Blog: The annoyances concerning data center cross connects

Data center cross connects are an annoyance to many. Networking, hosting and managed services companies rely on large amounts of connections in and between data centers and many of them are struggling to manage this in an efficient way. What comes on top of this, is that the large interconnection hubs have raised their prices significantly over the last few years. What are the 5 most heard complaints?


1. Nobody can explain high pricing of cross connects

Fees for datacenter cross connects can easily run up to €100,- a month. In comparison, for just €350,- a month you can lease a dark fiber connection between Amsterdam and the nearby city of Haarlem, which is a distance of 20 kilometers distance. A cross connect in a data center requires only 100 meters of cabling, depending on the circumstances. It is hard to explain why this cross connects has such a high fee compared to a 20km dark fiber route

2. Lead times

Even when an end-to-end connection has been completed, it cannot be used until patching has been done in a datacenter. Depending on the datacenter, this can take up to 5 days, which is quite long given the relatively minor effort that goes into patching.

3. Contract lock-in

Whereas current cloud and connectivity services are offered on daily or monthly contracts, cross connects contracts have a standard contract duration of at least 1 year. Because of this, contract lock-in has become a financial risk. The result is that organizational flexibility is impeded because the needs of fast changing IT-landscapes in business and enterprise settings cannot be adequately met. Although it is sometimes possible to get a short term contract for a cross connect, these usually lead to extraordinary fees.

4. Risk of outages

More often than one would expect outages on an end-to-end connection are caused by disruptions in cross connects. In many cases this is the result of manual work in the data center that affects cross connects in the vicinity of these works. If a failure is reported, there exists a risk that the data center will pass on the investigation costs. This is not necessary if the data center itself monitors whether a possible failure may have been caused by work in the vicinity of the rack in question.

5. Complexity of patch management

For many managed services, hosting and network companies patch management causes headaches. Cross connects often are a less known part of networks with which people do not know what to do. Different types of adjacent cabling liners, registration of cross connects, rack layouts and different procedures for each data center all cause operations more trouble than they need.

How can you simplify the complexity of cross connect management?

Enter the Virtual Meet Me Room

DCspine has 55 data centers in the Netherlands and Belgium connected to its network and offers an easy-to-use connectivity service to its customers. Parties are offered a solution to reduce its number of cross connects and complicated rack management in the form of a Virtual Meet Me Room. Those connected to DCspine can establish connections to each other using the Interconnection option.

Whereas the traditional way of connections require cross connects and equipment at the own and customer datacenter location, DCspine only requires a (single) cross connect at the own core datacenter location to connect it to the DCspine platform and leaving the customer datacenter location to the customer or DCspine. The cross connect in its own datacenter is connected to a DCspine Trunk Port of 1, 10, 25, 50 or 100G creating sufficient capacity for the total number of circuits delivered on the port. The cross connect at the customer or partner datacenter will be managed by DCspine or the customer removing the necessity to manage the cross connect and rack at the customer’s premise.

As DCspine is a datacenter connectivity platform, cross connect management has become a core competence. DCspine works closely with the connected data centers to ensure that the cross connect processes run as smoothly as possible.

Want to know more about what we can do for your connectivity needs? Check our solutions page or register for free and explore our online portal.