High density colocation refers to the practice of consolidating IT assets into a very small area of a third-party-run data center. It makes the absolute best use of space and resources. This makes it both highly efficient and very cost-effective. If you’re interested in using high density colocation, here is a quick guide to what you need to know about it.
The main difference between high density colocation and traditional colocation is that high density colocation focuses on maximizing the number of computing devices in a limited space. By contrast, traditional colocation sacrifices a certain level of space (and hence expense) for the sake of convenience.
High density colocation provides several benefits over traditional colocation. Here is a quick guide to the main ones.
Using high density colocation means that organizations can have a higher level of capacity than they would with traditional colocation. This can allow them to implement enough capacity to cope with peak times comfortably. This in turn can lead to improved performance at off-peak times.
Having access to extra capacity also tends to improve reliability. In essence, it leaves businesses with more room to maneuver. For example, if demand surges unexpectedly, businesses will be in a better position to cope with it. Alternatively, if there is a failure on the network, having extra capacity makes it easier to absorb.
This means that, overall, higher capacity networks typically deliver a much better user experience than lower capacity ones. In some cases, this can translate into a real business advantage. For example, it can make it possible for businesses to speed up research and development.
Packing servers into a smaller space means that they can be effectively cooled with much less energy. In addition, high density racks typically include more efficient cooling systems, such as hot aisle/cold aisle configurations and airflow management systems. These further improve power efficiency.
It’s also worth noting that improving power efficiency lowers your carbon footprint. This improves the sustainability of your business. At a minimum, that has reputational benefits. It is increasingly likely to carry practical ones such as lowering your exposure to carbon taxes.
There are three main ways that high density colocation is more cost-effective than traditional colocation. Firstly, it means that you pay for less space in a data center.
Secondly, it leverages your IT resources to their absolute maximum. This means that it delivers the maximum possible value from those resources. Thirdly, as has already been mentioned, it is very power-efficient. Given that power costs are a major component of IT budgets, this alone could be enough to justify a high-density colocation implementation.
Furthermore, high density colocation delivers additional benefits that can be hard to quantify. For example, its reliability helps to reduce downtime and hence increase productivity. This most definitely has a value.
The infrastructure used for traditional colocation may not be suitable for high density colocation. For example, high density colocation implementations often require specialized server racks, power, cabling, and cooling systems. This means that businesses switching to high density colocation may have to purchase new infrastructure. What’s more, this infrastructure is likely to be more expensive than the infrastructure used in traditional colocation.
High density colocation also often requires a much higher level of monitoring and maintenance than traditional colocation. Furthermore, these tasks require a much higher level of technical expertise. This may have significant implications for in-house staffing and/or for a businesses’ use of external managed IT vendors.
Finally, high density colocation has greater security implications than traditional colocation. This means that it’s vital to choose a data center that consistently maintains the very highest levels of security. You would also need to commit to maintaining the very highest levels of security in your own cabinet(s).
When partnering with a high-density colocation provider like DataBank, we can provide resources where purchasing new infrastructure is low cost, have a team that partners with you to help with the high-level of expertise needed, and have secure data centers where you decide who has access to your cabinet(s), including DataBank employees.
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