Approximately 25 years ago, the Internet had just gone commercial, and bulky bag cell phones and new video game consoles were all the rage. Things were different then, too, in the data center industry. The wholesale data center was defined in real estate terms, featured long-term leases and limited services and required customers to bring their own network. The retail approach to colocation was comprised of defined service agreements, standardization and short to medium-term contracts with a broader range of services.

Over time and through competition, these lines have blurred, prompting new, market-driven expectations that place greater importance on operational practices, location, connectivity, security, support services, as well as power and cooling. Today’s colocation marketplace, in addition to the traditional wholesale and ful-service retail offerings, is increasingly seeing blended models that include variable contract models, varying levels of customization, specific network requirements, medium-term agreements, power requirements from 100KW to 1MW+ and the availability or inclusion of variety of services. Buyers of data center services cover a broad range of industries, yet all seek to deploy each workload on an optimal platform in an optimal venue.

To address how attributes from retail and wholesale colocation are forming this new paradigm in data center services, I’ll be presenting at Data Center World Fall 2016 in New Orleans on Tuesday, September 13 from 10:35-11:35 a.m. in room R215. This interactive presentation titled “The Changing Data Center Market: Market and Product Blurring of Retail and Wholesale Colocation” will highlight how wholesale colocation providers are now competing on enterprise deals to aid in growth and share, while retail providers are competing on larger deals as the customer mix shifts toward service providers.

If you’re attending Data Center World this week, please stop by my presentation and join in the discussion. To learn more about the dos and don’ts of choosing a service provider for your colocation needs, please view our technical brief, Data Center Management Best Practices.

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