For the past 28 years I had the opportunity to work for one of the global 500 companies in various executive IT positions. Most project conversations revolved around the same set of questions:

1. Is this the best provider of this technology?

2. Does the provider have the right product fit or do we have to modify it?

3. Have we negotiated the best price?

4. Is this the direction the rest of the industry is heading?

5. What will the actual value to the business be?

6. Will implementing this lower capex or opex?
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You just closed the deal on some world class data center space. The facility you just selected for your data center infrastructure has been vetted out every way you could think of. You got a great deal on the price per square foot, power costs are low, your legal team successfully negotiated a great Master Service Agreement and things are looking very good for your new project. Now it is time for the Facilities, Legal and Network Teams to collaborate to ensure the project delivers with success. Power, Space, and Network Connectivity are the 3 key components that define a Data Center project. Without Network access your data will be going nowhere fast.

Connectivity, when sourcing a data center often becomes an afterthought, behind Facilities and Legal. Timing is everything and projects and budgets can be highly impacted without a skillful team addressing the network requirements. This can create a highly political environment and cause tension among the various departments. Enter GCN and the team of Network experts.

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Everyone is running out of real estate. How do we make the most of what we have available? In a data center environment this means consolidating the space and overall square-footage. As companies and data centers alike wish to consolidate more and more equipment and applications into smaller and smaller spaces this increases the need for power density.

Data center operators are looking to make the most of their investments. For them this means fitting as many clients as possible into their facility, increasing revenue per rack by increasing the available power density, increases in cabinet sizes over the standard 42U 19” rack (a U stands for rack Unit which is 1.75 inches in height), and of course a move into managed services and Cloud computing. Back in 2005, data centers were building to the specifications of 50-100Watts per square foot

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Introduced in 2007 by information technology industry group The Green Grid, PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) has become an important topic in the colocation industry and data center community as a whole. The simple PUE formula of total facility power / total IT equipment power can be easily understood by techie, wrench-turner and bean-counter alike. This however is where the simplicity in analyzing and addressing PUE ends.

What are the numbers looking like?

We hear regularly of big news about the Facebook’s and Google’s of the world achieving sub 1.1 PUEs at some of their sites, often aided by custom servers and the luxury of having large amounts of capital and scale on their side. Digital Realty Trust, the global colocation juggernaut, has recently stated that they are achieving sub 1.2 when using free air cooling at one of their newer facilities in Sydney.

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How often as a company, team, and individual do you take the most finite resources we all have, Time, and use it to just sit quietly, think, and evaluate. For businesses in general, it is very easy to become lost in the day to day operations.

In order to be a successful business, it’s important to continually re-evaluate and evolve; otherwise you risk losing your edge and quickly becoming irrelevant in whatever your particular industry might be. As a team, we sat down and looked at our future goals, business model, and our current position and direction.

Our overall goal as a company has not changed since the company was founded 17 years ago. Global Communication Networks Inc. was created because its Founder, Chris Palermo, after working for several telecommunication carriers knew there was a better way to truly take care of clients telecom needs. GCN remains 110% committed to being entirely customer centric; bringing the best experience possible to our clients.

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Have you been in the middle of a colocation project, flown to the new data center, only to realize you didn’t bring the necessary tools needed to complete your work? Have you ever been stuck waiting for hours because you forgot to reserve an elevator and you need to get some large hardware moved up a few floors from the loading dock? How about waiting for hours in the lobby because the access List was not updated correctly? GCN has a well established PMO which handles colocation implementations all over the world on a daily basis. I hope some of our past experiences help you avoid some of these issues which can certainly impact budgets and timelines.

You’ve picked your preferred data center, negotiated the terms of the agreements and the order has been turned in with countersigned documents in hand.

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colocation implementation

Approximately nine years ago GCN completed our very first international deployment: a 20 rack suite in Tokyo. Understanding that colocation was a newer market at that time, I wanted to do everything I could to help make sure that my company became both an expert and a leader in this emerging space. So, with this in mind, I called for a “lessons learned” meeting once our deployment was complete to review how we did, and discuss how we could continue to improve and lead the way for others.

In the meeting, my client’s Director of Data Centers and Project Management shared with me that he could tell we were new at this, but what we lacked in knowledge, we made up for in determination to learn.

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colocation in the EU

At Global Communication Networks, colocation or collocationwe have been selling Colocation for about 10 years. Our first deployment was a large cage environment in Asia, specifically Tokyo, so when sourcing for Colocation in Tokyo, I would spell the word as Collocation. I continued to use the “double L” for about 6 months until more than one person on the other side of the pond told me that I should spell Collocation with one “L”. I noticed at the time that most of the people in the US used two “L’s” and everyone overseas used the “single L”, or even spelled it as Co-Location. Because I was selling almost all International Colocation at the time, I decided that despite my spell check telling me that “Colocation” should be spelled as “Collocation”, I am going to always use the single L format.

It has been almost ten years since that decision and throughout the years I don’t go a single day without seeing it spelled as either Colocation, Co-Location, or Collocation

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Many of the data center certifications are starting to standardize and more closely align with similar industry certifications and compliance regulations. Soon, we should also start to see these certification including rules around “Cloud” based services. There are still a few certifications you should keep an eye out for such as the IDCA, ISO, Tier certification, and ISEA 3402. See our Certification blog post for more information.

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Many companies come to GCN specifically because of our many years of experience in international-colocation-considerations International Colocation Solutions. We have become very well versed in this marketplace due to the needs and requirements of our customers over the years. Many of Our clients felt unsure of where to begin when leaving their well known domestic market. All they did know was how important it would be to have a partner that understood the implications of each location and country. Strong and tested relationships are even more vital and valuable during this time of discovery, exploration, and new business goals that come along with establishing an international data center presence and partnership. Here are a few tips that we have found to help make it a little bit more comfortable.

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