Modern businesses are increasingly turning to colocation services for their IT infrastructure needs. This article provides a concise overview of colocation in Houston and what it means for businesses. It will address the benefits and challenges of doing business in Houston and where colocation fits into them. It will also look at the factors that influence its cost.
Houston is known as one of the world’s major energy hubs. In fact, it’s been dubbed, “The Energy Capital of the World” as oil and gas are still very active sectors there but Houston, like Texas, is transitioning to sustainable energy. Overall, Texas is the USA’s biggest producer of renewable energy. The main source of renewable power is wind, followed by the sun.
The other major industries in Houston are healthcare, biotechnology, aerospace, and aviation. Houston is home to The Texas Medical Center, one of the world’s largest medical complexes, along with NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Both of these institutions act as strong draws for other companies and organizations in these sectors.
Houston also has a growing technology sector with a particularly robust start-up scene thanks to its tech incubators and a collaborative approach to innovation. This has expanded the proportion of SMBs in the area. It therefore acts as a good counterbalance to the many corporate giants who are based there.
The core benefits of colocation are much the same in all areas. It is cost-effective, scalable, flexible, and convenient. Here is a quick guide to how those benefits apply specifically to colocation in Houston.
The headline benefit of colocation is that it provides access to data center infrastructure without the capital expenditure required to build an in-house data center. This is definitely highly relevant when looking at colocation in Houston.
A large part of the costs of any kind of data center infrastructure is the cost of buying the real estate needed to house it. Houston is the fourth-most populous city in the United States and has the second-most Fortune 500 headquarters of any U.S. municipality. This means that its real-estate prices are some of the highest in the world, not just the USA.
Another major selling point of colocation is that it is relatively scalable. If scalability is the primary consideration then the public cloud would be the better option. Most companies, however, do not need all of their systems to be instantly scalable all of the time. What’s more, if they do, they can integrate the use of the public cloud into a colocation solution.
Many companies recognize the benefits of in-house data centers but do not want the responsibility of having to run them. In particular, they do not want to have to manage security and disaster recovery. This is a strong concern in Houston which is notorious for flooding. With colocation, the vendor takes care of securing the facilities. The customer just has to manage their own equipment.
The main factors influencing the cost of colocation in Houston are much the same as the main factors influencing the cost of colocation in other locations. Here is a quick guide to them.
Houston is a large and sprawling city. In fact, it is the largest city in the United States by total area and the ninth-most expansive city in the United States. This means that there are significant variations in the cost of real estate. These feed through to the costs of colocation.
In general, colocation facilities in more urban areas cost more than comparable facilities in suburban areas. Also, facilities with better network connectivity typically charge a premium for this.
As in other places, the cost of colocation varies in line with the amount of space a business needs in the colocation facility.
Colocation facilities in higher tiers (i.e. with more resilience) will usually charge all of their customers a premium for this since they will all benefit from it. Colocation facilities that offer more facilities and services may charge all customers a small premium for this.
Usually, however, customers will only be charged if they actually use the facilities or services. This means customers generally have the option to pay extra to their colocation vendor or to make other arrangements.
All companies will need electricity both for the equipment itself and its cooling. They will also need network connectivity. These will factor into the costs of colocation in Houston. Colocation vendors that have invested in highly energy-efficient infrastructure may charge extra for this.
On the flip side, however, the overall savings may be more than enough to justify paying the extra cost. This is particularly true in Houston where the intensely hot summers require powerful cooling systems.
If you are looking for colocation services in Houston, DataBank is an excellent choice. DataBank has four state-of-the-art data centers in the Houston area, which combine to offer 292,620 square feet of raised floor space, and 42.5MW critical IT load. Learn more about DataBank’s Houston data centers.
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