Published 27 Jul 2023

Partnership at the edge: selecting the right colocation provider

By, Pulsant

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Long before a business addresses ‘who’ it will choose to deliver the benefits of colocation, it needs to understand ‘why’.  This is especially important if that decision is being made in the context of a choice between edge architectures, or alternatives such as hyper-scale cloud.

Typically, the main order of motivation is performance, cost and control. Edge computing offers substantial improvement opportunities in all three areas: and the selection of ‘who’ will deliver them is really an exercise in ensuring that these benefits will be delivered quickly, easily and without restricting growth.

Speed of benefit delivery

The ability to deliver benefits quickly arises from a supplier that has facilities ready to be deployed as you need them. This may be at the point of your first business, or as you grow together. In practical terms, this demands a complete platform that spans colocation facilities, a network and infrastructure.

Ideally, these will be owned, especially the network connecting colocation facilities, to ensure resilience, and offer multiple connectivity choices. This enables early optimisation of network costs and performance.

It is also worth noting that early benefit delivery is equally dependent on the level of service that a business receives. As a UK company operating across the country, we are very proud that we are not a faceless global player. Our staff come from the cities that our infrastructure helps maintain and grow. We take the time and effort to get to know our clients. And that translates into rapid benefit delivery.

Ease of benefit delivery

Building on this technical and commercial mix, the next consideration is to choose a partner that makes the benefits of edge as easy as possible.

One of the most immediate demonstrations of this is if the partner offers the capability to use single management tools. These must span the hybrid architecture, covering private IaaS compute / storage and the public cloud facets, within a single ‘pane of glass’.

The clarity of this view, and the associated ease of benefits is directly related to the question of if the supplier owns and operates the infrastructure directly. A rapid, creative and reassuring response to changing needs can only come from someone with in depth knowledge of – and direct access to - the entire hybrid platform, as opposed to having to negotiate with third parties.

The importance of a growth focus

The last criteria are arguably the most important. The selection of any colocation provider (or indeed any supplier) should never prejudice growth. It must be just as quick and easy to increase provision as it was to start.

The most powerful weapon here is not technological – most providers have more than enough capacity and capability for the future iterations of their customers. Rather, the key issue here is commercial – how easy or flexible is it to move investment throughout the various aspects of hybrid edge, in order to get the biggest return?

In real terms, this is a discussion that sees spending shift between cloud and colocation without the delay and hassle of negotiating new terms.

Modern digital business requires a close partnership with technology suppliers and as such, the selection is no longer merely a tick-box exercise of specific features, feeds, speeds and specs. It is about understanding if your infrastructure partner is there to improve your business, today and tomorrow.

Find out more about Pulsant Colocation Services.