On-demand data centre opens up access for SMEs: CommScope

  • New on-demand solution offers SMEs cost-effective access to high-end tech
  • DCIMs becoming critical tool to manage increasing complexities of data centres
On-demand data centre opens up access for SMEs: CommScope

IN the last few years, much attention has been paid to cloud computing and the promised benefits of increasing competitiveness and revenue for organisations that make the switch.
Governments as well have been active in promoting the adoption of cloud technologies, believing that the cloud is one way of achieving national and economic goals.
However, underlying all this attention is the very basic need to connect people and markets to each other.
“The cloud has to reside somewhere and people need to get to it,” James Young, CommScope’s director of Enterprise Solutions Division for Asia Pacific, told Digital News Asia (DNA) in Singapore recently.
“For example, think about all these services shifting to a public cloud, only for users being unable to get access.
“That frustrates things and constrains both individuals and companies, hindering their progress. On the one hand, you have government educating on the benefits of cloud, but on the other, basic infrastructure is holding you back,” he said.
It is a conversation that CommScope regularly finds itself involved in, especially in this region, as customers seek ways around these issues and how to cut that gap.
Hickory, North Carolina-based CommScope is a multinational telecommunications company founded in 1976. With 15,000 employees globally, the Nasdaq-listed company recorded a net income of US$95 million in 2013.
For enterprise customers, the company offers a portfolio of network infrastructure solutions, which include data centre infrastructure and management (DCIM) solutions.
Young claimed that one way CommScope can assist enterprises seeking to find ways out of infrastructure obstacles is to help them build data centres that are “a lot less expensive to operate” and cost less to build.
“If you think about Facebook and Google, and some of these famous data centres using new and innovative technologies to reduce cost, that’s always been difficult for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to get a hold of.
“We’ve actually taken that technology, optimised data centre design and made it so that the average business can access this infrastructure -- and it doesn’t take 12-18 months to build,” he added.
Young said that emerging markets, especially in Asia, were a key area of focus and an "interesting one" as well.
“With the benefit of no legacy systems, they can leapfrog in terms of [the] technology available. Across the region, we’ve seen some pretty interesting opportunities pop up in places such as Cambodia, French Polynesia and Australia,” he added.
In Malaysia, the company is currently looking at developing partners with an aim to introducing its data centre on-demand offering to the market.
Asked about the price range for its solution, Young said that this would vary depending on the complexity of the requirements and the status of existing facilities.
“But if you look at it from the traditional way of building data centres, a Tier 3 data centre would run to about US$10 million to US$15 million per megawatt.
“With our on-demand offering, you can do it at approximately at US$5 million per megawatt, which is a significant difference,” he added. [Per-megawatt costs corrected]
Optimising datacentre design
In March, CommScope launched its new alternative to the traditional brick and mortar datacentre – Data Centre on Demand – that takes a modular approach to facility design and implementation.
According to the company, the solution offers features a full range of available data centre options for organisations implementing an initial data centre or adding to an existing facility, including:

  • Proven technology based on systems operating in extreme climates for more than six years;

  • Scalable solutions from one to thousands of racks without disruption;

  • Proven annual average data centre power usage effectiveness (PUE) as low as 1.03 to 1.06 (industry PUEs typically range from 1.8 to 2.9);

  • Standardised repeatable designs that reduce complexity and shorten planning and deployment time;

  • Customisable configuration, with off-the-shelf components supporting multiple Tier levels, security, fire and core infrastructure and

  • Integration with CommScope's infrastructure solutions.

All solutions are backed by industry leading data centre architects, engineers, and a global partner services programme, CommScope claims.
On-demand data centre opens up access for SMEs: CommScopeAccording to Young (pic), launching and hosting a data centre today is a much easier process for businesses; and especially when launching any cloud-based service, the cost of hosting versus building your own data centre may not be favourable in the long-term.
“When you start to look into the cost of hosting, hosting centres are not as efficient so your cost base could be higher.
“And if you looking into long-term cost of hosting versus owning, it is ultimately better to own it, especially if you can run it at a lower cost point,” he added.
Young said that solutions such as CommScope’s data centre-on-demand offering and similar products by other industry players enabled by new technologies, make for “nice alternatives.”
“It’s nice to have this alternative that is somewhere in the middle. Organisations can operate with lower operating expenditure and have it locally. So for example, if you want to deliver content in a certain market, it reduces the latency,” he said.
Young said that these new technologies also offer an opportunity for markets such as Malaysia, enabling greater efficiencies and readiness in driving cloud-centric services and businesses.
“Malaysia has energy, space and a pretty good climate, along with political stability and a central location – all factors that point to a strong future for the market in terms of data centre opportunities,” he added.
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