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Special Advertising Feature to Columbus Business First | Page 35-38 | Dec. 16, 2016
PHIL SMITH
Chief Executive Officer
JASON HARRIS
Executive Vice President
GRAHAM WILLIAMS
Chief Operating Officer
DATACENTERS
TABLE OF EXPERTS
Advertising Supplement to Columbus Business First | 12.16.1636 TABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERSTABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERS
“For the most part,’ says Cologix Inc. Chief Operating Officer
GrahamWilliams,“we’reseeingcustomerslookingforahybrid
solution where they own and manage some of their IT equip-
ment and applications, while also leveraging a cloud provider
and in most cases multiple cloud providers for other applica-
tions.”
Williams joined fellow data-center executives Jason Harris
and Phil Smith during a recent “Table of Experts” discussion
at Columbus Business First. Harris is executive vice president
at CeraNet Inc., and Smith serves as chief operating officer at
Racksquared, a subsidiary of the Wasserstrom Co. All three
companies provide data-center solutions to Columbus busi-
nesses and organizations.
Columbus Business First Publisher Nick Fortine moderated the
discussion. Excerpts from it follow.
Business First: What are today’s business drivers for com-
panies using data centers and how has that evolved over
the past 12 months?
Williams: One trend is that enterprises have historically not
had really good options to outsource their data centers in
terms of reliable supply. If you go back five or 10 years, many
sophisticated enterprises in Central Ohio were building their
own data centers in their offices, sometimes even in closets.
They have come to realize that doesn’t provide the reliability
they’re looking for as their applications become more mission-
critical.
As their equipment becomes end-of-life, there are some very
interesting conversations happening between CIOs and CFOs
about whether they should reinvest capital and rebuild their
data centers or outsource to a third-party ‘colo’ (colocation
data center). Now as those conversations occur, there are
high quality and scalable outsource options in Central Ohio.
We also see as an overlay trend in which enterprises are trying
to figure out how to tap into the power of cloud services. We
view cloud adoption as being in the very early innings in terms
of harnessing that power appropriately for their applications.
What we’re seeing is that enterprises for the most part don’t
know what they’re looking for over the next four or five years,
buttheysureknowtheyneedlotsofchoicesandlowswitching
costs to help them evolve as their strategy becomes clearer.
Business First: I’m assuming that brings the question of
legacy equipment to the table.
Smith: It absolutely does. I think the other thing to build on
Graham’s point of view is that enterprises have found that
things like disaster recovery and other sorts of issues have
compliance requirements. People have found out that, ‘Gee,
our backups aren’t even working, or we haven’t figured out
how to make all these things work together.’
And people are retiring in the world of legacy applications.
We’re at this crossroads where companies say, ‘We’re building
for the future, but I’ve got massive investments in the past…’
Now there are opportunities to say, ‘There are options to do
hybrids.’ Hybrid cloud is a very real type of thing where they
can keep some of it and let you have some of it.
Security is a huge issue as well. As a CIO myself, I’d like to out-
source some security and not be the guy 100 percent respon-
sible for it. There are some very costly aspects of that if I do it
wrong.
Harris: We’re doing a lot more managed services than we did
five years ago. Our clients are looking for someone to help
them navigate their IT (information technology) platforms and
help them put things in place to run their businesses. We are
primarily a provider for small to medium-sized businesses, so
we’re really taking on the role of the IT expert for them … and
point them in the right direction and their path for growth and
change.
Business First: Is the application of the cloud driving the
conversation or is the data center driving the conversa-
tion?
Williams: What we’re seeing almost across the board is that
companies of all sizes are getting comfortable with the idea of
a hybrid model. They’re not ready to move all of their applica-
tions to the cloud. Many of them have security concerns and
application concerns... So the enterprises we talk with look
at it as, “How do I make a data-center decision that gives me
maximum flexibility and change my cloud strategy over time?
Smith: I think that’s true. The other thing that is happening
with enterprises is what I’m going to call ‘shadow IT.’ The mar-
keting department wants you to do something, but the IT or-
ganization isn’t ready, isn’t flexible or can’t do it in the time
frame that marketing wants. So the cloud becomes a real vi-
able opportunity there.
Williams: To make an additional point to what Phil said, that
CFO conversation is really what starts the overall conversa-
tion. It’s more robust than just whether their company should
be in the business of owning their servers. It extends to all of
the support structure behind it… Why should you spend time
and energy maintaining infrastructure like cooling systems,
generators and electrical switch gear when you can place that
investment into your businesses core competencies and out-
source the underlying infrastructure?
