“I would love for Parallels to ask every partner to post one well-formed and testable hypothesis and then create a quick experiment with that reseller to prove or disprove it.”
Guest Post by Roger Keenan, Managing Director of City Lifeline
The data centre industry forms part of the global economy and, as such; it is subject to the same macro-economic trends as every other industry. For 2013, those continue to be dominated by uncertainty and fear. The gorilla of course, is the on-going problem in the Eurozone. This time last year, many commentators predicted that this would come to a head in 2012, with either the central monetary authorities accepting fiscal union and central control across the Eurozone, or the Eurozone starting to break up. In the event, neither happened and the situation remains unresolved and will continue to drive uncertainty in 2013.
One major uncertainty has been resolved with a convincing win for Barack Obama in the US presidential elections and the removal of the possibility of a lurch to the right. However, the “fiscal cliff” remains and will cause a massive contraction in the US economy, and hence the world economy, if it goes ahead at the end of 2012. For the UK, predictions are that interest rates will stay low for the next two to three years as the banks continue to rebuild their strengths at the expense of everyone else.
So the macro-economic environment within which the data centre industry operates is likely to stay uncertain and fearful in 2013. Companies have massive cash reserves, but they choose to continue to build them rather than invest. Decision making cycles in 2013 are likely to be as they are now – slow. Companies will not invest in new project unless they have the confidence that their customers will buy, and their customers think the same and so the cycle goes round.
At a more specific industry level, the on-going trend towards commoditisation of infrastructure is likely to continue. Whereas data centres five years ago were specific and unique, new entrants to the market have made data centre capacity more available than it was and driven up technical standards. Older facilities have upgraded to match new builds, which ultimately benefits the industry and its customers. The new builds and rebuilds are of varying quality and veracity, with some being excellent, however, others are claiming tier levels and other standards which are simply not true or claiming to be in central London whilst actually being somewhere else – perhaps following the example of London Southend Airport? Even in a more commoditised market, quality, connectivity, accessibility and service still stand out and well-run established data centres will always be first choice for informed customers.
The next part of the consolidation process is probably networks; new entrants are coming into a market where prices continue to fall at a dizzying rate. There is no end of small new entrants to the marketplace, some of which will succeed and some of which will fall by the wayside. At the larger end, consolidation continues. In City Lifeline’s central London data centre alone, Abovenet has become Zayo (and consequently moved from the very top of everyone’s list to the very bottom, possibly not causing joy in Abovenet’s marketing department), Cable and Wireless/Thus has become part of Vodafone, PacketExchange has become part of GT-T and Global Crossing has become part of Level 3.
Data Centre Infrastucture Management (DCIM) systems may establish themselves more in 2013. DCIM was predicted to have a massive impact, with Gartner stating publicly in 2010 that penetration would be 60% by 2014. In the event, penetration at the end of 2012 is only 1%. DCIM is hard and laborious to implement but it offers serious benefits to larger organisations in terms of the management of their physical assets, power, space and cooling and can quickly repay its investment in answering the basic question “how many servers can I have for the capacity I am paying for”. DCIM deserves more success than it has had to date, and perhaps 2013 will be the year it takes off.
Power densities will continue to increase in 2013. Five years ago, many racks drew 2KW (8 amps). Now 8 amp racks are becoming unusual and 16 amps racks are the norm. Five years ago 7KW racks (about 30 amps) were unusual, now they are common, and 20KW racks are starting to appear. The trend to higher and higher performance and power densities will continue.
The data centre industry continues to grow, driven by the move to Cloud. By the end of 2013, an estimated 23% of all data centre space will be in commercial colocation operations. The leading market segments are likely to be Telecoms and Media, with 24%, Healthcare and Education, with 21% and Public Sector, also with 21%. In-house data centre capacity is likely to continue to decrease and the commercial colocation market to grow, even in spite of the uncertain macro-economic environment.
