The term “colocation” refers to the practice of gaining access to data centers and data center services on much the same basis as a regular managed service. It has become a popular option for businesses as it offers many of the benefits of the cloud but in a data center. Here is a straightforward guide to colocation in Austin.
While the state of Texas itself is probably still best known for its oil and coal industry, Austin’s business landscape is much more future-forward. The city has cultivated a diverse economy with healthcare, finance, and manufacturing all having a significant presence there.
It also has the retail, leisure, and hospitality sectors you’d expect in a city. These feed into and are fed by its entertainment industry. This is largely focused on music and, in particular, festivals such as South by Southwest (SXSW).
Furthermore, Austin has become one of the USA’s most important tech hubs. Tech companies with a presence there range from global behemoths such as Dell Technologies, IBM, and Amazon to innovative start-ups. In fact, Austin has strategically positioned itself as a hotspot for innovation with numerous tech incubators and accelerators.
At a macro level, the benefits of colocation in Austin are much the same as the benefits of colocation in general. With that said, there are some benefits that have particular relevance for Austin.
The fact that Austin is a tech hub means that using colocation can be a way for businesses to benefit from economies of scale beyond what they could achieve on their own.
Additionally, the fact that using colocation requires minimal upfront investment has particular relevance in Austin. Austin is now indisputably one of the USA’s most popular cities thanks to the fact that it offers both a strong economy and a high standard of living. It’s also the location of top-tier educational institutions, such as the University of Texas at Austin. That means the resident population is boosted by numerous students.
Putting this all together means that Austin has some of the highest land and real-estate prices in the USA. Companies that really want or need to have their own private data centers therefore need to be prepared for especially high up-front costs. By contrast, using colocation allows businesses to implement private facilities at a more reasonable price.
Scalability is no longer just a concern of start-ups, scale-ups, or SMBs. While it’s vitally important for them, it’s also crucial for established companies too.
In today’s business climate, established companies that fail to keep developing will be overtaken by rivals. This reality is particularly visible in Austin with its culture of entrepreneurship and innovation. That means even the most established companies need scalable infrastructure they can leverage to respond quickly to market developments.
By using colocation in Austin businesses can not only get the scalable infrastructure they need but also everything they need to go along with it. For example, Austin is home to many IT managed service providers and independent contractors. These are both convenient ways to access short-term, skilled labor.
In Austin, there is minimal risk of human threat. Environmental threats, by contrast, do need to be a concern. Austin has a very unique climate due to the fact that it’s situated between the deserts of the Southwest and the humidity of the Southeast.
More specifically, Austin lies just within “Tornado Alley”. It is nowhere near as severely impacted by tornadoes as places further to the North. Even so, it is regularly subjected to extreme weather including supercell thunderstorms.
These bring winds, heavy rain, and lightning any or all of which can lead to disruption. The rain tends to cause the most problems as it can lead to flooding. Storms can occur in any season but are most common in spring. Winter, however, can bring ice storms and these can also cause major disruption.
Colocation service providers in Austin are well aware of the local climate and make sure to mitigate its impact. Their confidence in their preparedness will be reflected in the enforceable SLAs they offer.
The factors affecting colocation costs in Austin are largely the same as the factors affecting colocation costs anywhere. As in most places, the key factor is likely to be your choice of location. This will influence real-estate costs which form a significant portion of the cost of running a data center.
The other major factors are the tier of your data center (i.e. its level of resilience), the infrastructure and/or services it offers, and the level of on-site support needed.
If you are looking for colocation services in Austin, DataBank is an excellent choice. DataBank has a state-of-the-art data center in Austin, which offers 7,870 square feet of raised floor space, and 0.4MW critical IT load. Learn more about DataBank’s Austin data center.
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