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Five ways colocation can drive enterprise transformation

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While enterprise transformation is challenging for many businesses, Interxion’s Séamus Dunne examines how colocation can reduce complexity.

Global trends and an expanding digital economy are forcing enterprises in every sector to think differently about how they do business and deliver value. It’s all about reaching new customers, embracing new technologies and delivering new services.

These changing business requirements inevitably lead to changes for IT and, most of the time, this means increasing the use of cloud through the implementation of hybrid and multicloud IT environments.

Enterprise transformation is the fundamental change to the way an organisation operates, whether that be moving into a new market or operating in a new way. It aims to align an organisation’s activities relating to people, process and technology more closely with its business strategy and vision.

Minimising complexity

However, the challenge is that most of today’s enterprise networks and on-premise data centres are not designed to support these new environments. They are not optimised to accommodate interactive workloads, third-party infrastructure, soaring network traffic or data generated far away from where it is collected and used.

Each new addition causes added complexity, with multiple layers resulting in issues with latency, governance and cost.

Colocation allows enterprises to manage the complex connectivity challenges that this transformation brings. Using colocation will enable organisations to utilise secure, scalable multi and hybrid cloud architectures and processes to address unique business requirements due to large scale transformation.

When thinking about enterprise transformation, there’s no magic bullet or one size fits all. Each organisation has its own unique challenges in reaching the goal of efficient, transparent, reliable multicloud management and operations, and it’s generally a long, multistep process that requires a lot of planning and care.

Here are five things to consider when making this decision.

1. Transformation

Change in any organisation can be difficult, particularly when it comes to IT. Colocation is a well-established approach to transform an IT organisation. With direct and secure access to all public clouds and an array of network carriers, enterprises can reduce the complexity of realising its business objectives.

Colocation removes almost every aspect of physical plant operation from operations – construction and building maintenance, physical security, power, cooling, emergency failover systems etc.

IT is therefore only responsible for installing and maintaining its compute and storage hardware. Many facilities also have various service and installation packages for common use cases such as backup and disaster recovery.

2. Cost

The move to colocation will likely require a thorough restructuring of IT costs. Long-accepted buying and planning cycles will likely need to change and many well-practiced workflows and purchase orders may go by the wayside.

Organisations need a realistic assessment of how much business process change the move will entail along with the associated costs. They should approach the move to colocation in a rational way and at a controlled pace.

3. Flexibility

Colocation services provide flexibility on service levels. Services can start and end with facilities operations and maintenance or extend to higher levels of managed services and hosted IT infrastructure, or some mix thereof.

This can make it possible to consolidate and streamline the enterprise data centre while maintaining legacy systems. Another aspect of flexibility is the ability to gain direct and secure access to multiple public cloud providers and carriers. This just isn’t a possibility with enterprise on-premise data centres.

4. Flow of information

Many providers have become de facto hubs of enterprise information flow. They support interconnection between public clouds and private and hosted private clouds, often in the same facility creating cost efficiencies.

Colocation makes connectivity simpler and more secure allowing enterprises optimise network performance by bypassing the public internet and instead privately connect to all the platform and service providers they need.

5. Efficiencies

Colocation providers cultivate close working relationships with major vendors and IT service providers. This can therefore help shorten deployment and migration scenarios significantly if the enterprise is willing to engage with those vendors with the colocation provider.

Colocation also provides ways to short-circuit common tasks during a cloud migration. Colocation facilities are heavily consumed by cloud and IT service providers and colocation providers cultivate close working relationships with major vendors and those same IT service providers.

Colocation is increasingly playing a key role as the intersection of a hybrid cloud strategy for enterprises. Providers’ ability to harness vendor partnerships and interconnection means they can play a key role in supporting hybrid, multicloud and digital transformation efforts.

The combination of public cloud interconnection, private cloud enablement, vendor partnerships and available services make colocation a realistic option for enterprises to attain the benefits of cloud computing.

Providers will continue to adopt and facilitate sophisticated software-driven technologies with technology vendors, which means the enterprise doesn’t have to.

By Séamus Dunne 

Séamus Dunne is the managing director of Interxion Ireland. A version of this article originally appeared on the Interxion blog.

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Amazon Web Services outage hits sites and apps such as IMDb and Tinder | Amazon

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Several Amazon services – including its website, Prime Video and applications that use Amazon Web Services (AWS) – went down for thousands of users on Tuesday.

Amazon said the outage was probably due to problems related to application programming interface (API), which is a set of protocols for building and integrating application software, Reuters reported.

“We are experiencing API and console issues in the US-East-1 Region,” Amazon said in a report on its service health dashboard, adding that it had identified the cause. By late late afternoon the outage appeared to be partially resolved, with the company saying that it was “working towards full recovery”.

“With the network device issues resolved, we are now working towards recovery of any impaired services,” the company said on the dashboard.

Downdetector showed more than 24,000 incidents of people reporting problems with Amazon. It tracks outages by collating status reports from a number of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform.