Business First: Are you seeing that in the small and medi-
um-sized business market?
Harris: People actually understand they need to look at all
things in the infrastructure, especially if you have a storm. As
soon as a storm goes through and we have a blackout, we get
calls the next day. Then we have to go through the whole sales
process of explaining what we do, how we do it, why we do it
and how it benefits our customers. Then they can go back and
ask themselves, ‘Why do we even have this stuff in-house?”
BusinessFirst:Doesthecloudcomeintothatconversation?
Harris: Every time in every conversation.
Business First: What is the business owner’s understanding
of what the cloud really is?
Harris: Everyone is different. The cloud to us and the way we
explain it to customers is that we make it look how you want
it to work. If you want to have your own private piece where
you’re the only one who can see stuff, great – this is what we
can do for you. If you want to have your website with access,
we can do that and lay a security model on top of it so every-
thing is protected. You’ve got to look at the entire picture of
what they’re trying to get at whether it just colocation, the
cloud or a combination.
Business First: What are some of the considerations that a
company in the market for a data center should have?
Harris: Does the data center you’re looking at offer what you
need to run your business? Can it manage the services? Can
it work with you and help you transition from your in-house
or any other model to where you’re successful, whether that’s
the cloud, colocation or a combination, or using multiple pro-
viders.
You should be able to use them all together. There’s no reason
you can’t connect everything. You can have the resilience to
transition from just processing in Central Ohio to doing it all
over the world.
continued page 37
Phil Smith
D
ata center operators in
Central Ohio can be excused
for having their heads in the
clouds these days.
Cloud storage is front and center in
their discussions with companies
looking for the best solution to
keep and protect the data that’s
essential to the success of their
enterprises. Cloud storage can be
part of that along with colocation
of servers, network management
and disaster-recovery plans.
Advertising Supplement to Columbus Business First | 12.16.16 37TABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERSTABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERS
Business First: If I’m a CIO or CFO, what should I be
listening for when you walk into my office in the vein
of asking the right business questions about data centers?
What should be on my radar as warning signs?
Smith: When we talk to CIOs and CFOs, it’s about understand-
ing their requirements. Then they want to know about our
infrastructure and what our building looks like. It always sur-
prises me when people buy a service from me and have never
been in my building. I can show them a video of it, but I think
they should want to kick the tires a little bit.
You should also understand the infrastructure. What’s your net-
working like? What’s your security profile? What do you do in
terms of disaster recovery? The security piece is the one we’re
starting to hear about more and more. How are you going to
wall off my stuff and make sure no one is going to get to it?
Price is always going to be a determining factor… In most cas-
es, it’s really, ‘What’s the price?’ You should also know what
the data center’s people are like and do they have the right
certifications. You also want to talk to other customers and
understand processes.
Business First: What’s a triple-A partnership look like with
a data services provider over time?
Williams: Goodrelationshipsstartwherethesupplierandcus-
tomer’s interests are aligned. From our perspective, that starts
with a company deciding how bad a day it will be if its systems
don’t work. That varies by company… Increasingly many com-
panies say, ‘That’s not OK, it has to be up time, all the time. My
system is mission critical. If my system is down, I’m not selling,
I’m not collecting and I lose touch with my customers.’
There are three key elements our customers are checking
when they come to see us. One is they want to see the infra-
structure. We really encourage tours. If your applications are
mission critical, you should come see what is backing you up.
Number two is before we get to the price conversation for our
services, we talk about how a colocation deployment works
from both a cost and savings standpoint… The third thing
that’s really important to them is scalability. They say, ‘I know
as a business owner that I want my business go up and to the
right and I don’t want to get stuck with my ‘co-lo’ provider not
having enough space and infrastructure to grow with us.’
Business First: What’s on the horizon five to 10 years from
now?
Williams: It comes back to the cloud. A business doesn’t know
continued page 38
Graham Williams Jason Harris
Racksquared Corporate Headquarters
325 E Spring St., Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: 855-380-7225 (RACK)
Email: sales@racksquared.com
www.racksquared.com
Columbus Data Centers
• Collocation
• Cloud Computing
• Disaster Recovery
• IBM Mid-Range
• Storage
Most network choice in Columbus
Best in breed cloud providers
Scalable and reliable infrastructure
High power density
20 minutes from anywhere
Contact our local team
for a tour of our Data Centers:
sales@cologix.com | 1.855.497.2537
“I talk about our business as
being an onion with certain
layers. We spend a lot of
time explaining to customers
where security lies. ...”
