Until now, the majority of wholesale colocation providers have offered secure space, power and cooling. That’s changing. As customers seek increased transparency and automation in their own operations, forward-thinking organizations like T5 Data Centers, are in the midst of defining the next generation of colocation with a much more strategic mindset, and full service solutions.
T5 recently rolled out StruxureWare for Data Centers, Schneider Electric’s Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) suite, in its Los Angles and Atlanta locations, and it’s at the heart of the company’s evolution.
“It all started with the genesis of asking ourselves, how can we put a true data center solution together that really evolves colocation to version 2.0 or 3.0, and is set up to meet the needs of our customers’ current and future strategies?” explains Craig McKesson, EVP, T5 Enterprise Solutions.
“Customers want transparency, visibility and control. It’s all encompassing. How can we come up with something that offers that, and enables us as T5 to improve down the road?”
So far, colocation renters have struggled to access a complete view of their slice of the data center, leading to uncertainty. The roll-out of StruxureWare for Data Centers will solve that issue at T5, using DCIM and a new customer portal to create trust through transparency.
“StruxureWare will allow us to better enable our customer’s various IT strategies and provide unparalleled visibility, transparency and control of their environments,” explains Craig, “while also allowing T5 to more effectively and efficiently operate our data centers.”
T5 tenants will be able to rely on real-time, device-level monitoring and replace their current spreadsheets and inventory control, gaining a new level of intelligence to better react across single or multiple data centers. It’s a change that will unlock power consumption monitoring at the device or rack level, as well as a host of other benefits.
Meeting Business Needs
Craig recognizes that opening up T5’s infrastructure and offering real-time data to customers is a vital part of the shift from offering space, power and cooling to a full service offering.
“It’s pretty unique in the colocation space,” he says. “As companies evolve and IT becomes more complex, we’re looking for a way to put control back into the hands of our customers and align with what they’re doing. We see StruxureWare as an all-encompassing data center operations and environment control system that will enable customers to act big, but deploy small.”
And it’s a shift that enables flexibility too. With StruxureWare for Data Centers operating across multiple T5 locations, customers have an opportunity to use what Bob Kramlich, Director, Enterprise Solutions at T5 calls “consumable infrastructure service models.”
“That creates better alignment with the demands of their business,” he explains. “They’ll be able to take workloads from multiple cabinets and consolidate down from that to a single cabinet. It’ll enable customers to do things they couldn’t do before.”
Building the data center of tomorrow
The new functionality offered by StruxureWare for Data Centers will enable tenants to access a view of their installation in the palm of their hands via mobile devices too. “We’re becoming a global, social, mobile economy. For the IT manager to pull their deployment up at any time anywhere is important,” says Craig.
Plus, as demand for connectivity surges, T5 can offer customers capacity across multiple locations, but managed through a single solution. StruxureWare for Data Centers is already running in T5’s LA and Atlanta facilities, allowing teams there to share data, training and knowledge, as well as fluid infrastructure control.
As a result, Craig says the lines between internal and external teams are beginning to blur. “When we talk about full service, we see ourselves as extensions of our customers’ IT and facilities staff,” he says.
“In addition to serving large scale deployments where our customers may have a presence, many customers may need access to capacity where they’re not staffed to support it, so we’re putting in a tremendous amount of work in terms of providing connectivity and visibility into their deployments. It’s more of a partnership with customers than an outsourcing. DCIM is becoming a core part of what we offer to customers”
Welcome to the next generation of colocation.