Carrier neutrality is a phrase very much used but perhaps abused in the data centre industry. Carrier neutrality can only be true if the data centre operator in question welcomes all networks and service providers to the facility.
Carrier neutrality through the number of connectivity options can enhance speed and reliability of communications traffic, enabling faster response times, resiliency, and a better end user experience.
It is important to understand the difference between carriers and service providers, though. The two can often incorrectly be used interchangeably. Carriers are those who own the network infrastructure in and out of the data centre. Service providers are those who use that infrastructure to deliver service within any given site.
Understanding the difference between carriers and service providers is the first layer in addressing whether you have a resilient colocation carrier strategy. The second is ensuring that these carriers have diverse access points to the facility in which you wish to colocate. Remember that a single entry point for all carriers means a single point of failure.
Another myth in the industry surrounding this topic is the question if a data centre provider that owns a network can be carrier-neutral. The honest truth is yes. But of course actions speak louder than words: any provider promoting carrier neutrality needs to offer diverse access points, meet me facilities, and commercial offerings to suit carriers wishing to be on site and other tenants in the data centre. Alongside carrier neutrality, diversity of cloud providers and financial trading platforms, for example, are also a best-in-class approach to support enhanced and robust connectivity strategy.
With needs evolving over time and in line with business objectives you need to ask your provider to be transparent and honest with you – you are the customer, after all.
For our white paper on the reality behind carrier neutrality click here.