servers and IT infrastructure in colocation data centers, organizations can benefit from the extensive expertise and resources of the data center providers, who invest heavily in the latest technologies and infrastructure to ensure maximum uptime. These providers are also committed to meeting strict Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for availability, which often include financial compensation for clients in the event of downtime.
5 Application Workloads that Love the Data Center
While cloud computing has become a core feature of IT deployments due to its ability to scale rapidly to meet usage demands, organizations are increasingly finding that some application workloads are better suited for a data center environment. Thanks to hybrid IT architecture, they have found ways to take advantage of both environments without sacrificing performance, flexibility, or security.
Here are a few key application workloads that continue to thrive in the data center:
1. Edge Computing Workloads
Edge computing workloads designed to minimize latency in data processing and access are uniquely suited for data centers. In certain scenarios, particularly for organizations handling time-sensitive transactions or requiring real-time data analysis, even the slightest delays in data transmission can have significant consequences. By utilizing strategically positioned colocation facilities, organizations can ensure optimal performance and responsiveness by minimizing the physical distance between their data storage and processing infrastructure and the end-users. As organizations continue to balance the benefits of cloud computing with the unique demands of their operations, a hybrid approach that leverages both colocation facilities and cloud-based services often emerges as an attractive solution for optimizing efficiency, flexibility, and control.
2. Heavily Regulated Industry Applications
Data centers are often the best home for application workloads in heavily regulated industries such as healthcare, finance, and government. Maintaining compliance with stringent data protection and privacy regulations often necessitates a greater degree of control over data management and infrastructure, which data centers can accommodate through tailored configurations and dedicated resources. Data center providers are also well-versed in the unique needs of regulated industries and can assist organizations in implementing industry-specific compliance measures and maintaining up-to-date certifications. These facilities also offer an outstanding combination of physical and logical security measures, including zero trust access protocols, multi-factor authentication, 24x7x365 monitoring, and managed detection and response (MDR) cybersecurity tools. Hosting heavily regulated industry applications in data centers allows organizations to achieve the necessary balance of control, security, and compliance to meet regulatory demands and safeguard their critical data and operations.
3. High Performance Computing (HPC) Workloads
High-compute applications, which demand significant processing power and resources, are best suited for data centers due to the specialized infrastructure, resources, and environmental conditions that these facilities provide. State-of-the-art colocation facilities are designed to house and manage powerful hardware, such as high-performance bare metal servers and advanced storage systems, which are essential for efficiently running compute-intensive workloads, such as machine learning, big data analytics, and complex simulations like quantum computing. Additionally, modern data centers implement sophisticated cooling systems that effectively manage the heat generated by high-performance computing equipment, ensuring optimal operating temperatures and preventing hardware failure due to thermal stress. They also provide the robust network connectivity necessary for high-performance applications, enabling rapid data transfer between servers, storage systems, and end-users to minimize latency and maximize performance.
4. Mission-Critical Applications
Mission-critical applications that are essential to an organization's operations and success are often best suited for data centers due to the robust infrastructure, stringent security measures, and high levels of uptime reliability these facilities provide. Redundant power supplies, cooling systems, and network connections are employed to minimize the risk of downtime, enabling organizations to maintain continuous access to their vital data and services. Data centers implement comprehensive security protocols, including physical security measures, such as controlled access, video surveillance, and intrusion detection, as well as cybersecurity safeguards, like firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and ongoing monitoring. These measures protect mission-critical applications and data from unauthorized access, theft, or tampering. By hosting mission-critical applications in data centers, organizations can benefit from the advanced infrastructure, stringent security, and superior reliability necessary to maintain seamless operations and achieve their business objectives.
5. Database-Heavy Legacy Applications
Legacy applications often require specific infrastructure configurations and dedicated resources that are difficult (and expensive) to replicate in the cloud. Between their customizable environment and management services, colocation data centers are able to accommodate and support a wide range of hardware and software configurations, enabling organizations to deploy and maintain legacy applications with the necessary infrastructure in place. This is particularly important for database-dependent applications that rely on specific database systems or versions that may not be readily supported in modern cloud environments. Data centers also offer a controlled and stable environment, ensuring that these applications run reliably without being affected by the rapid changes or updates commonly seen in cloud-based platforms. Quality colocation providers often possess extensive expertise in managing legacy systems, which allows them to assist organizations in optimizing their infrastructure, implementing necessary security measures, and ensuring ongoing compatibility with other systems.
How Evoque Supports Your Data Center Strategy
With multiple state-of-the-art colocation facilities strategically positioned in key markets across North America, Evoque Data Center Solutions is well positioned to support application workloads that excel in the data center. Our fully redundant infrastructure, industry-leading security practices, and experienced on-site IT professionals allow us to build customized environments that meet your unique business needs and empower your organization to achieve its most ambitious digital transformation efforts.
To learn more about how Evoque is redefining the colocation industry, talk to one of our solutions experts today.