As Cloud computing grows, so too co-location in the data center becomes increasingly important with larger volumes of data being moved off-site. Recently, Market Monitor, a service of 451 Research, predicted 36% CAGR in cloud computing in their Cloud-as-a-Service overview report, growing from $5.7B in 2012 to $20B by the end of 2016. Gartner, meanwhile, has published survey results which reveal that the use of cloud services is growing faster than the overall enterprise IT market. Although it is still a small part of overall IT spending, 80 percent of organisations said they intend to use cloud services in some form within 12 months, including 55 percent of those not doing so today .
While visiting Data Centres Europe 2013 in Nice, I had the opportunity to talk to Estelle Barre – VP of Segments for Schneider Electric – and ask her about some of the specific challenges that the Cloud and Co-location Service Provider segment faces at the moment from a data center point of view. Estelle gave me three examples:
Attracting new Co-location-specific Customers for Partners
“OK, so I would take within the cloud and service provider specific industry – a sub industry – which is the co-location, which are the co-location service providers. So in this business you know, it’s a fast growth business and these players currently have a very big opportunity in front of them. The main challenge for these companies is to attract new customers, you know. When an enterprise is going to put IT in a co-location space they are not going to migrate in the near future so the main challenge is attract new customers.”
Providing Solutions & Profitability for Customers
“This is one, and the second one is really to improve the profitability they have cash to generate and they want to invest the cash, they want to expand abroad, in other countries. So, when we think about what attracts customers, we think about what we are working on with them that will help provide them with a competitive advantage. Let’s think about what are the things they could have in the premise, you know, that’s content provider, are multiplying right now, that’s application provider, cloud service provider and where are they going? They could go to the co-location customer premises, so the ability for the co-location provider to have space and power and cooling for this is key, so we provide solution for them for this kind of customer.”
Modularity and Standardization Across Countries
“I can take another example, you know when we have customer who are completely global you know, and they are expanding abroad, our global footprint is very key for them so our ability to serve them not only in the country of origin but when they deploy and to repeat what they have been doing on the one site, in another site, to provide the same kind of services to them is something key and we create a competitive advantage for them.”
Schneider Electric are continually striving to help Cloud and Co-location Service Providers meet their business requirements in a variety of ways. By examining specific partner and customer needs in a particular area, the company is able to identify the core of the issues facing them and help them to adapt to cloud and co-location based infrastructures.