Due to the rapid pace of change, it can be quite challenging to keep up with rapidly evolving data center technologies. Between architecture, cloud, colocation, compliance, connectivity, construction, cooling, design, engineering, facilities, hosting, managed services, operations, power, security, software, servers, storage, telecommunications, and virtualization – that’s a lot on your plate.
In this post, I set out to identify 15 remarkable blogs worth reading that address data center technologies. For this purpose of narrowing the scope, I focused primarily on companies that actively provide data center products and services – rather than trade publications, conferences, or associations that aggregate consensus.
In addition to looking at each company’s business model and topics covered on its blog, I also offer some basic suggestions on how each blog can improve the results and ROI that it gets from its time and resources invested in blogging.
So which 15 blogs are worth reading?
- Data Center Blog | New York & Jersey Infrastructure | NYI – As a provider of mission-critical services around business continuity, colocation, cloud, disaster recovery, and managed services, NYI blogs about compliance (HIPAA, PCI, and SSAE), data center trends, and the hybrid cloud. While all of its information is very helpful – unlike many colo providers who primarily use their blogs to publish glorified news releases – NYI could capture a lot more revenue generating value from its great blog posts by creating highly-targeted calls to action, landing pages, and full funnel conversion paths.
- Enterprise Data Storage, Virtualization Management Solutions | Tegile – Published by Tegile, a leader in enterprise data storage and virtualization management, its blog has been live since 2012 and covers mostly company news items, plus tips on enterprise storage and virtualization. Most recently, this included nominations for storage hardware product of the year, new product and feature announcements, employee spotlights, tips on enterprise storage proof of concept projects, VDI tips, and best practices on data replication and data recovery. While the format and graphics make for an easy read, Tegile’s sales team could get a lot more value from the blog if it had contextually relevant calls to action following blog posts.
- IDS Blog – A thought leadership extension of data center integrator and cloud services provider IDS, the IDS blog publishes a variety of tips and best practices on topics including disaster recovery, barriers to cloud services adoption, Clustered Data ONTAP (cDOT), Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), and Hyperscale Cloud. Like most of the remarkable blogs on data center technologies featured here, IDS is likely missing a lot of lead generation potential as its blog posts don’t have relevant calls to action at the end of each post.
- IMPEX Technologies Blog – As an enterprise IT solution provider for data centers, the IMPEX Technologies blog has addressed a variety of areas including application centric infrastructure (ACI), cloud security, converged solutions, flash storage, Internet of Things (IoT), next generation data centers, and software defined data centers (SDDCs) – to name a few. While all of the advice aims to help, IMPEX Technologies could make its blog more inviting with improved formatting and graphics – and capture more leads from its blog by creating contextually relevant calls to action and related landing pages to conclude each blog post. While IMPEX Technologies does have some document downloads promoted in its website sidebar, these are data sheets that would only appeal to the very small percentage of website visitors that are ready for a sales conversation on their first website visit.
- ipSpace.net: Internetworking perspectives by Ivan Pepelnjak – One of the few independent, non-corporate blogs to make this roundup, the blog for ipSpace.net: Internetworking perspectives is written by Ivan Pepelnjak – an expert on system architectures and internetworking technologies, a highly-prolific author of Cisco Press books, and one of the first few hundred Cisco CCIEs on the planet (#1354). Pepelnjak very regularly blogs about BGP, data centers, IPv6, IP routing, OpenFlow, overlay networks, SDN, security, switching, and virtualization.
- IsoFusion Blog – As part of the company behind Colocation Northwest, Connect Northwest, One Server Hosting, and TrueRing Business Phone Services, the IsoFusion Blog in recent months has covered the evolution of the colocation data center business model and the SSAE 16 certification from the AICPA. While this is definitely valuable information for those seeking colocation services, Colocation Northwest would need to significantly step up its publishing frequency and tweak its related lead generation strategy to unlock more revenue-generating value from its blog.
- My Two Bytes | Just another data storage blog and news site –While most of the blogs featured in this roundup are corporate blogs, My Two Bytes is published by Petros Koutoupis – an independent blogger on storage technologies – to showcase the pros and cons of various storage industry technologies. More recently, Petros has blogged about high-availability storage, repurposing old storage devices, EMC corporate strategy, and non-volatile memory.
- Nlyte DCIM Blog | Nlyte Software – Created by data center infrastructure management software provider Nlyte Software, its Nlyte DCIM blog addresses data center efficiencies, DCIM strategy, as well as facilities and IT management best practices. While it has a great “start chatting” feature present on its blog posts, Nlyte Software could be capturing a lot more potential clients from its great blog articles if it added relevant calls to action at the end of each post. Remember in today’s buyer’s journey, 60% to 90% of the decision is being made before prospects for DCIM software are ready to talk with sales.
- Official ColocationGuard Blog | Colocation Tutorials & Info – As part of ColoGuard Enterprise Solutions, the Official ColocationGuard Blog, as advertised, provides tutorials, tips, and best practices on topics such as big data, cloud, colocation, HIPAA compliance, SSAE certification, server administration, and VoIP. The blog does an excellent job of selecting images to complement the blog, and using subheads and numbered lists to make the content more approachable for skimmers. The titles also show a lot of great thought for both relevance to buyer personas and keyword selection. That said, like most of the other remarkable blogs mentioned in this roundup, ColocationGuard should add relevant calls to action at the end of each post, so that it can generate leads from the traffic that’s attracted to these great blog posts.
