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Commercial Real Estate and Datacenters
Monday, May 07 2012 | 01:27 PM
CLOUD CONNECTED REAL ESTATE
|While connecting buildings to 'the internet' is not a new thing, Cloud Connected Real Estate adds a completely new perspective to the utilization of the technologies. As an enthusiast on everything Cloud as well as Connected Real Estate, I have seen the changes take place and have noticed different approaches in different situations. One of the most interesting and unexplored approached, is the connection to a new or existing datacenter.
Some of the larger projects, like Lake Nona in Orlando and PlanIT Valley in Portugal, are actually starting out with a datacenter and build their community around it. Others, like the 600 Brickell project in Miami, use an exisiting datacenter to connect to.
The big question in connecting to a datacenter, existing or not, is the reason behind it. What does it add to the project, the owners and the tenants?
First of all, let's explore the concept of the datacenter. A proper datacenter is everything that a proper office building is not. In its basic form, the differences are clear: In a datacenter. the air is cold and dry, there are no windows, it is noisy and gaining access is only for the (un)happy few. This might be a 'Class A' environment for electronics, but for people it is less than ideal. A 'Class A' office environment, on the other hand, provides proper accessibility for people and offers a conditioned, well lit environment.
Datacenters usually provide more powerful redundancy facilities than office buildings do, since the requirements for availability are based on the needs of electronic equipment, rather than people. Since physical equipment is not able to move itself to a more appropriate location, special facilities that lack (or are significantly less available) in office buildings, are often an integral part of datacenters. Examples are flywheel generators to avoid fluctuations in electric current when a power outage occurs and the generators take over, redundancy in cooling systems and means to get emergency fuel that office buildings do not have.
Looking at these descriptions, one thing becomes immediately clear - People do not belong in data centers and data centers do not belong in office buildings. Many have tried with various levels of success, but one or the other always deviates from its ideal picture.
When connecting realestate to a datacenter with a properly sized and designed connection, a bond is forged that offers an incredible benefit to all parties involved, a marriage made in heaven, a merger of Class A office space and Class A computer space, without concessions on either side. When it comes to all of the benefits of Cloud Computing, in all of its forms, a connection to a datacenter truly enables the Cloud and makes Cloud hosted applications seamless to the end user.
A direct connection to a datacenter removes the added latency (slowness and delays) that are inherent to the Internet. No matter how fast or how good the connection with your provider is, at some point, your data gets routed over a public internet connection at which point nobody has control over the capacity or latency of the connection(s) that you take to your destination. Its like driving to a destination during rush hour - you are aware that traffic jams may (or even 'will') occur, but there is no telling how long the delays will be.
Connecting directly to a datacenter takes this issue away, at least for the path between your office and the datacenter that you are connected to. If your Cloud provider is located in the same datacenter, a cross-connect can be put in place to guarantee enough fast and wide bandwidth for the whole company, at a fraction of the price of an Internet connection that should handle the same. If the cloud provider is physically located in a different datacenter, there is often the possibility of using the infrastructure that is used to inter-connect datacenters, such as a back-bone provided by a tier 1 connectivity provider or by the datacenter itself. Either way, going fully virtual on the desktop is no longer a wannahave, but a cando.
Another great benefit of datacenters is the choice of carriers. While not every carrier is available in every datacenter, these locations are the 'wholesale clubs' when it comes to Internet connectivity. A little shopping around will find you incredible deals on Internet connections, business connections at soho prices with more scalability than you will ever need. Choice is a good thing.
The same goes for providers of other services, from telephony to all forms of Cloud computing. Since many providers are in the same building, you will be able to negotiate great services for amazing prices.
When deciding on the next location for your business, check out Cloud Connected Real Estate and find out what the location is connected to. A great connection to a single Internet provider is great, a great connection to a datacenter is better.
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