The future of 5G – and why it’s driving the business case for multi-tenant data centres

Let's talk about flexibility, reliability, savings, latency, and security

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Sponsored 5G is poised to alter how data centres (DCs) are designed and, in some cases, change the role they play in the larger network. By some estimates, DCs will be spending over half their operating budget to support 5G by 2025. This is necessary as technologies like the 5G New Radio (NR) air interface exploit new spectrum and provide single-digit millisecond latency capabilities that will drive deployment of billions of edge-based connected devices and a crushing proliferation of new data.

Meanwhile, the current COVID-19 stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies have precipitated a surge in remote work, conferencing and rich media consumption. The resulting deluge of network and internet traffic have reinforced the importance of reliable, efficient and agile DCs, more so as 5G network services begin to go live.

5G will enable applications that have a wide variety of requirements around latency, reliability and the volume/type of data traffic generated. More apps will emerge with digital transformation driving change in almost every industry sector. Shifts in the way business is operated are happening faster than enterprises can predict, or respond to, without technology. 5G’s impact on telemedicine, for example, is expected to be significant.

Connectivity is being increasingly accepted as the fourth utility, alongside electricity, water, and gas. Real-time access to information for more users and from diverse connected devices has dramatically changed the basis for competition in business.

Enterprises will struggle with the infrastructure upgrading needed to keep up with the rapidly evolving demands on DCs caused by these disruptions. A myriad of issues have to be addressed. How should the data load be prioritised and balanced between the edge device or node and the core data center? How much horsepower will DCs need and where will they need to be located?

These 5G-era considerations are pushing demand for multi-tenant data centres (MTDCs) and underscoring their advantages over self-owned and self-managed DCs. Retail MTDCs, for instance, have begun re-locating closer to the edge to handle growing data flows.

Augmented capability

The advantages of leasing third-party data center whitespace in an MTDC enable enterprises to focus on business priorities. These advantages – ranging from optimal DC availability to reliability and cost control – explain why MTDCs are expanding globally. More importantly, MTDCs enable DC professionals to rapidly future-proof facilities to meet the demands of data processing, analysis and storage.

The five key advantages of MTDCs that enterprises can harness are:

  • Flexibility – MTDC infrastructure levels the playing field for enterprises of all sizes to take advantage of technologies such as cloud computing and virtualized data centres.
  • Reliability – MTDC infrastructure are maintained to ensure that hosted functions operate at peak efficiency. One key success factor of MTDCs hinges on their staying true to their SLAs and helping tenants fulfil specific end-customers’ reliability requirements.
  • Savings – Rather than building, hosting, and maintaining their own facilities, MTDC tenants can secure significant OpEx and CapEx savings while benefitting from the provider’s experience and ability to scale.
  • Reduced latency – Apart from having points of presence closer to the edge, some MTDCs provide direct connectivity to service providers, cloud providers, content providers, high-frequency traders, financial transaction and peering partners co-located at the same facility.
  • Security – MTDCs offer multiple levels of protection against external threats and faster, more thorough recovery from disaster situations. Their data campuses are physically secured, with facilities designed to restrict accessibility. Only authorized personnel are allowed entry to designated areas via badge or biometric access and the entire campus is under continuous CCTV surveillance.

Moving with the times

When choosing an MTDC partner, it’s important to ensure that the physical layer infrastructure can support increasingly demanding tasks.

To help enterprises navigate this, CommScope developed the Multi Tenant Data Center Alliance programme. This programme features industry-leading MTDC providers across the globe that can ensure reliability and availability levels matching your enterprise’s IT requirements, and provide documentation to prove it.

For enterprises confronting uncertainties that lay ahead, thinking through various business scenarios, and weighing strategic and tactical considerations, MTDCs can help to quicken the formulation and execution of IT requirements.

MTDCs guide clients through all stages of a project, from needs assessment to migration and operation. They have the core competencies and experience to design and deploy cabling infrastructure that can be scaled up and down or adapt to technological and business changes. Over the years, these reputable MTDCs have deployed CommScope’s DC and network solutions across their facility or campus: outside plant, facility entrance, customer meet-me rooms and customer cages. They include pre-terminated copper and fibre solutions for faster turn-ups and data rate upgrades; automated infrastructure management capabilities to remotely monitor and manage your connected environment in real time; and fibre management systems and pathways that provide efficient installation and orderly cable routing with optimal bend management.

With CommScope’s growing MTDC portfolio, tenants have more choices regarding physical layer performance than ever before. The state of the MTDC – its load, scale, capabilities and cost structure – can be adapted according to known and anticipated factors like the impacts of prevailing business conditions and trends, consolidation efforts and so on. The on-premises DC can be physically integrated with the MTDC. Further, a provider with regional points of presence allows for discussion on geographical locations that best suit connectivity, bandwidth and latency requirements.

DC managers, CIOs and other stakeholders aiming to mine the capabilities of 5G also have the option to consult seasoned veterans in the MTDC space to establish a thorough and dependable profile of IT requirements. Just as crucial, understanding how MTDCs can meet those requirements will better position your enterprise to navigate the promises and challenges of 5G.

Sponsored by CommScope®

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