The cloud is doing more than redefining the concept of computing services and reshaping IT infrastructures. It's putting pressure on colocation services to deliver more cloud-like capabilities.
In a survey of 100 IT professionals, Internap, an IT Infrastructure services company, discovered that the cloud is casting a big shadow on traditional colocation companies.
"Internap's survey results revealed demand for 'cloudy colo' features that bring many of the benefits of the cloud – such as automation, self-service, detailed real-time insights and remote manageability – to more traditional colocation environments," said the company in press remarks.
Eighty-eight percent of respondents expressed interest in bandwidth monitoring while 85 percent said that they would like a look into their power utilization rates.
It makes sense that IT managers will want to keep an eye on their power consumption. Several of them expect to flip the switch on higher density racks in the near future. Internap reports that "just 15% of respondents are currently using more than 8kW per rack, nearly double that amount (27%) expect to consume 8kW or more per rack within the next five years."
Another large group wants the ability to reboot systems without dispatching personnel (77 percent) while a similar number said that they would like some server health monitoring tools (76 percent). Inventory management, particularly device-level inventory management and tracking, emerged as a big consideration for 67 percent of those polled.
When faced with a choice between colocation and the cloud, several participants wanted both.
According to Internap, 57 percent expressed an interest in a hybrid environment that "includes a mix of colocation, cloud and hosting services to meet a range of application and use case requirements." Seventy-two percent are seeking solutions that provide a unified view and management of their entire IT setups, regardless of they reside.
Internap's senior vice president of technology, Raj Dutt, notes that despite the cloud's growing popularity, it isn't the be-all and end-all of IT strategies. Cloud and colocation can co-exist.
"Colocation, with its capex model, security, control and customization advantages, continues to be a critical infrastructure choice for many organizations. While cloud services are another important option, an all-cloud strategy isn't appropriate for every situation," said Dutt in a statement.
"'Cloudy colo' capabilities will bring these two worlds together, delivering new levels of business agility to colocation users and, just as importantly, to cloud users by making colocation readily accessible and integrated into their environment," concluded Dutt.