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Corporate Data Center Geography, Explained

By Elizabeth ThorneDec 20, 2021

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With the explosion of cloud applications in the corporate network and the shift to local internet breakouts, it's more important than ever for WAN managers to understand where their data centers sit.

All About Corporate Data Centers 

Our recent WAN Manager Survey zeroed in on data center strategy and infrastructure as a service connectivity as key topics of interest.

To start, let's examine where enterprises are storing their data, be it in private on-premises servers, off-premises solutions, or some mix of the two. 

The advent of cloud computing brought the promise of shifting the costs of data center ownership away from the enterprise and toward cloud service providers.

Our WAN Manager Survey results suggest that most WAN managers are still using some on-premises data centers, even while they continue to move toward off-premises solutions.

We asked WAN managers to describe their data center landscape, where they keep their servers, and where their cloud on-ramps are situated. Our WAN Manager Survey results suggest that most WAN managers are still using some on-premises data centers, even while they continue to move toward off-premises solutions. 

When we asked how many data centers our survey respondents have in their wide area network, we found that:

  • One-quarter of respondents have five to six data centers in their WAN.
  • The majority trended to the lower end of having six data centers or less. 
  • Other than an uptick in the nine to ten range, there were fewer companies with a large number of data centers in their WAN.

How Many Data Centers Are in Your WAN?

How many data centers are in your WAN?

Notes: Each bar represents the average number of data centers in the WAN across all respondents. Source: TeleGeography © 2021 PriMetrica, Inc. 

 

In interviews, network managers with a higher number of facilities stressed their plans for consolidation.

Reducing cost and complexity were key reasons for decreasing the number of data centers. One WAN manager from a financial services company mentioned that past mergers had left them with excessive data centers and that simplifying the back-end was a long-term goal.

This was a common refrain from network managers dealing with M&A.   

 

WAN Forum members can keep reading about data center geography over here.

And there's plenty more intel to be found in our Data Center Research Service and WAN Geography Benchmark tools.

 

TeleGeography's WAN Manager Survey

Elizabeth Thorne

Elizabeth Thorne

Elizabeth Thorne is a Senior Research Analyst at TeleGeography. Her work is focused on enterprise network research.