During the last five years, cloud usage in multi-tenant data centers has grown rapidly. Six of the main public cloud providers – CoreSite, CyrusOne, Digital Realty, DuPont Fabros, Equinix and QTS – are seeing an average annual growth rate of 19%, and are still investing in facilities and services to accommodate market growth.

In a recent Dell’Oro forecast, total annual server shipments will grow from 10 million in 2015 to 13 million in 2019; shipment to enterprises will still be around 6 million in 2019, despite the decrease, with many of the new shipments sent to leased colocation (MTDC) space.

MTDC providers can host “private clouds” from different tenants under the same roof by leasing data center space, power, security and options for connectivity. Tenants buy and bring their own servers to their allocated area within the MTDC, and entrust their IT infrastructure to MTDC operators.

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) is a viable, cost-effective IT solution that offers scalability while allowing effective, efficient use of existing computing, storage and networking resources.

Today, the cloud has become the most popular data center solution; up to 95% of organizations are adopting a cloud strategy. When global giant General Electric (GE) announced its decision back in 2014 to move its IT infrastructure and nearly 9,000 apps to the public cloud, it became quite clear that this 124-year-old company with more than 300,000 employees had fully realized the obvious advantages of the public cloud.

GE’s COO of IT Chris Drumgoole states that the company will reduce its global data center footprint by dropping from 34 to four locations over the next three years; it will also develop new apps for the cloud, shutting down old, outdated apps that are running on old servers.

To companies like GE, it doesn’t make sense to continue to reinvest in infrastructure for applications that cannot differentiate themselves and can instead run on a public cloud platform.

Download our 10 Steps to Holistic Data Center Design white paperChallenges of Adopting Cloud Services

But adopting the cloud doesn’t come without its challenges. Many of these same organizations, however, are facing hurdles when adopting cloud services.

Consistent global performance (quality of experience and quality of service) with low latency and high reliability. This can’t be easily provided solely by cloud service providers (CSPs); their geographical presence and network interconnection varies from country to country.

Access to multiple public cloud services. Companies use different public cloud service types from different CSPs. For example, GE uses Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Verizon, along with several other CSPs in the mix. Using several different CSPs can provide more security, redundancy and flexibility; this approach can also help prevent “vendor lock-in” for enterprises. But it can also pose challenges, especially because different CSPs use different types of technologies to build and support their services.

Mixing in the “private cloud” with the public cloud. For better data security and control, many companies want a combination of private and public cloud services. For this reason, hybrid cloud services are being adopted by the majority of companies moving to the cloud. Multi-cloud deployment is attractive to some enterprises because it allows sensitive or heavily regulated data to reside in a private cloud with high security; other resources can be moved into public clouds.

Managing their own data centers in addition to using the cloud. Some organizations want to keep their own data centers or on-premises IT infrastructure for application integration or to provide differentiated, unique business services. But, again, the total cost of ownership (TCO) to do this is much higher than to use outsourced CSP service.

A 2015 RightScale report indicates strong growth in the use of private cloud services; 71% of organizations (enterprises, SMBs, media, education and financial service institutions) are now operating in hybrid IT environments with a mix of private cloud and public cloud services. Eighty-two percent of enterprises with 1,000+ employees are adopting a multi-cloud strategy (using more than one CSP), and 55% of these companies are using hybrid cloud.

Pondering a move to the cloud? Trying to decide whether moving to an MTDC might be beneficial? Belden can assess your needs and requirements, walk you through the pros and cons, and help you choose a platform that will support your enterprise. Contact us today!