What is a Carrier Neutral Data Center?
A carrier-neutral data center (sometimes called a network-neutral data center) refers to an independent data center that does not have an affiliation with one specific ISP or network provider. This contrasts with a carrier-specific data center which offers only a single carrier that must be used by all clients. A carrier-neutral data center welcomes multiple carriers and enables them to provide their own internet services from the one facility.
The data center may offer their clients a direct connection to network providers like AT&T, CenturyLink, Cogent Communications, Level3 Communications, Paxio, Verizon, XO Communications, Zayo Group, and many others. The data center does not specifically direct their clients to choose one carrier over the others. Colocation clients can review the services offered by each and are free to select the right carrier and network for their specific needs.
Carrier Neutral Data Center Benefits
Why is a carrier-neutral data center so valuable? It provides significant benefits including increased reliability and redundancy, flexibility, constancy, and a lower cost of ownership.
Data Center Provides Reliability / Redundancy
In today’s always-on, always available business environment, no amount of downtime is acceptable. That’s where data center redundancy comes in. When you think of a redundant data center, things like backup power when the electricity goes out and backup equipment in the event of a hardware failure come to mind. However, we also refer to redundancy when talking about carrier neutrality.
Carrier-neutral redundancy means that a data center does not have only one carrier with a single point of connectivity but multiple ISPs to prevent any potential downtime.
Should an outage occur with one carrier, another carrier in the same data center can take over immediately without you ever knowing that anything happened. This is a key benefit of carrier neutrality and one of the ways in which a data center can guarantee a 100% uptime availability over many years.
Data Center Offers Flexibility
Not only does a carrier-neutral data center offer a variety of network providers but each provider has unique capabilities. When implementing your colocation plans, you may select one carrier based on their availability, cost, or other features which help you meet your immediate business goals. However, as your business grows and needs change, your technology requirements may change as well, requiring you to reevaluate your current carrier and select a new carrier-based on future goals.
Data Centers Offer Constancy / Stability
Choosing the right colocation data center requires a comprehensive review of their facility, infrastructure, personnel, security, certifications, SLAs and expansion capabilities. Over time, certification requirements, government regulations, staff, or business processes could change. This may significantly impact the ability of a carrier-specific data center run by a single telecommunications carrier to conduct business and consistently provide the high level of service and support you require.
A carrier-neutral data center sets you up for future success from the start. Should the ISP you have selected be unable to keep up with new requirements or significantly increases its prices, you can leave your equipment exactly where it is and simply change carriers within the same data center. There is no need to spend time, resources and money to move your servers and other equipment to a completely new facility.
Lower Cost of Ownership
Every business knows that competition inevitably drives down prices. The same is true for a data center with multiple network carriers. You save money by easily switching to a different carrier if they raise their prices.
But, did you consider the additional cost you will incur – both in terms of money and downtime – to move all your IT equipment out of one data center and into another data center because you have outgrown your current network carrier?
This cost can be significant and should not be overlooked.
When considering if a specific data center will be able to support you today and well into the future, including the requirement that it is carrier neutral should be a key element in your selection process. Evocative is a national owner and operator of highly secure, carrier-neutral colocation data centers across the United States. Our data centers offer you the flexibility your business needs and the 100% uptime availability you demand. Every Evocative high availability data center meets the rigorous security and protocol standards of HIPAA, PCI DSS, SSAE-16, SSAE-18, SOC 2 and ISAE 3402.