Stephenson House

What is a Colocation Centre and How Important Is It?

Colocation data centres are managed facilities that provide organisations with data centre space, whether it is a rack, a cabinet, a private/separate cage, or a defined space with the facility. This model of server space leasing is markedly different to wholesale data centre leasing in that with wholesale data centre leasing requires the tenants to lease the entire facility fully. Colocation requires clients to rent a much smaller space while still accessing the necessary cooling (or hot aisle containment where necessary), power, security, connectivity, and engineering services to suit particular needs.

Why is Keeping Your Server Kit On-Site or in a Dedicate Facility Outdated?

Generally speaking, there is nothing wrong with keeping your kit onsite or leasing a dedicated facility for your use only. However, times are changing, and organisations are increasing drawing an ever-increasing computing power while still needing flexible capacity and even more resilient connectivity.

As you can appreciate, providing the right kind of data centre environment becomes a huge challenge owing to the increased complexity and added costs. Setting up, maintaining, and even managing data centres in-house is resources intensive with regards to IT and CapEx resources. It also takes up more space in and around the office and produces an unacceptable level of noise for the employees.

Why Should I Consider Changing My Current Setup and Consider a Colocation Facility?

Many organisations are realising that it is not justifiable to invest in building in-house data centres. They have realised that the risks involved, and the effort and expenditure that goes into maintenance is not justifiable. Such realisation is typically sparked by change. For instance, a merger or acquisition, growth necessitating better space economy, a change in an office location, reallocation of costs, or even a review of the IT service delivery systems. If you find yourself in such situations, consider colocation as an option for housing your kit.

Are Colocations Services Uniform Across All Service Providers?

To an untrained eye, most colocation service providers appear to be the same – providing the same variety of services such as connectivity, security, cooling, and resilience. However, take a more in-depth look at every service provider, and you will discern the intricate differences. Unfortunately, some claim to provide a certain quality of services, but they do not deliver on their claim.

What Elements Should I Look Out For?

Location – The colocation should be easily accessible to you but hard to for intruders to reach.

Resilience – Determine the level of resilience that your business needs. Evaluate the level of resilience the colocation service provider provides in their data centre, processes, and structures.

Security – Evaluate the data centre site extensively, considering features such as access controls, and the operator’s diligence in their work.

Power – Evaluate the energy efficiency of the data centre to ensure it runs efficiently for cost-effective operations.

Connectivity – The colocation should offer plenty of connectivity choice to ensure their customers can balance between costs and resilience.

Variety of Services – You should evaluate the array of services available to you. For instance, if something goes wrong, which department should you contact? Some colocation services provider operate their businesses property companies, whereby revenue is generated based on the leased space. Other operate dark sites with expensive out of hours costs. Finally, some service providers, such as Datum, provide fully serviced colocation services with a focus on client-centric services.

Site Visits and Accreditations – Do not trust services providers blindly. You need to visit their site and evaluate everything possible to ascertain certain features such as resilience, security and operations are up to scratch. Moreover, validate their credential with third-party accreditations.

Business Growth and Flexibility – Does the service provider provide flexible services based on growth needs and power needs, or are you tied into a fixed contract? Does the colocation have the capacity to support specialist ecosystems? Do they provide direct connections where needed? In a nutshell, can they help your growth and needs?

You can use high-quality colocation services in your hybrid IT setup to support your business growth at very cost-effective pricing. The key to success in using colocation is to build a trusted relationship with the colocation services provider, ensuring they can support you now and into the future.

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