Roger Keenan joined City Lifeline, a leading carrier neutral colocation data centre in Central London, as managing director in 2005. His main responsibilities are to oversee the management of all business and marketing strategies and profitability. Prior to City Lifeline, Roger was general manager at Trafficmaster plc, where he fully established Trafficmaster’s German operations and successfully managed the $30 million acquisition of Teletrac Inc in California, becoming its first post-acquisition Chief Executive.
http://www.something.com. This string of characters — the domain address for a web site or other internet service — pervades our culture. Today, virtually every organization and individual has confronted the challenge of reducing their professional or personal brand to fit into this namespace. But, after years of planning and debate, a big change is coming that will alter the way organizations and individuals identify themselves online; they will be able to personalize their web addresses in ways never imagined before. Even more compelling, Web Hosters will have a ripe new opportunity to “cash in” on this new sales conduit.
The governing body that manages Top Level Domains (TLD) is set to authorize and release over 1,000 new TLDs starting next year. Some examples of these include: .APP, .HOME, .STORE, .BLOG, .BOOK, .MOVIE and .MUSIC. Businesses and consumers will be able to get descriptive, memorable and relevant domain names for their Web Presence to a degree unprecedented in the history of the Internet. If I owned a bookstore in Manhattan, I probably already have .COM or .NET domain just like every other bookstore in the world. Next year I could have a .NYC domain to make search more relevant and a .BOOK domain to clarify that I am a bookstore and a .BARGAINS domain if I sell used books.
As a Web Hoster, you have a unique opportunity to grow or create your domain business. You will benefit from the increase in registration volume and higher prices that many of the specialized TLDs are expected to achieve. You can tailor offers and packages around specific TLDs that optimize customer acquisition and generate new revenue from existing customers.
At Parallels we want to make taking advantage of this opportunity as easy as possible by attracting customers now and preparing for the coming change.
- • Sign-up to resell domains with Parallels’ Domain Name Network . We waive typical set-up fees and provide you with pre-negotiated volume discounts.
- • Leverage tools and resources, provided through our close partnership with eNom, to start capturing customer interest now. We give you ready-to-go marketing toolkits and access to the ‘TLD Watchlist” application that can be directly integrated into your Website. When new TLD launch phases roll-out, additional tools and resources will become available allowing you to easily convert interest to orders.
This is a huge evolution of the Web and an opportunity not to be missed. Help your customers be successful by being their trusted Web advisor and generate new revenue at the same time… Don’t get left behind!
Water and servers don’t mix. Storms can do more than cut the power to a data center, they can also breech walls, flood, or otherwise damage a center. A natural disaster like Hurrican Sandy can also make it difficult for staff to even be there to do their jobs, and can delay the arrival of replacement parts, fuel for generators, and so on.
The combination of rising energy costs, increasing demand for computing power, environmental concerns, and economic pressure has made the green data center a focal point for the transformation of the IT industry as a whole. According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the worldwide market for green data centers will grow from $17.1 billion in 2012 to $45.4 billion by 2016 – at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 28 percent.
“There is no single technology or design model that makes a data center green,” says research director Eric Woods. “In fact, the green data center is connected to the broader transformation that data centers are undergoing—a transformation that encompasses technical innovation, operational improvements, new design principles, changes to the relationship between IT and business, and changes in the data center supply chain.”
In particular, two powerful trends in IT are shaping the evolution of data centers, Woods adds: virtualization and cloud computing. Virtualization, the innovation with the greatest impact on the shape of the modern data center, is also recognized as one of the most effective steps toward improving energy efficiency in the data center. In itself, however, virtualization may not lead to reduced energy costs. To gain the maximum benefits from virtualization, other components of the data center infrastructure will need to be optimized to support more dynamic and higher-density computing environments. Cloud computing, meanwhile, has many efficiency advantages, but new metrics and new levels of transparency are required if its impact on the environment is to be adequately assessed, the report finds.
The report, “Green Data Centers”, explores global green data center trends with regional forecasts for market size and opportunities through 2016. The report examines the impacts of global economic and political factors on regional data center growth, along with newly adopted developments in power and cooling infrastructure, servers, storage, and data center infrastructure management software tools across the industry. The research study profiles key industry players and their strategies for expansion and technology adoption. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.
City Lifeline, the central London colocation data centre, has announced a strategic partnership with Gamma, a network communications provider. This new partnership will provide Gamma with first rate colocation services, which will in turn boost its reliability and recommendations among potential channel partners.
