Business and IT leaders talk with our solution architect (SA) team for different reasons. Some are in early stages of optimizing hybrid IT, and others are rethinking their strategy as business objectives and new market opportunities evolve. The SAs focus on comprehensive data center solutions that integrate components such as WAN, cloud networking, interconnection, storage platforms and disaster recovery. Your business objectives, offices, employees and customers all play into a solution, along with risk assessment and ROI/TCO modeling.
One of the most important aspects of working with the SAs is clarifying how technology and cost relate to business outcomes. But they can’t do this unless they – and your team – are clear about requirements. So, the SAs ask open-ended questions to gather information, explaining as they go why the answers are important. Expect questions about IT strategy, current state, end state, application modernization, redundancy, resilience, remote workforce support, security requirements, customer service objectives, business partnerships, preferred cloud service providers (CSPs), market expansion plans and more.
Working with the SAs tends to be an iterative process, which allows stakeholders to carefully weigh the benefits of proposed solutions against the intended objectives. The more open you and your team are, the faster the SAs can narrow their focus to the right collection of products and services.
The following stories highlight how our SAs work with customers.
This client was in the process of consolidating data centers to improve availability and data services – and to future-proof the business using technology to increase efficiency. Visibility, for example, was important for the client to see where goods are in their supply chains and for consumers to follow their items.
The company was paying more than necessary for its legacy network architecture, and business performance wasn’t sufficient to maintain a competitive edge. The client wanted to leverage CSPs to host applications and extend global reach while simplifying a complicated “spider web” network – to improve network and application security, reduce capital expense and make better use of the company’s office space. The ultimate goal? High-quality customer experience at a lower cost basis.
The SA team was asked to support current requirements plus future scalability and to design an environment that would enable the company to be more agile in how it leverages technology, networks and real estate assets. We found a way to reduce WAN and cloud TCO by approximately 50 percent over three years. And, the company gained access to self-service provisioning and automated network management capabilities using the CoreSite Open Cloud Exchange® (OCX). The OCX increases agility in integrating CSPs and providing on-demand, site-to-site connectivity services. Now, instead of focusing on keeping the lights on, the company focuses on value-add business activities.
This company, like others in financial services, was under pressure to modernize and deliver a digital customer experience. The first step? Outsourcing the data center.
Our solution replicated data center operations in two CoreSite markets, east and west, in an active/active scenario. Both markets leveraged multicloud by integrating directly to AWS and Microsoft Azure. The Open Cloud Exchange provides connectivity between data centers and with managed services partners.
Of course, security was a top concern. It had to be a lot more than four walls around customer equipment. The CoreSite team thought through cage layouts, cage materials, the layout and placement of equipment, air flow and camera locations – all this and more to prevent prying eyes, secure the perimeter and meet industry requirements.
This organization wanted to take advantage of a big market opportunity that occurred as consumers tired of physical media and shifted to streaming. Fortunately, the lack of a platform did not stand in the way.
Working with the SAs enabled the company to streamline its entire value chain, from content creation to distribution. We established base requirements to support the company’s day-to-day workloads, including rendering, which needs high-density compute and GPU infrastructure. Now, when content creation spikes and new projects pop up, the client leverages high-speed native onramps to CSPs to rapidly scale.
Connections to content delivery networks (CDNs) in the CoreSite ecosystem enabled the company to distribute content more efficiently without large upfront capital expense or provisioning delays. The CDNs handle caching that makes it faster for consumers to access the content they want and improves the customer experience. As a result, the company’s streaming services now reach millions of viewers via mobile devices and smart TVs.
The solution architects stay involved with clients. Technology options and business objectives change all the time, so the SAs continually evaluate solutions and recommend adjustments.
Frank discussions about where you are today and where you want to be inspires everyone involved and keeps us on a path to future-proofing IT.
Senior Director of Solution Architecture and Product Development
Brian is the Senior Director of Solution Architecture and Product Development at CoreSite and has 20+ years of engineering and corporate IT experience.Read more from this author