Lumos Networks gets into the colocation/data center game

Lumos Networks (Nasdaq: LMOS) is making its mark on the data center services market with its new colocation service for customers in its Mid-Atlantic serving region.

Serving as a complement to its set of Metro Ethernet, MPLS and DIA-based data services, the Waynesboro, Va.-based ILEC's colocation service is part of its broader Data Center Services portfolio.

Through this new product portfolio, Lumos can address two key trends: provide a facility to house servers and store data and address the emerging cloud services trend.

Craig Drinkhall, Vice President of Product Management and Engineering for Lumos, in an interview with FierceTelecom, that moving into the data center and colocation space was a logical evolution of the services they already sell to area business customers.

"What drives us to this is that one of the big uses of our fiber network is to do data networking like building Metro Ethernet networks to connect their end users into their data centers," he said. "We've been noticing that for a long time and we're usually selling to an IT director or CIO in an organization so it was just a natural fit when they were doing disaster recovery or run out of space and power in their data center to look to us as a trusted provider."

Besides helping business customers reduce their own colocation costs by outsourcing their colocation to a third party, a key aspect of the new offering is flexibility. Large businesses and even SMBs have various choices of rack size, power options, and six geographic locations all of which are connected to its fiber network.

In building out the data center business, Lumos did not have to look too far as it found that six of its COs already were equipped to handle to data center services.

For some businesses, outsourcing their colocation function to a provider is driven by the lack of available space, power and cooling to support the required servers and storage. But for other businesses, the driver could be network redundancy by placing applications and storage in disparate locations.

"If a customer wants to move their server out of their basement, they want to have it located within driving distance or what I call the ability to hug their servers, so having a dispersed geographic footprint for these data centers is good for that," Drinkhall said. "Then, if they want to do disaster recovery or business continuity that's when they want it to be far away. Our geographic diversity allows us to complement both of those things."

Besides offering data center colocation space, the service provider is considering offering managed services.

"Data center and colocation is the first step in getting involved in the customer's overall IT infrastructure," Drinkhall said. "The next step is managed service and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), but this is a good place to start."

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