Working with City Lifeline, Gamma will deliver a broad range of voice, mobile and data services designed specifically to take to market through its channel partners. Gamma is the UK’s market leader in the provision and supply of SIP Trunking services to mid-market enterprises and hosted voice and application service providers. SIP Trunking and the centralisation of telephone numbers is enabling the hosting of voice and data services previously handled by PBXs in colocation centres.
Adding Gamma SIP Trunking services to a colocation infrastructure will add cost effective, easy to deploy voice services that will enable the support of its customers that work across more than one location. Further, this will allow the company to drive more colocation space sales.
Alan Mackie, Head of SIP Services at Gamma, said: “Thanks to the help of City Lifeline, we can take our market leading services to the next level.The trend for SIP Trunking is accelerating at a rapid rate, so a service that allows us to save money and improve service really is invaluable. As a company we are dedicated to innovation and efficiency, which is why we chose to partner with a company like City Lifeline, which shares these values so openly.”
Roger Keenan, managing director at City Lifeline, explains: “We are thrilled to partner with Gamma, as we can both benefit from one another’s expertise, locations and connectivity. This new relationship enhances both our company’s portfolio of product offerings and will lead to further business opportunities for us both. Most importantly, this new relationship is helping to boost the productivity of two ambitious UK businesses – which shows our economy is really getting back on track.”
A consortium of web-performance industry companies today launched SpeedAwareness Month, a web-based educational program designed to help site owners learn about the importance of improving their website download speeds.
Speed Awareness month will run through the month of August 2012.
Research shows that many consumers will abandon a site if it takes longer than two seconds to load. Similarly, slow website speeds can impact search engine rankings, can increase pay-per-click advertising costs, reduce sales conversions and, in the end, decrease revenues.
Maximizing the performance of a website is as essential to site operators as having the right content and marketing program. On the Speed Awareness Month website, site owners can find regular blog posts, best practice recommendations, tutorials and free or trial services and tools they can use to boost website speed.
Speed Awareness Month is a collaborative effort organized by the following industry leading firms: Dyn Inc., MaxCDN,Panopta, Torbit, UberTags, StackExchange.com catchpoint.com and lognormal.com. More companies are expected to join the effort through the month.
“I am very excited to see how many companies and experts are participating in Speed Awareness Month. We hope to reach as many website owners as possible and make them aware of the importance of website performance for their business,” said David Henzel, Speed Awareness Month organizer and vice president of marketing for NetDNA/MaxCDN. “The tips and free tools offered during this month will be a huge help for web masters to find out where the bottlenecks of their sites are and how to remove them.”
Speed Awareness Month is designed for all developers, system administrators, eCommerce shop owners and everyone that has a passion for website development and improvement.
The event is open to content from any experts who want to participate and have a passion or spread knowledge about web performance optimization. To contribute, contact David Henzel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hosting.com, a leading provider of enterprise-class, cloud-based application availability and recovery solutions, today extended the security options for cloud customers with the announcement of their Cloud Firewall service. Leveraging Juniper Networks vGW Series Virtual Gateway, a comprehensive virtualization security platform, Cloud Firewall is a hypervisor-based, VMsafe-certified stateful virtual firewall with more than ten times the throughput of firewalls typically deployed in cloud environments. Cloud Firewall meets the needs of cloud customers looking for an easy, affordable way to comply with major regulatory and industry security standards and to lock down their virtual environments.
“Cloud Firewall expands protection for cloud customers who want higher levels of security and VM workload access control. We already provide the highest level of physical firewall protection and now, another option is available at a granular, VM level. This furthers our commitment to enterprise-class, Always Secure cloud solutions,” said Jim Potter, Vice President of Products at Hosting.com.
Cloud Firewall satisfies the dynamic security and compliance needs of IT managers by offering a self-managed firewall that can be deployed in minutes. Managed through rich instrumentation in the Hosting.com Customer Portal, customers view and administer their complete VM and VM group inventory, including virtual network settings, and intra/inter-network traffic monitoring and access controls. Modifications to security rules can be made quickly and enforced nearly instantaneously through the Portal.
Companies with strict compliance mandates get granular control of VM traffic, without impacting the throughput of high-performance applications. Enterprise businesses with hybrid data solutions – those running on dedicated hardware servers in conjunction with workloads on cloud-based VMs – can add granular control and scalability to their virtual environment with Cloud Firewall, extending traditional perimeter-based security to the virtualized realm.