– PHIL SMITH
Advertising Supplement to Columbus Business First | 12.16.1638 TABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERSTABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERS
today how much of its applications and infrastructure
that it’s going to send out to the cloud. They don’t know what
their requirements are going to be and where they’ll be in the
market in a few years because things change so quickly.
So it comes back to the notion of when you build a data center,
it’s impossible to not think about that day when you have to
move your servers – and that’s a bad day. You say, ‘How do
I future-proof to take advantage of all these choices that will
be out there without having to pick up my servers and move.’
Smith: It’s hard to figure out 10 years from now… The thing
that’s interesting with the cloud is it’s anywhere, any time.
Maybe there is the time when we’re going to have all of our
data in one place, but I don’t think companies think that way
yet. They think there are applications that make sense to go
out there, but there are some things they say, ‘I’ll never let you
have this data. It’s the crown jewel of my company and I’ve got
to feel it is pure.’ So I think the hybrid cloud is the reality for
the future.
Business First: We hear about data security breaches on a
daily basis. To what extent is that coming into the conver-
sation with your customers?
Williams: At Cologix, we provide the space and infrastructure
for our customers’ equipment and make sure our environment
is entirely secure – all those things that CIOs are looking for as
they think about data centers. But we stop there.
Our view is that ultimately the businesses that are really se-
curity-focused, they’re never going to trust someone else to
do their security. It’s really up to the customer to bring in their
own expertise to make sure their environment from a network
perspective is fully secure. But we also have expertise to sug-
gest best practices we’ve seen on security.
Smith: I talk about our business as being an onion with cer-
tain layers. We spend a lot of time explaining to customers
where security lies. If we’re just the co-lo, we make sure the
infrastructure is secure. If we’re going to manage the platform,
theoperatingsystemwillbesecure.Butifit’stheirapplication,
there is still a risk to them. You can outsource some of your
risk to me… but you have to understand where the line of de-
marcation is in terms of what I’m responsible for and you’re
responsible for on security. It’s really important to be clear on
that.
Harris: It’s about managing expectations. It needs to be clear-
ly defined in contracts, and it’s one of the most difficult pieces
because there is always someone who thinks they should be
getting more than what they’ve contracted to do.
Business First: Let’s talk about Columbus specifically. What
are the advantages of having your data-center services
provider here?
Smith: Weather is one of them. We don’t have earthquakes,
hurricanes, a ton of flooding or a lot of tornadoes. If you build
a data center on the San Andreas Fault, it’s going to be a prob-
lem.
We also have the infrastructure here that is fairly new – buried
telephone lines and electricity lines and those kinds of things.
I lived in New York City for 10 years, and there were all kinds of
problems with infrastructure… I also think we need to look at
the people here. This is a very well-educated market so we can
get the human resources to expand.
Williams: Our experience in talking with customers in Central
Ohio is that for too long there hasn’t been enough supply of
good quality data centers in this market. So they’ve had to go
to other markets… I think there is natural demand within this
region that is looking to come home.
As for demand from other markets into Columbus, it’s all the
environmental qualities that Phil mentioned. Companies
also like the fact that Columbus is closer to more population
within a 10-hour drive than any other city in America… You’re
starting to see more and more cloud companies and content
providers looking at Columbus as a place where they can put
some of their infrastructure.
Harris: A prime example is Amazon’s data centers. There is
a reason they built here – the people, the utilities, the costs,
the infrastructure that’s in place, and there’s business here.
It opens a lot of doors and conversations about data centers.
People see this, and the next thing you know you’re getting
calls from people in Cleveland and Chicago. They’re looking
at it and saying, ‘If Amazon is going there, then there must be
something good there.’
Business First: What about state and local governments?
How does that help or hinder your business?
Harris: It’s interesting, and it opens more questions. There are
a lot of tax incentives going to these large data centers, and no
one knows how that is going to play out. You have places that
are awarding millions of dollars in tax incentives to a data cen-
ter with 20 employees. There is not a lot of income tax revenue
from that, but there is a lot of infrastructure.
Williams: We have an interesting perspective because we op-
erate in a number of U.S. markets and Canada. The most fun-
damental driver for us is how friendly local and state govern-
ments are to a growing economy. In our experience, Ohio has
done a very good job of creating an environment for growth,
bringing in new businesses and investing in those businesses.
Ultimately that creates a customer base for us.
