Mar 24, 2021

Digital Realty expands private connection to Google Cloud

Cloud
connectivity
Data Centres
IT
Harry Menear
3 min
Digital Realty has added new Google Cloud on-ramps in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Vienna
Digital Realty has added new Google Cloud on-ramps in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt and Vienna...

On Tuesday, Texas-based data centre operator Digital Realty announced the expansion of its secure private access services to Google Cloud in five key metro areas around the world.

The five new on-ramps will provide ultra-low latency, high speed connections between Google Cloud and Digital Realty’s own campuses, including its sites in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Additionally, two more on-ramps in Düsseldorf and Vienna have also come online. The final new connection is located in Frankfurt, and adds to Digital Realty’s preexisting Google Cloud connectivity in the metro. 

"Today's enterprises require more flexibility, scalability and agility to meet the growing demands placed on IT infrastructure and to overcome the barriers posed by data gravity," said Tony Bishop, SVP, Platform, Growth and Marketing at Digital Realty.  

"Direct connectivity to Google Cloud helps customers bring their applications, compute, and analytics closer to their data, enabling performance, latency and proximity benefits for hybrid IT deployments. Today's announcement supports Digital Realty's overall vision of interconnecting global communities of customers around their most strategic asset: data." 

The new on-ramps bring the number of available direct connections between Digital Realty’s portfolio and Google Cloud to 12, including New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt (where there are now two), Madrid, Marseille, Paris, Stockholm, Vienna and Zürich. 

Google Cloud hosting is increasingly becoming the agile cloud hosting solution of choice, with Spotify, HSBC, Ubisoft, Coca Cola, Feedly and Domino’s among the leading brands utilising the service to support functionality. While a little more sparse in terms of functionality, Google Cloud makes for a truly lightweight, scalable option - in terms of user experience and OpEx - compared to the services offered by competitors like AWS and Oracle. 

Direct connections to cloud hosting sites are becoming increasingly important as enterprises move bigger and bigger workloads into the cloud. These connections provide faster speeds, lower latency, higher reliability and more stringent security. In addition to time saved and an improved user experience, direct connections to cloud services help to combat the issues created by managing increasingly sizable data sets in the cloud itself. 

Bishop added: "Today's evolving digital businesses demand scalability and resiliency to drive their business goals forward, and cloud proximity is key to helping them overcome the data gravity challenges inhibiting growth. By extending access to Google Cloud on PlatformDIGITAL, we're helping customers transform their architectures and deploy their applications, compute and analytics in close proximity to enterprise data in the Google Cloud.” 

Manvinder Singh, Director of Partnerships at Google Cloud also commented: "Organisations of all sizes are increasingly looking to the cloud to run key applications, or even to transform aspects of their businesses. Connectivity services like those offered by Digital Realty can help businesses get up and running in the cloud more quickly and efficiently. We're excited that they will expand availability of their services in key markets." 

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Jun 6, 2021

Unlocking the next chapter of the digital revolution

Dell
servers
IT
Technology
Tim Loake
5 min
Tim Loake, Vice President, Infrastructure Solutions Group, UK at Dell Technologies highlights the importance of often-overlooked digital infrastructure

As the world retreated to a hybrid world in 2020, our reliance on technology took the spotlight. But it was the jazzy new social and video calling platforms that took the encore. Behind the scenes, our servers worked overtime, keeping us connected and maintaining the drumbeat of always-on newly digital services.  Let’s take a moment to pay our respect to the unsung technology heroes of the pandemic – the often-forgotten IT infrastructure keeping us connected come what may. After all, as we look ahead to more resilient futures, they will be playing a central role.

Servers could be likened to our plumbing – vital to well-functioning homes but rarely top of mind so long as it is functioning. Never seen, rarely heard – our servers do all the graft with little praise. But it is essential to reflect on the incremental advances in GPU and CPU power, which have paved the way for new workloads that previously were not possible. Chatbots and native language processing that provide essential customer touchpoints for businesses across the retail and banking sectors rely on powerful servers. They also keep businesses competitive and customers happy in an always-on world. 