The outage was also affecting delivery operations. Amazon’s warehouse operation use AWS and experienced disruptions, spokesperson Richard Rocha told the Washington Post. A Washington state Amazon driver said his facility had been “at a standstill” since Tuesday morning, CNBC reported.

Other services, including Amazon’s Ring security cameras, mobile banking app Chime and robot vacuum cleaner maker iRobot were also facing difficulties, according to their social media pages.

Ring said it was aware of the issue and working to resolve it. “A major Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage is currently impacting our iRobot Home App,” iRobot said on its website.

Other websites and apps affected include the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), language learning provider Duolingo and dating site Tinder, according to Downdetector.

The outage also affected presale tickets for Adele’s upcoming performances in Las Vegas. “Due to an Amazon Web Services (AWS) outage impacting companies globally, all Adele Verified Fan Presales scheduled for today have been moved to tomorrow to ensure a better experience,” Ticketmaster said on Twitter.

In June, websites including the Guardian, Reddit, Amazon, CNN, PayPal, Spotify, Al Jazeera Media Network and the New York Times were hit by a widespread hour-long outage linked to US-based content delivery network provider Fastly Inc, a smaller rival of AWS.

In July, Amazon experienced a disruption in its online stores service, which lasted for nearly two hours and affected more than 38,000 users.

Users have experienced 27 outages over the past 12 months on Amazon, according to the web tool reviewing website ToolTester.



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South Korea sets reliability standards for Big Tech • The Register

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South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT has offered Big Tech some advice on how to make their services suitably resilient, and added an obligation to notify users – in Korean – when they fail.

The guidelines apply to Google, Meta (parent company of Facebook), Netflix, Naver, Kakao and Wavve. All have been told to improve their response to faults by beefing up preemptive error detection and verification systems, and create back up storage systems that enable quick content recovery.

The guidelines offer methods Big Tech can use to measure user loads, then plan accordingly to ensure their services remain available. Uptime requirements are not spelled out.

Big techs is already rather good at resilience. Google literally wrote the book on site reliability engineering.

The guidelines refer to legislation colloquially known as the “Netflix law” which requires major service outages be reported to the Ministry.

That law builds on another enacted in 2020 that made online content service providers responsible for the quality of their streaming services. It was put in place after a number of outages, including one where notifications of the problem were made on the offending company’s social media site – but only in English.

The new regulations follow South Korean telcos’ recent attempts to have platforms that guzzle their bandwidth pay for the privilege. Mobile carrier SK Broadband took legal action in October of this year, demanding Netflix pitch in some cash for the amount of bandwidth that streaming shows – such as Squid Game – consume.

In response, Netflix pointed at its own free content delivery network, Open Connect, which helps carriers to reduce traffic. Netflix then accused SK Broadband of trying to double up on profits by collecting fees from consumers and content providers at the same time.

For the record, Naver and Kakao pay carriers, while Apple TV+ and Disney+ have at the very least given lip service to the idea.

Korea isn’t the only place where telcos have noticed Big Tech taking up more than its fair share of bandwidth. The European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) published a letter from ten telco CEOs asking that larger platforms “contribute fairly to network costs”. ®

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Twitter acquires Slack competitor Quill to improve its messaging services

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As part of the acquisition, Quill will be shutting down at the end of the week as its team joins the social media company.

Twitter has acquired the messaging platform Quill, seen as a potential competitor to Slack, in order to improve its messaging tools and services.

Quill announced that it will be shutting down at the end of the week as its team joins the social media company to continue its original goal “to make online communication more thoughtful, and more effective, for everyone”.

The purchase of Quill could be linked to Twitter’s new strategy to reduce its reliance on ad revenue and attract paying subscribers.

Twitter’s general manager for core tech, Nick Caldwell, described Quill as a “fresher, more deliberate way to communicate. We’re bringing their experience and creativity to Twitter as we work to make messaging tools like DMs a more useful and expressive way people can have conversations on the service”.

Users of Quill have until 11 December to export their team message history before the servers are fully shut down at 1pm PST (9pm Irish time). The announcement has instructions for users who wish to import their chat history into Slack and states that all active teams will be issued full refunds.

The team thanked its users and said: “We can’t wait to show you what we’ll be working on next.”

Quill was launched in February with the goal to remove the overwhelming aspects of other messaging services and give users a more deliberate and focused form of online chat.

In an online post, Quill creator Ludwig Pettersson said: “We started Quill to increase the quality of human communication. Excited to keep doing just that, at Twitter.”

The company became a potential competitor for Slack, which was bought by Salesforce at the end of 2020 for $27.7bn. The goal of that acquisition was to combine Salesforce’s CRM platform with Slack’s communications tools to create a unified service tailored to digital-led teams around the world.

Last week, Salesforce announced the promotion of Bret Taylor to vice-chair and co-CEO, just days after he was appointed independent chair of Twitter after CEO Jack Dorsey stepped down.

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