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May 29, 2013

Industry news: colocation, cloud and managed hosting services create strategic IT opportunities

Ansley Kilgore

What are the latest cloud-related trends in the information technology space? The impact of cloud computing on the IT industry has changed the way that CIOs and IT leaders think about business operations.

With so much information available on the topic, here are four articles that provide a glimpse into the current industry trends for cloud hosting services, colocation and managed hosting.

Gartner: Cloud computing makes IT strategically valuable
The rise of cloud computing has created opportunities for IT to become more strategically valuable to the organization. Businesses that depend heavily on the cloud become more reliant on IT to provide oversight and governance for their cloud strategies.

Colocation, managed and cloud hosting can pay off as companies focus on IT
The prevalence of cloud computing and virtualization have pushed IT leaders into a more strategic role, but these technologies have also put more stress on the network. As web systems and data protection become business-critical, IT and business leaders have an opportunity to benefit from colocation, managed hosting and cloud hosting services.

Cloud hosting offers scalability and cost efficiency that can be tough to match
Scalability is a major challenge for companies maintaining websites. The ability to scale up and down based on demand creates an environment in which organizations never waste money. Cloud hosting offers the ability to pay as you go, whereas with traditional hosting solutions, companies pay for resources regardless of usage.

Colocation hosting can help companies handle common data center problems
Colocation hosting gives organizations the freedom to develop scalable, adaptable data center configurations. In the event of a disaster, a third-party facility helps safeguard personnel by providing a backup instance of the data center, making disaster recovery efforts easier and allowing companies to focus on taking care of their employees.

For up-to-date information on IT industry news and trends, check out Internap’s Industry News section.

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Jan 17, 2013

Free-to-play model emphasizes need for data center services

INAP

need for data center servicesThe massively multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG) genre has thrived in two different payment models — subscription and free to play. If you look at the industry as a whole, it appears as if the subscription model laid the groundwork for the MMORPG, while the free-to-play style has helped the genre expand. However, there is a bit of subtlety to the interplay between subscription and free-to-play models. These nuances provide vital insight into the state of the video game industry and emphasize the importance of colocation and data center services in the sector.

Looking at MMORPG models
If you make a dedicated effort to seek out MMORPGs, you will not find too many games that still use the subscription model. Two leaders in the sector are “World of Warcraft” and “Star Wars: The Old Republic.” WoW has lasted an extended period of time as a leader in the genre and carved a major niche for itself. “The Old Republic,” on the other hand, has struggled to maintain an audience using the subscription model and transitioned to a free-to-play system on November 15, 2012.

These decisions make sense if you look closely at the MMORPG’s emergence. Initially, the MMORPG made sense as a subscription-based model because developers would release high-quality content and update it frequently. Over time, however, more developers realized they could release generally lower-quality games as MMORPGs, and make money by selling in-game items.

As this trend progressed, the subscription model became the choice for high-end MMORPGs, while free-to-play was used primarily for low- and medium-range titles that have a strong place in the market or high-end games that were losing players. “World of Warcraft” was initially released in the heyday of this industry climate. “The Old Republic,” on the other hand, came out toward the end of this cycle.

Considering the economics of free-to-play
In the free-to-play MMORPG model, you make your money by getting users to buy in-game items, such as hairstyles for their characters, special outfits or gameplay-related items, such as weapons or special tools. This provides consistent income for developers and publishers, allowing them to support operations. However, you can’t predict revenue as easily with a free-to-play game as you can with a subscription solution because you never really know how many people will buy items in the game.

As a result, developers and publishers hosting free-to-play content often have to find the least expensive method possible to maintain services. By turning to a colocation provider, organizations gain access to a number of systems that enable better services while providing access to more cost-efficient technologies. Therefore, third-party data center solutions can serve as a strategic asset for online video game providers seeking a competitive advantage over their peers.

To learn more about how data center and colocation services can contribute to the success of your online game, read our white paper, Five Consideration for Building Online Gaming Infrastructure.

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