From a tax incentive perspective, we’re still in the early innings
of state and local governments figuring out the right way to
provide incentives and what the outcome of the incentives
will be… But we don’t make our decisions exclusively on in-
centives from state and local governments. We want our data
centers to sit where the business is.
Graham Williams
Nick Fortine
“In our experience, Ohio
has done a very good job of
creating an environment
for growth, bringing in new
businesses and investing in
those businesses. Ultimately
that creates a customer base
for us.”
– GRAHAM WILLIAMS
Advertising Supplement to Columbus Business First | 12.16.16 39TABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERSTABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERS
P
hil Smith has over 25 years of experience as an
executive leader in the technology industry.
Smith is currently the Chief Operating Officer
at Racksquared with full P & L responsibility for the
company. He also serves as the Chief Information
Officer for The Wasserstrom Company.
Prior to joining Racksquared and Wasserstrom, Smith
owned his own consultancy, E.P. Smith Consultants,
LLC focused on providing business strategy, technology
strategy, product management/product development
and marketing services for businesses of all sizes. Other
positions that Smith has held include Vice President
and General Manager, Global Network Product Lines
for Sterling Commerce, Vice President of Solutions
Marketing and Management of Outsourcing for Unisys
Corporation, Vice President and GM of Consumer
Markets at CoreComm Ltd and various marketing and
sales leadership positions for UUNET and CompuServe
Inc.
Smith earned his Masters of Business Administration
from Xavier University and a Bachelors of Science
degree majoring in Management Information Systems
from Bowling Green State University.
Smith serves as a member of the Board of Directors for
Mission Data Corporation. Mission Data is a software
and web development company headquartered in
Louisville, KY. Smith is also a Chairman of the Board of
Trustees for HandsOn Central Ohio, a local Columbus-
based not-for-profit agency that provides emergency
services and support to those in need of help through
the local 211 phone service.
J
ason Harris serves as Executive Vice President at
CeraNet, where he works with clients to discover needs
and requirements, drives the sales process & ongoing
account management, and is responsible for overall client
success. He leads efforts to help clients discover innovative
ways to economically solve complex business problems
using real world experience, comprehensive industry
knowledge, and advanced technical engineering. Harris
brings over 20 years of industry experience to the team
featuring expertise in business analysis, system design and
implementation, professional services management, and
executive management.
In addition to his regular duties, Harris also spends
considerable time working on Green Data Center initiatives
and creating environmentally friendly Information
Technology solutions. The primary objective is to help
clients improve their IT infrastructure while using energy
more efficiently. With the help of AEP of Ohio, CeraNet now
pays clients up to $500 per server to upgrade to newer more
efficient models or use high efficiency cloud computing
resources. In 2016 the CeraNet team worked with AEP
engineers to identify over 450,000 kWh of power savings.
This translates to 350 tons of CO2 emissions or 35,500
gallons of gasoline consumed. The goal for 2017 is pay out
over $100,000 to new clients and save 1,000,000 kWh of
energy.
C
ologix provides reliable, secure, scalable data
center and interconnection solutions from
24 prime interconnection locations across 9
strategic North American edge markets. Over 1,600
leading network, managed services, cloud, media,
content, financial services and enterprise customers
trust Cologix to support their business critical
infrastructure and connect them to customers, vendors
and partners. Our dedicated, experienced local teams
and scalable solutions enable us to provide industry-
leading customer service and the ability to successfully
support customers at the Internet’s new edge. For a
tour of one of our data centers in Columbus, Dallas,
Jacksonville, Lakeland, Minneapolis, Montreal, New
Jersey, Toronto or Vancouver visit www.cologix.com or
email sales@cologix.com. Follow Cologix on LinkedIn
and Twitter.
Graham Williams is the Chief Operating Officer for
Cologix. He is responsible for Operations, Construction,
Commercial Management, Marketing and Strategy.
In his time at Cologix, Williams has also led the
Development and Sales Organizations. He has over 17
years of experience in the data center, communication,
Internet, content delivery and video industries. Prior
to Cologix, Williams held Product Management and
Strategy positions at Charter Communications and
Level 3 Communications. Williams holds a master’s
degree in business administration and a bachelor’s
degree in political science.