“The vGW platform that powers Cloud Firewall delivers layers of protection without the performance tradeoffs that users typically experience when implementing sophisticated security,” said Johnnie Konstantas, director of product marketing at Juniper Networks. “The innovations inherent in the hypervisor-based Cloud Firewall offer very compelling value to cloud service providers because they are able to maximize security and cloud VM capacity.”
Equinix, Inc., a provider of global data center services, today announced it has completed its acquisition of ancotel GmbH, a provider of carrier-neutral colocation and interconnection services in Europe.
The acquisition adds more than 400 network, cloud and content customers to Equinix. This includes 200 new networks and an additional 6,000 cross connects. In addition, Equinix adds one data center to its Frankfurt campus and now operates 21,000 square meters (223,000 square feet) of data center capacity across five data centers in the Frankfurt market. As part of the acquisition, Equinix also gains edge nodes in Hong Kong, London and Miami, providing additional points of presence in these markets. One of the world’s busiest data hubs, Equinix’s Frankfurt campus offers a broad mix of networks from Western and Eastern Europe, and significant growth opportunities for customers looking to expand their data center footprint globally.
“As a leading interconnection hub for networks throughout Europe, ancotel brings highly complementary capabilities to our European business that increases our network density in the region and offers a strong interconnection infrastructure that will provide our customers with a platform for growth in Europe and beyond,” said Eric Schwartz, president, Equinix EMEA.
DataCore Software today announced that providers of hosted IT services may now rent DataCore’s SANsymphony-V storage hypervisor through the company’s Cloud Service Provider Program. Under the program, Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) pay for the use of the software monthly based on the amount of storage they serve versus having to purchase it outright. This allows participating providers to reduce capital expenditure and better align costs to revenue.
DataCore’s storage hypervisor software manages and protects hosted IT environments, providing a high performance, highly scalable, automatically tiered storage infrastructure upon which providers can confidently build and offer their hosted IT services.
The DataCore Cloud Service Provider Program goes a step further in the direction of “on demand” infrastructure with its “Pay-as-You-Serve” proposition to hosted IT service providers—they pay for the software as they use it, based upon the storage they serve to their subscribers.
“In order to offer the most competitive pricing for their services, CSPs and other hosting companies seek to lower capital expenditures and keep expenses and their timing aligned to revenue-producing activities,” said Carlos M. Carreras, vice president of alliances and business development, DataCore Software. “The DataCore storage hypervisor ‘software advantage’ gives us the unique ability to offer the kind of service provider program that other leading software companies, like VMware, have developed, but apply it to the storage-side of the infrastructure. Ideally tailored for the flexibility, efficiency and predictable expenses they seek.”
New cutting edge technologies will also be of interest to CSPs. These innovations designed to satisfy large scale, Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) requirements crucial to building robust cloud storage infrastructures are packaged in the company’s newest product, SANsymphony-V R9.0, aptly described as “The Storage Hypervisor for the Cloud.”
The storage hypervisor’s powerful storage management capabilities and interchangeable hardware design empowers hosters with great cost-savings flexibility, new levels of automation for increased resource productivity and a storage infrastructure that easily incorporates the industry’s latest innovations.
“The new DataCore CSP pricing model reduces our upfront costs – thereby enhancing our margins,” comments Philippe Merckel, CEO, MERCKEL SAS. “DataCore understands that as data centers move to the cloud in the form of virtual, private data centers, cloud platforms need the storage virtualization functionality that DataCore brings to the table with its storage hypervisor. The key, however, for CSPs lies in making the adoption of this technology cost-effective. That is what this Cloud Service Provider Program does. It makes it far easier for us to standardize on DataCore for storage virtualization because we pay as we go rather than paying for everything upfront. It fundamentally suits our own business model whereby our own clients lease our cloud platform.
The DataCore Cloud Service Provider Program is currently open only to providers of hosted IT services located in Europe; the program will be expanded to include North America and additional geographies over the next 90 days. For more up-to-date information about program eligibility and the program itself, please visit: http://www.datacore.com/Partners/cloud-service-providers/CSP-Program.aspx.