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Data Center Services Evolve to Include Both Colocation & Cloud Computing
Data Center Services Evolve to Include Both Colocation & Cloud Computing

By Rhett Gill · 7/6/2021
Data Center Services Evolve to Include Both Colocation & Cloud Computing

David Liggitt, founder of datacenterHawk, recently met with Andy Stewart, CEO of Evoque Data Centers, and Peter Roosakos, CTO of Foghorn Consulting. The news on everyone’s mind: Evoque’s acquisition of Foghorn.

About the Guests, and What Prompted the Acquisition

Andy was the CFO and then CSO at TierPoint through over $2 billion worth of acquisitions and funding. He took over as CEO at Evoque about a year ago, which meant that he had to primarily learn the corporate culture and team compositions remotely. Once he established pandemic protocols and got a good look at the internal workings of Evoque, he brought in key executives and revamped the sales model of the company. Each move reflected the industry changes that had been happening since the pandemic started and built towards the overall plan for a post-pandemic future.

Peter started in the mid 90's as the cofounder and CTO of Computerlandscapes Inc. Exodus eventually acquired the consulting company to build out their professional services division. Fast forward eight years, and the cloud was in its infancy. Peter's team at Opelin used these new scaling infrastructure capabilities to serve the needs of smaller companies. HP acquired them in 2007, and he stayed on for a couple of years during the transition period. After he left HP, he started Foghorn with the mission of leveraging the public cloud to move companies forward.

In the front end of the interview, Andy shared what he's most excited about with the acquisition of Foghorn. The Mountain View-based digital transformation company recently agreed to a union of their offerings. He said that the acquisition will change how Evoque goes to market and drastically expand what they can offer to customers. His enterprise clients want better cost management and visibility into their infrastructure usage. Their feedback made it clear: Digital transformation and application-first approaches were the future of his company.

Cloud Computing is the Future... Sometimes

David asked Peter how he talks a client through the planning phase and how long a data center and cloud relationship can last.

Peter noted that, historically, all-in strategies seemed like the most cost effective and straightforward way to go: Either all on-premises, all in colocation, or all on cloud. But digital transformation has put a stress on pure performance over simplicity. So almost everything these days is a hybrid solution, as the apps take center stage. Optimizing workloads to run on the most performant platforms yields far better long term results.

Andy added how this acquisition helps clients plan beyond pure colocation space and power strategies. He mentions that it's hard to stand out from the crowd as a specialist, particularly when cloud computing is such a huge part of the landscape. The flexibility needs to be there. Infrastructure agnostic approaches are far more impressive and can cover clients' holistic needs. It allows a hosting strategy that evolves over time; nothing is static, and nothing is overly painful to adjust to if a new efficiency takes precedence for a client. Andy also shared that an important strategy they’ve adopted includes providing colocation space to niche service vendors that can meet client needs and introducing them to enterprise clients as service partners.

Peter shared that one of the most important things enterprises can do for long term planning is to bridge the skill gap. Put together a team that is complete enough to cover aspects like security, data agility, dev ops, monitoring, and the like across all of the platforms that they intend to leverage. Building a gap-filling center of excellence that can be nourished internally or hired externally by a client has yielded a lot of fruit.

Data Center Services in the Age of Covid

David noted that many enterprise companies who had been on ‘pause’ over the last year have started to make some big business decisions over the past three months. He asked his guests if they were experiencing the same thing.

Andy agreed with the sentiment, seeing the same trends at both Evoque and Foghorn in the last few weeks. The same customers that had expressed appreciation at the handling of their needs during the pandemic recently started to put in big orders across the board. In short, cloud computing is coming back in a big way.

Peter mentioned that the main factor that led the Foghorn team towards an acquisition position by Evoque was a unity of their corporate vision and culture. He's excited that Evoque's management team and people have been great to work with, even in some rather challenging times. Now that they have a bigger budget and a bigger team to work with, all of the service gaps can be filled. By leveraging the newly unified company’s vast colocation and infrastructure experience and combining it with their already robust public cloud capabilities, they’ll be well equipped to serve customers in the emerging post-covid landscape.

Andy noted that it's exciting to be part of a customer's journey into the public cloud, rather than being in an infrastructure-only position that would normally force them to say goodbye to loyal clients. The next six months will allow their sales team to pilot a much larger solution set. Holistic assessments will mean that clients can trust Evoque as an unbiased partner who will guide them through their entire technological journey.


Cloud computing continues to be a part of enterprise customers' strategy; albeit one that presents significant planning challenges to the user. The addition of Foghorn’s expertise to Evoque’s organization aims to solve these challenges and put their customers in the best position to succeed both now and in the future. Data center services need to evolve to this and, and recently the trend has been a move towards hybrid cloud, edge colocation, and tech consultancy.

That final role, advising clients on what their short and long term data strategies should be, is something that the new Evoque is now well equipped to handle. We look forward to hearing more about their journey in the future.

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