PHIL SMITH
Chief Executive Officer
JASON HARRIS
Executive Vice President
GRAHAM WILLIAMS
Chief Operating Officer
ABOUT OUR TABLE OF EXPERTS:ABOUT OUR TABLE OF EXPERTS:
Innovative technology solutions
with a commitment to the environment
Looking for an environmentally conscious technology provider? CeraNet will pay you up to
$500 per server when you upgrade to more energy efficient servers or super high efficiency
cloud computing. Our goal is to work with our clients to save 1,000,000 kWh of energy in
2017 by committing $100,000 to help clients pay for upgrades.
CLOUD COMPUTING | COLOCATION | HOSTED SERVERS | MANAGED SERVICES

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TOE Datacenters Final

  • 1. Special Advertising Feature to Columbus Business First | Page 35-38 | Dec. 16, 2016 PHIL SMITH Chief Executive Officer JASON HARRIS Executive Vice President GRAHAM WILLIAMS Chief Operating Officer DATACENTERS TABLE OF EXPERTS
  • 2. Advertising Supplement to Columbus Business First | 12.16.1636 TABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERSTABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERS “For the most part,’ says Cologix Inc. Chief Operating Officer GrahamWilliams,“we’reseeingcustomerslookingforahybrid solution where they own and manage some of their IT equip- ment and applications, while also leveraging a cloud provider and in most cases multiple cloud providers for other applica- tions.” Williams joined fellow data-center executives Jason Harris and Phil Smith during a recent “Table of Experts” discussion at Columbus Business First. Harris is executive vice president at CeraNet Inc., and Smith serves as chief operating officer at Racksquared, a subsidiary of the Wasserstrom Co. All three companies provide data-center solutions to Columbus busi- nesses and organizations. Columbus Business First Publisher Nick Fortine moderated the discussion. Excerpts from it follow. Business First: What are today’s business drivers for com- panies using data centers and how has that evolved over the past 12 months? Williams: One trend is that enterprises have historically not had really good options to outsource their data centers in terms of reliable supply. If you go back five or 10 years, many sophisticated enterprises in Central Ohio were building their own data centers in their offices, sometimes even in closets. They have come to realize that doesn’t provide the reliability they’re looking for as their applications become more mission- critical. As their equipment becomes end-of-life, there are some very interesting conversations happening between CIOs and CFOs about whether they should reinvest capital and rebuild their data centers or outsource to a third-party ‘colo’ (colocation data center). Now as those conversations occur, there are high quality and scalable outsource options in Central Ohio. We also see as an overlay trend in which enterprises are trying to figure out how to tap into the power of cloud services. We view cloud adoption as being in the very early innings in terms of harnessing that power appropriately for their applications. What we’re seeing is that enterprises for the most part don’t know what they’re looking for over the next four or five years, buttheysureknowtheyneedlotsofchoicesandlowswitching costs to help them evolve as their strategy becomes clearer. Business First: I’m assuming that brings the question of legacy equipment to the table. Smith: It absolutely does. I think the other thing to build on Graham’s point of view is that enterprises have found that things like disaster recovery and other sorts of issues have compliance requirements. People have found out that, ‘Gee, our backups aren’t even working, or we haven’t figured out how to make all these things work together.’ And people are retiring in the world of legacy applications. We’re at this crossroads where companies say, ‘We’re building for the future, but I’ve got massive investments in the past…’ Now there are opportunities to say, ‘There are options to do hybrids.’ Hybrid cloud is a very real type of thing where they can keep some of it and let you have some of it. Security is a huge issue as well. As a CIO myself, I’d like to out- source some security and not be the guy 100 percent respon- sible for it. There are some very costly aspects of that if I do it wrong. Harris: We’re doing a lot more managed services than we did five years ago. Our clients are looking for someone to help them navigate their IT (information technology) platforms and help them put things in place to run their businesses. We are primarily a provider for small to medium-sized businesses, so we’re really taking on the role of the IT expert for them … and point them in the right direction and their path for growth and change. Business First: Is the application of the cloud driving the conversation or is the data center driving the conversa- tion? Williams: What we’re seeing almost across the board is that companies of all sizes are getting comfortable with the idea of a hybrid model. They’re not ready to move all of their applica- tions to the cloud. Many of them have security concerns and application concerns... So the enterprises we talk with look at it as, “How do I make a data-center decision that gives me maximum flexibility and change my cloud strategy over time? Smith: I think that’s true. The other thing that is happening with enterprises is what I’m going to call ‘shadow IT.’ The mar- keting department wants you to do something, but the IT or- ganization isn’t ready, isn’t flexible or can’t do it in the time frame that marketing wants. So the cloud becomes a real vi- able opportunity there. Williams: To make an additional point to what Phil said, that CFO conversation is really what starts the overall conversa- tion. It’s more robust than just whether their company should be in the business of owning their servers. It extends to all of the support structure behind it… Why should you spend time and energy maintaining infrastructure like cooling systems, generators and electrical switch gear when you can place that investment into your businesses core competencies and out- source the underlying infrastructure? Business First: Are you seeing that in the small and medi- um-sized business market? Harris: People actually understand they need to look at all things in the infrastructure, especially if you have a storm. As soon as a storm goes through and we have a blackout, we get calls the next day. Then we have to go through the whole sales process of explaining what we do, how we do it, why we do it and how it benefits our customers. Then they can go back and ask themselves, ‘Why do we even have this stuff in-house?” BusinessFirst:Doesthecloudcomeintothatconversation? Harris: Every time in every conversation. Business First: What is the business owner’s understanding of what the cloud really is? Harris: Everyone is different. The cloud to us and the way we explain it to customers is that we make it look how you want it to work. If you want to have your own private piece where you’re the only one who can see stuff, great – this is what we can do for you. If you want to have your website with access, we can do that and lay a security model on top of it so every- thing is protected. You’ve got to look at the entire picture of what they’re trying to get at whether it just colocation, the cloud or a combination. Business First: What are some of the considerations that a company in the market for a data center should have? Harris: Does the data center you’re looking at offer what you need to run your business? Can it manage the services? Can it work with you and help you transition from your in-house or any other model to where you’re successful, whether that’s the cloud, colocation or a combination, or using multiple pro- viders. You should be able to use them all together. There’s no reason you can’t connect everything. You can have the resilience to transition from just processing in Central Ohio to doing it all over the world. continued page 37 Phil Smith D ata center operators in Central Ohio can be excused for having their heads in the clouds these days. Cloud storage is front and center in their discussions with companies looking for the best solution to keep and protect the data that’s essential to the success of their enterprises. Cloud storage can be part of that along with colocation of servers, network management and disaster-recovery plans.
  • 3. Advertising Supplement to Columbus Business First | 12.16.16 37TABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERSTABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERS Business First: If I’m a CIO or CFO, what should I be listening for when you walk into my office in the vein of asking the right business questions about data centers? What should be on my radar as warning signs? Smith: When we talk to CIOs and CFOs, it’s about understand- ing their requirements. Then they want to know about our infrastructure and what our building looks like. It always sur- prises me when people buy a service from me and have never been in my building. I can show them a video of it, but I think they should want to kick the tires a little bit. You should also understand the infrastructure. What’s your net- working like? What’s your security profile? What do you do in terms of disaster recovery? The security piece is the one we’re starting to hear about more and more. How are you going to wall off my stuff and make sure no one is going to get to it? Price is always going to be a determining factor… In most cas- es, it’s really, ‘What’s the price?’ You should also know what the data center’s people are like and do they have the right certifications. You also want to talk to other customers and understand processes. Business First: What’s a triple-A partnership look like with a data services provider over time? Williams: Goodrelationshipsstartwherethesupplierandcus- tomer’s interests are aligned. From our perspective, that starts with a company deciding how bad a day it will be if its systems don’t work. That varies by company… Increasingly many com- panies say, ‘That’s not OK, it has to be up time, all the time. My system is mission critical. If my system is down, I’m not selling, I’m not collecting and I lose touch with my customers.’ There are three key elements our customers are checking when they come to see us. One is they want to see the infra- structure. We really encourage tours. If your applications are mission critical, you should come see what is backing you up. Number two is before we get to the price conversation for our services, we talk about how a colocation deployment works from both a cost and savings standpoint… The third thing that’s really important to them is scalability. They say, ‘I know as a business owner that I want my business go up and to the right and I don’t want to get stuck with my ‘co-lo’ provider not having enough space and infrastructure to grow with us.’ Business First: What’s on the horizon five to 10 years from now? Williams: It comes back to the cloud. A business doesn’t know continued page 38 Graham Williams Jason Harris Racksquared Corporate Headquarters 325 E Spring St., Columbus, OH 43215 Phone: 855-380-7225 (RACK) Email: sales@racksquared.com www.racksquared.com Columbus Data Centers • Collocation • Cloud Computing • Disaster Recovery • IBM Mid-Range • Storage Most network choice in Columbus Best in breed cloud providers Scalable and reliable infrastructure High power density 20 minutes from anywhere Contact our local team for a tour of our Data Centers: sales@cologix.com | 1.855.497.2537 “I talk about our business as being an onion with certain layers. We spend a lot of time explaining to customers where security lies. ...” – PHIL SMITH