- SimpliVity Blog – As a provider of hyperconverged infrastructure that eliminates the cost and complexity of virtualized workloads, SimpliVity positions its products and solutions for CIOs, IT managers, application managers, and virtualization administrators. With its SimpliVity Blog, it publishes thought leadership on data efficiency and hyperconvergence, as well as company news. While some of the posts use subheadings and graphics to engage with readers, SimpliVity should be using this best practice across the board. However if SimpliVity wants to get highly-qualified leads from its blog posts, just as is suggested with most of the blogs in this roundup, SimpliVity will need to build out highly-relevant premium content, calls to action , landing pages, and conversion paths that convert website visitors into leads.
- THE CONTINUITY COUNCIL - DATA CENTER BLOG -- As a data center colocation provider, that also offers disaster recovery office space and network services, FIBERTOWN targets health care, higher education, information technology, and oil and gas decision makers. Through its Continuity Council Data Center Blog, FIBERTOWN blogs primarily about data centers, its own data center construction, business continuity and disaster recovery. While most of the posts are well-formatted for skimmers and include attractive graphics, most posts are missing contextually-relevant calls to action at the end of each post, so engaged visitors can convert into leads for further nurturing. If FIBERTOWN’s sales team is craving more highly-qualified leads, adding calls to action, landing pages, and conversion paths should be relatively low-hanging fruit, given that FIBERTOWN has already identified four core buyer personas and is already creating remarkable blog content.
- The Upsite Blog – As experts in airflow management and energy efficiency in data centers, Upsite Technologies increases the reliability and availability of data centers through its containment solutions that reduce energy costs. In the Upsite Blog, which captures the evolution of data center cooling and airflow management, you can learn great tips about airflow, computer rooms, containment, cooling, cost reduction, data center trends, efficiency, metrics, monitoring, and power usage effectiveness. The Upsite Blog totally nails Inbound Marketing best practices. Multiple authors blog – pulling in thought leadership from throughout the company. There are images, great formatting to engage skimmers, internal and external links that help readers and search engines better understand what the content is about. And most of all, you can find contextually-relevant calls to action at the end of each post leading to conversion-optimized, lead-generating landing pages and forms. Editor’s choice!
- The ZPE Infrastructure Management Blog - ZPE Systems – Published by the leader in the management of physical and virtual IT infrastructure that created the NodeGrid Manager software, the ZPE Systems Infrastructure Management Blog provides tips on data centers, DevOps, network operations, and secure IT infrastructure access and control management. Like most of the blogs featured in this post, the ZPE Systems Infrastructure Management Blog should consider adding relevant early-stage calls to action at the end of each blog post to generate leads from those who want to learn more, but are not yet ready to buy NodeGrid Manager or NodeGrid Serial Console.
- Tufin Security Policy Orchestration Blog – As the variety and intensity of security risks to data centers continues to mount, Tufin’s Security Policy Orchestration products and solutions automate and accelerate network configuration updates – and will keep networks secure and compliant. In its Security Policy Orchestration Blog, Tufin combines company news updates with tips on application connectivity management, firewall auditing and compliance, firewall operations management, and security change automation. Unlike many of the remarkable blogs on data center technologies profiled in this post, the Tufin Security Policy Orchestration Blog actually includes contextually relevant calls to action at the end of many of its posts. For example, at the beginning and end of a blog post of Zen and the Art of Network Segmentation, there are text-based and button-based calls to action promoting its recording of the webinar on network segmentation in the enterprise. That said, the recording was hosted on the Webinar provider’s website – which could make effective segmentation and lead nurturing more challenging.
- vXchnge Blog – As a carrier-neutral, colocation data center services provider, vXchnge helps its clients achieve a lower total cost of ownership (TCO), while reducing CapEx and OpEx. To help spread its thought leadership, the vXchnge Blog addresses a variety of topics related to data centers, cloud, and industry trends. The vXchnge Blog does an excellent job of creating compelling blog Titles, formatting the posts for engaging with skimmers, and even including calls to action at the end of each post and in the blog sidebar. That said, nearly all of its calls to action are for late-stage, end of buyer’s journey prospects – the smallest part of the sales funnel for most data centers. With its great blog content, vXchnge could be generating a lot more highly-qualified leads if it develops a handful of early-stage calls to action, landing pages, and conversion paths for those that are just starting to research problems – that don’t yet know that they need vXchnge’s colocation services.
The Bottom Line on Data Center Technologies Blogs
While most blogs about data center technologies are providing highly-remarkable tips and tutorials, nearly all are likely banging their heads against the wall when it comes to trying to tie leads and revenue to their blogging activities.
This is a shame because today’s buyers of data center services are doing tons of research online – via search and social – before they’re ready to engage with your company. As much as 70% of the buyer’s journey is now over, and 70% of their mind is already made up, purely based on how evaluators and decision makers search for solutions to their problems online.
Done right, strategic blogging can be a very powerful thought leadership weapon for attracting website visitors, converting those visitors into qualified leads, nurturing those leads into sales opportunities, and closing those sales opportunities into new revenue sources.
However, nearly all of these blogs lack calls to action that are targeted at buyer personas and the buyer lifecycle stage.
In many ways, blogging without calls to action, landing pages, and conversion paths is like going out on a blind date and falling in love at first sight, but forgetting to exchange phone numbers, email addresses, or any way to get back in touch with each other.
Of course if you personally see blogging as just an activity or cost center, or don’t want to strategically blog in a way that generates qualified leads and sales pipeline opportunities from those who enjoy your thought leadership on data centers, feel free to navigate around this advice and let your marketing, sales, and CEO leadership fret about growth.
What are your favorite blogs to read about when it comes to data center technologies? Let us know your thoughts in the Comments section below.
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