Rethinking Your Data Center Network

Friday, August 19, 2022


A reliable data center makes cloud computing possible and enables this digital transformation.

It is critical to evaluate your data center network and ensure your organization’s needs are properly supported.

According to Statista, spending on data center systems is expected to reach $227 billion this year. Here are some key considerations when evaluating your data center design to ensure your investment fits your organization’s needs:

  • Cloud connectivity: connect to a cloud service provider (Azure, AWS, Google) for computing, storage, network, and other services
  • Cloud redundancy: Use diverse on-ramps to connect to your single cloud service provider
  • Multicloud connectivity: Establish connectivity to more than one cloud service provider
  • Connect LAN (your own network): Network connectivity between infrastructure deployed at Data Centers for data backup/replication and disaster recovery
  • Internet connectivity: Connect to the Internet from your data center
  • Internet resiliency: Use diverse on-ramps/carriers to connect to the Internet


Data centers conveniently provide a multitude of connectivity options all available with the simplicity of a cross connect. Although it is one of the most important components of a data center solution, connectivity options can be confusing and complex.

In the data center environment, customers and providers can connect with each other over several conduits including fiber and ethernet to exchange data at extremely high speeds and at the same time lower costs.  By connecting directly to providers via dedicated connections within a datacenter, businesses can significantly reduce latency and cut bandwidth costs by 60% compared to using the Internet.

Types of Data Center Interconnections

Cross Connect

A cross connect is simply a connection (fiber, copper, or cable) between servers.  This is a physical, hardwired connection that goes from one termination point to another inside the datacenter.  This enables high-speed, low latency, reliable connection.

Many customers use cross connects to connect directly from their colocation rack to an ISP or carrier.

Inter-Site Connectivity

Inter-site connections provide connectivity between the different campuses within a datacenter. Depending on the datacenter provider this can include multiple sites, multiple locations, and even tethering to other data centers within a metro or beyond depending on the options available.

This can allow businesses to create connectivity between data center sites and across regions.

Peering Exchange

Peering occurs any time traffic is exchanged directly between businesses, without utilizing the public internet.  Furthermore, when two networks connect and exchange traffic without the use of a third party such as a telecom carrier or ISP it is referred to as a peering exchange. Peering speeds up traffic by avoiding the latency found on public networks and reducing the number of hops.

Many businesses use private peering to connect to hyperscalers and SaaS providers for security.  Especially in a financial and healthcare industry, privacy is imperative, and peering allows these institutions to get the data they need without accessing public networks.

Blended IP

A blended IP service allows the business in the data center to work with a variety of upstream carriers and Internet Service Providers.  By providing multiple upstream options to the Internet, a blended IP product creates a highly reliable service.

Businesses who want the security and reliability of multiple Internet providers, but do not have the budget  to purchase several internet connections can take advantage of a blended IP product.  This gives them several ISPs for failover and without the expense of multiple providers.

There are numerous opportunities when it comes to data center connections. These options can be used alone, or several can be employed in conjunction to create the best solution to meet your business internet needs.


Today’s digital transformation requires reassessing network design.  Resiliency is easier than ever, especially in data centers. Anyone can have a future-proof presence with multiple failovers, affordable connectivity, and exceptional security platforms.  Organizations can boost reliability, integrate diverse network providers, deploy business internet redundancy, and reduce complexity with today’s multi-vendor, data center environments.


Cross connections are a physical connection in a data center.  They can be used to connect a rack to a specific internet service provider, a cloud provider, or a network provider.

Utilizing a cross connection has many benefits.  Connecting directly to a provider, instead of using the public internet, will avoid latency or congestion issues. Additionally, the cross connect will provide consistent operation, a more reliable connection, and faster speeds.


Most data centers are neutral when it comes to the carrier used to access the internet.  This allows the data center customer to use the business internet service provider they desire (as long as that carrier is available in the data center).

Cross connects are used to connect rack space customers to the provider they select.  Either a network provider or a high-speed business internet provider, or perhaps both.

These connections can also create a private network back to the customer premises.  They can deliver content to the Internet. They can peer between data centers.  There are a multitude of design options when it comes to connecting your data to users.

Most data centers have numerous on-net providers available, also referred to as IXPs (Internet Exchange Points).  These providers can be used for private or public facilities.  In addition to the IXPs, data centers usually have multiple CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) to connect to as well.

When the data center customer is connected directly to another facility in the data center this is called an intra-campus cross connect.  This sort of design provides ultra-fast speeds over short distances and does not require switching or routing.


Multiple cross connections can be used to enhance your data center presence.  They can connect your servers, storage, and networking hardware to your premises, to your network, to your cloud provider, and to the Internet.

With a diverse design, your data can be replicated in multiple data centers, can be available on and off line, can be protected with a blended Internet solution, and create an “always on” environment.


How diverse is your data center presence?

With the use of cross connects you can connect your servers, storage, and hardware directly.  It is inexpensive and simple to diversify within a data center, and you have a range of options when it comes to creating multiple paths and failovers to protect your business.

If your IT strategy has not included redundant, business internet service from your data center, we are here to help.

Contact FiberLight for a free infrastructure assessment.