  • 4. Advertising Supplement to Columbus Business First | 12.16.1638 TABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERSTABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERS today how much of its applications and infrastructure that it’s going to send out to the cloud. They don’t know what their requirements are going to be and where they’ll be in the market in a few years because things change so quickly. So it comes back to the notion of when you build a data center, it’s impossible to not think about that day when you have to move your servers – and that’s a bad day. You say, ‘How do I future-proof to take advantage of all these choices that will be out there without having to pick up my servers and move.’ Smith: It’s hard to figure out 10 years from now… The thing that’s interesting with the cloud is it’s anywhere, any time. Maybe there is the time when we’re going to have all of our data in one place, but I don’t think companies think that way yet. They think there are applications that make sense to go out there, but there are some things they say, ‘I’ll never let you have this data. It’s the crown jewel of my company and I’ve got to feel it is pure.’ So I think the hybrid cloud is the reality for the future. Business First: We hear about data security breaches on a daily basis. To what extent is that coming into the conver- sation with your customers? Williams: At Cologix, we provide the space and infrastructure for our customers’ equipment and make sure our environment is entirely secure – all those things that CIOs are looking for as they think about data centers. But we stop there. Our view is that ultimately the businesses that are really se- curity-focused, they’re never going to trust someone else to do their security. It’s really up to the customer to bring in their own expertise to make sure their environment from a network perspective is fully secure. But we also have expertise to sug- gest best practices we’ve seen on security. Smith: I talk about our business as being an onion with cer- tain layers. We spend a lot of time explaining to customers where security lies. If we’re just the co-lo, we make sure the infrastructure is secure. If we’re going to manage the platform, theoperatingsystemwillbesecure.Butifit’stheirapplication, there is still a risk to them. You can outsource some of your risk to me… but you have to understand where the line of de- marcation is in terms of what I’m responsible for and you’re responsible for on security. It’s really important to be clear on that. Harris: It’s about managing expectations. It needs to be clear- ly defined in contracts, and it’s one of the most difficult pieces because there is always someone who thinks they should be getting more than what they’ve contracted to do. Business First: Let’s talk about Columbus specifically. What are the advantages of having your data-center services provider here? Smith: Weather is one of them. We don’t have earthquakes, hurricanes, a ton of flooding or a lot of tornadoes. If you build a data center on the San Andreas Fault, it’s going to be a prob- lem. We also have the infrastructure here that is fairly new – buried telephone lines and electricity lines and those kinds of things. I lived in New York City for 10 years, and there were all kinds of problems with infrastructure… I also think we need to look at the people here. This is a very well-educated market so we can get the human resources to expand. Williams: Our experience in talking with customers in Central Ohio is that for too long there hasn’t been enough supply of good quality data centers in this market. So they’ve had to go to other markets… I think there is natural demand within this region that is looking to come home. As for demand from other markets into Columbus, it’s all the environmental qualities that Phil mentioned. Companies also like the fact that Columbus is closer to more population within a 10-hour drive than any other city in America… You’re starting to see more and more cloud companies and content providers looking at Columbus as a place where they can put some of their infrastructure. Harris: A prime example is Amazon’s data centers. There is a reason they built here – the people, the utilities, the costs, the infrastructure that’s in place, and there’s business here. It opens a lot of doors and conversations about data centers. People see this, and the next thing you know you’re getting calls from people in Cleveland and Chicago. They’re looking at it and saying, ‘If Amazon is going there, then there must be something good there.’ Business First: What about state and local governments? How does that help or hinder your business? Harris: It’s interesting, and it opens more questions. There are a lot of tax incentives going to these large data centers, and no one knows how that is going to play out. You have places that are awarding millions of dollars in tax incentives to a data cen- ter with 20 employees. There is not a lot of income tax revenue from that, but there is a lot of infrastructure. Williams: We have an interesting perspective because we op- erate in a number of U.S. markets and Canada. The most fun- damental driver for us is how friendly local and state govern- ments are to a growing economy. In our experience, Ohio has done a very good job of creating an environment for growth, bringing in new businesses and investing in those businesses. Ultimately that creates a customer base for us. From a tax incentive perspective, we’re still in the early innings of state and local governments figuring out the right way to provide incentives and what the outcome of the incentives will be… But we don’t make our decisions exclusively on in- centives from state and local governments. We want our data centers to sit where the business is. Graham Williams Nick Fortine “In our experience, Ohio has done a very good job of creating an environment for growth, bringing in new businesses and investing in those businesses. Ultimately that creates a customer base for us.” – GRAHAM WILLIAMS
