Carrier Neutrality is Not Enough

By Adam Burnham | October 23, 2019

Not every data center is created equal. While some data centers tie you to one specific carrier, a carrier-neutral data center allows organizations to choose between multiple telecom carriers. That’s because a carrier-neutral data center is not tied to any one service provider, providing greater cost efficiency for the organizations seeking service. Carrier neutrality is an important criterion for facility selection, but organizations should dig a bit deeper into the true diversity of the network capabilities of the facility they choose.

Competition Creates Cost Efficiency

Since a carrier-neutral data center isn’t tied to a specific service provider, the providers compete for your business, encouraging them to offer cost efficiency and value to increase their likelihood of selection. With multiple carriers in a single data center facility, you, as the client, have the power to negotiate contracts across multiple vendors, translating into cost savings that would otherwise not be possible.

Flexibility Breeds Agility

Another plus: choosing a facility that is carrier-neutral provides the flexibility to make quick changes in your connectivity strategy. The option to choose between providers allows you to easily scale and adapt to market changes and internal requirements as needed. For example, today’s data-intensive services and processes often require you to be able to easily access that information, regardless of the time of day or night. If your current service provider isn’t meeting your scalability or availability needs, then you can select another provider who can better address the needs of your business.

Mission-Critical Access Requires Diversity

There’s an important distinction between data centers that offer multiple carriers and those with multiple diverse connections. When comparing facilities, it’s not just the number of carriers that matters; it’s also the number of unique connections. Without diversity, a data center is vulnerable to a host of costly interruptions.

Multiple connections that enter the telecommunications facility at a single access point, or worse, in a single conduit, are vulnerable to physical damage and system interruption – it’s the digital equivalent to “putting all of your eggs in one basket.” While that basket might be perfectly serviceable right now, as soon as it develops a crack, you have a real problem on your hands.

With a diversified connection, if the conduit for one carrier is damaged at some location on their network (by an errant backhoe, natural disaster or even a system failure), your secondary path from the same carrier or another carrier can quickly accept data transfers. This virtually eliminates any latency or downtime within a diversified network. For example, this is why, at Markley, we not only offer a rich ecosystem of over 100 network providers (more than all our competitors in the Boston area combined), but our facility has eight unique points of entry for our fiber networks.

Redundant Pathways Need to Go the Distance

The requirement for network diversity extends beyond the immediate perimeter of your data center’s location. When architecting your connectivity for robustness, it is important to recognize that many carriers lease fiber from amongst each other. Consequently, their network traffic travels along the same pathways over long distances, potentially defeating your dual-path strategy. To guarantee fully redundant paths, a careful analysis must be made. This often considers a variety of potential vendors and pathways. The goal is not only to guarantee redundancy but also to minimize latency by minimizing fiber distance. To this point, at Markley, we have the ability to map circuit paths from start to finish across our carrier ecosystem to ensure separate paths and no cross overs.

Network Design, Procurement, and Service

With Markley, you gain access to multiple fiber entrances for full redundancy and diverse pathing to your offices. In addition, Markley works directly with our customers to design, procure, and support your network connectivity services from across the Markley Network, our ecosystem of over 100 telecom carriers. DIA, Private Line, Wavelength, MPLS, VPLS, SD-WAN -- you name it. All available from 100Mb to 100Gb and everything in between, from/to any location, at any distance.

As the main telecommunications facility for New England and the region’s largest carrier-neutral facility, Markley provides an unrivaled set of connectivity options to protect against outages both inside and outside the data center. To learn more about how the Markley Network can benefit your organization, please visit: