What are Colocation Services?
Colocation or ‘colo’ is a practice of renting out the hosting server space along with other required computing hardware. This space can be rented out at a third-party provider’s data center premises. Colocation services usually include a physical infrastructure that can house every essential hardware such as networking, physical security, and the cooling components required to support the server and storage. With a colocation data center, businesses can eliminate the CAPEX required to build and maintain the facility. With the significant volume of CAPEX getting reduced, companies can have the retained ownership and complete control of the servers.
For any enterprise, the colocation providers offer colocation services in one of the following two ways-
- The customer acquires the hardware and gets it to the colocation data centers facility
- The colocation provider will buy and install all the hardware equipment as per the customer’s needs.
Generally, the colocation providers can house multiple servers and an uninterrupted power supply. The providers need to be mandatorily standardized with the industry-defined certifications similar to the traditional hosting providers.
Advantages of Colocation Services
- Colocation services aid businesses of any size to save their initial investments and share the costs with other ‘tenants.’ These savings are usually paired with business-class services that might not be affordable by the colocation service user. Some of these services comprise enhanced security, on-site IT personnel and redundant bandwidth. Smaller enterprises can leverage in-house IT departments’ benefits without incurring heavy expenditure.
- Another key benefit of colocation includes reducing downtime. Downtime caused for a few seconds can cause huge monetary losses. With resources like bandwidth, diversified power sources, the colocation providers ensure a bare minimum downtime. This ultimately ensures the hardware functions seamlessly, even in physical disasters.
- Today, companies are looking to secure their data with stringent security policies. The colocation providers ensure tighter security mechanisms have been deployed using physical infrastructure and cybersecurity protocols. The on-site IT Team of the colocation provider ensures the security of the technology assets and reports irregularities. Colocation providers also implement the highest cybersecurity protocols like WAF, Managed Backup Services, which provides easy restoration of physical and virtual data.
- With colocation data centers, enterprises get enhanced bandwidth levels even during high-traffic periods. Such spikes in data volumes are shared with multiple users, causing reduced bandwidth costs for all tenants.
Key Considerations for Evaluating Colocation Services
Whenever a user opts for a colocation hosting, he needs to have a checklist that abides and complies with various data center aspects. The checklist could include an umbrella of service commitments like- full availability of near a hundred percent uptime, security measures, assured technical support, SLAs, to name a few. The user needs to ensure that the colocation provider is reputed in terms of reliability and flexibility in services.
Below are some essential outlines that need to be considered when selecting a colocation provider-
- Physical Distance of Colocation Center
Easy accessibility of colocation center becomes an essential factor when selecting a provider. There might be multiple scenarios where there is a demand to travel to the colocation data center’s physical location for server maintenance. Another important factor is considering the redundancy of services by having multiple data centers.
- Implemented Security Policies
Colocation hosting allows users to have top-notched security, which might not be possible, by having it in-house at the user’s premises. Other than natural disasters, the hosting servers need to be protected against all forms of outages, along with redundant backup mechanisms and power arrangements.
Key Considerations of Colocation Migration
With the migration of the user’s data assets taking place, he must ensure the following-
- Colocation hosting is a shared facility. The users need to share the costs of power, cooling, communication, and data center floor space with other tenants present on the server with colocation services. Colocation can be a cost-effective option, rather than establishing a new data center.
- Colocation services demand complete control of the businesses. The colocation providers can maintain in-house equipment similar to how servers are installed.
- Colocation services can easily overcome the shortcomings related to an existing data center. Rather than going for a new data center space, enterprises and users can enhance their current data center by utilizing the space available on colocation facility.
- With Colocation services, the housed hardware allows companies to have higher bandwidth levels at relatively lower prices.
- Colocation services are considered to be more reliable. They have higher protection during power failures as several data backups will be offering low-latency networking alternatives.
- Colocation data centers are enabled with stringent physical security measures using monitoring surveillance techniques to combat any disaster occurrences.
With Colocation hosting, users get numerous intangible value-added benefits. Customers availing colocation services help businesses by offering additional layers of security & redundancy. Colocation has huge capabilities of a Disaster Recovery mitigation plan during major outages. A customized colocation plan ensures users get all the essential requirements of a desired IT Infrastructure. Larger colocation providers can help their customers reduce IT spend via various economies of scale.