  • 5. Advertising Supplement to Columbus Business First | 12.16.16 39TABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERSTABLE OF EXPERTS: DATACENTERS P hil Smith has over 25 years of experience as an executive leader in the technology industry. Smith is currently the Chief Operating Officer at Racksquared with full P & L responsibility for the company. He also serves as the Chief Information Officer for The Wasserstrom Company. Prior to joining Racksquared and Wasserstrom, Smith owned his own consultancy, E.P. Smith Consultants, LLC focused on providing business strategy, technology strategy, product management/product development and marketing services for businesses of all sizes. Other positions that Smith has held include Vice President and General Manager, Global Network Product Lines for Sterling Commerce, Vice President of Solutions Marketing and Management of Outsourcing for Unisys Corporation, Vice President and GM of Consumer Markets at CoreComm Ltd and various marketing and sales leadership positions for UUNET and CompuServe Inc. Smith earned his Masters of Business Administration from Xavier University and a Bachelors of Science degree majoring in Management Information Systems from Bowling Green State University. Smith serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Mission Data Corporation. Mission Data is a software and web development company headquartered in Louisville, KY. Smith is also a Chairman of the Board of Trustees for HandsOn Central Ohio, a local Columbus- based not-for-profit agency that provides emergency services and support to those in need of help through the local 211 phone service. J ason Harris serves as Executive Vice President at CeraNet, where he works with clients to discover needs and requirements, drives the sales process & ongoing account management, and is responsible for overall client success. He leads efforts to help clients discover innovative ways to economically solve complex business problems using real world experience, comprehensive industry knowledge, and advanced technical engineering. Harris brings over 20 years of industry experience to the team featuring expertise in business analysis, system design and implementation, professional services management, and executive management. In addition to his regular duties, Harris also spends considerable time working on Green Data Center initiatives and creating environmentally friendly Information Technology solutions. The primary objective is to help clients improve their IT infrastructure while using energy more efficiently. With the help of AEP of Ohio, CeraNet now pays clients up to $500 per server to upgrade to newer more efficient models or use high efficiency cloud computing resources. In 2016 the CeraNet team worked with AEP engineers to identify over 450,000 kWh of power savings. This translates to 350 tons of CO2 emissions or 35,500 gallons of gasoline consumed. The goal for 2017 is pay out over $100,000 to new clients and save 1,000,000 kWh of energy. C ologix provides reliable, secure, scalable data center and interconnection solutions from 24 prime interconnection locations across 9 strategic North American edge markets. Over 1,600 leading network, managed services, cloud, media, content, financial services and enterprise customers trust Cologix to support their business critical infrastructure and connect them to customers, vendors and partners. Our dedicated, experienced local teams and scalable solutions enable us to provide industry- leading customer service and the ability to successfully support customers at the Internet’s new edge. For a tour of one of our data centers in Columbus, Dallas, Jacksonville, Lakeland, Minneapolis, Montreal, New Jersey, Toronto or Vancouver visit www.cologix.com or email sales@cologix.com. Follow Cologix on LinkedIn and Twitter. Graham Williams is the Chief Operating Officer for Cologix. He is responsible for Operations, Construction, Commercial Management, Marketing and Strategy. In his time at Cologix, Williams has also led the Development and Sales Organizations. He has over 17 years of experience in the data center, communication, Internet, content delivery and video industries. Prior to Cologix, Williams held Product Management and Strategy positions at Charter Communications and Level 3 Communications. Williams holds a master’s degree in business administration and a bachelor’s degree in political science. PHIL SMITH Chief Executive Officer JASON HARRIS Executive Vice President GRAHAM WILLIAMS Chief Operating Officer ABOUT OUR TABLE OF EXPERTS:ABOUT OUR TABLE OF EXPERTS: Innovative technology solutions with a commitment to the environment Looking for an environmentally conscious technology provider? CeraNet will pay you up to $500 per server when you upgrade to more energy efficient servers or super high efficiency cloud computing. Our goal is to work with our clients to save 1,000,000 kWh of energy in 2017 by committing $100,000 to help clients pay for upgrades. CLOUD COMPUTING | COLOCATION | HOSTED SERVERS | MANAGED SERVICES