Tim Loake, Vice President, Infrastructure Solutions Group, UK at Dell Technologies
Tim Loake, Vice President, Infrastructure Solutions Group, UK at Dell Technologies

Serving workplace transformation

But, as businesses grappled with pandemic disruptions, the focus was largely on adopting connected devices – and awe at the rapid increase in the datasphere.  As they reined in their budgets and attempted to do more with less, one aspect was perhaps overlooked—those hard working servers.

When it came to building resilience into a newly remote workforce, the initial concern was focused on the device endpoints – keeping employees productive.  Many companies did not initially consider whether they had the server infrastructure to enable the entire workforce to log in remotely at the same time. As a result, many experienced a plethora of teething problems: virtual office crashes, long waits to get on servers, and sluggish internet connectivity and application performance, often rendering the shiny new PC frustrating and useless.

Most businesses only had a few outward-facing servers that could authenticate remote workers – a vital gateway as the vector for cyber hacks and attacks increased exponentially. That’s not to mention the fact that many business applications simply weren’t designed to work with the latency required for people working from home. What businesses discovered at that moment was that their plumbing was out of date.  

Business and IT leaders quickly realised that to stay ahead of the curve in the hybrid working world, a renewed focus on building agile, adaptable, and flexible IT infrastructures was critical. More importantly, it accelerated the inevitable digital transformation that would keep them competitive in a data-driven economy. It is now abundantly clear to businesses that they need IT infrastructure to meet the demands of diverse workloads – derive intelligent insights from data, deploy applications effectively, and enhance data management and security.  

Ripe for a digital revolution

Unsurprisingly, IDC noted that there was an increase in purchases of server infrastructure to support changing workloads. However, it also forecasts this uptick will be sustainable and last beyond the pandemic. As the economy begins to reopen, business leaders are looking ahead. IT will continue to play a crucial role in 2021 and beyond – and we have already set the foundations for the digital revolution with next-generation servers. 

As we enter the zettabyte era, new innovative technologies are coming on stream, with 5G turbocharging IoT and putting edge computing to work.  Exciting new services improved day-to-day efficiencies, and the transformation of our digital society will be underpinned by resilient IT infrastructures.  By embracing the technological innovations of our next-generation servers, businesses keep pace with the coming data deluge.

The next generation of server architecture promises more power with less heat, thanks to improved, directed airflow, and direct liquid cooling, resulting in reduced operational costs and environmental impact. As we rebuild post-pandemic, manufacturers and customers alike strive to achieve ever more challenging sustainability goals. With this in mind, a focus on environmentally responsible design is imperative for the servers of tomorrow -  uniquely designed chassis for adaptive cooling and more efficient power consumption will be critical, improving energy efficiency generation over generation.

The most notable evolution is the configuration of these next-gen servers around more specific organisational needs. Unlike clunky and often unstable legacy infrastructure, the infrastructure of tomorrow will be sturdier and more modular. The next iteration is streamlined, and in this modular form, can be more easily tailored to business needs. This equates to essential cost savings as businesses only pay for what they use.  

Resolving the problem of the future, today

Tomorrow's IT challenges will focus on response times and latency as Edge and 5G technologies go mainstream. As businesses develop new and innovative services that utilise supercharged connectivity and real-time analytics, staying on top of these challenges will give them a competitive edge. For example, in the world of retail, automation will power new virtual security guards and even the slightest delay in the data relay could result in financial loss. 

Similarly, in the smart cities of tomorrow, the network must be responsive. With city-centre traffic lights controlled by an AI-powered camera that monitors pedestrians, delays in data transfers could cost the life of an elderly pedestrian who has fallen in the road. The stakes are far higher in a 5G-enabled world. As our reliance on technology deepens, the margins for error narrow, placing greater emphasis on the efficiency of those critical underpinning technologies.

Fully enabling the hybrid work model today is just a stepping-stone towards more fluid, tech-enabled lives. A work Zoom call from an automated vehicle on-route to an intelligent transport hub is a highly probable vision of our future. But it requires incredible amounts of compute and seamless data transfers to make it possible. These glossy snapshots need super servers to come to life, making that IT plumbing glisten with next-gen innovation essential. Without exemplary server architecture, we risk future tech advances and the human progression that it enables. 

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