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Colocation Provider – Top Considerations For Facilities, Networks, And Services
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Colocation Provider – Top Considerations For Facilities, Networks, And Services

Using colocation services provides businesses of all sizes with a straightforward and cost-effective route to running their own in-house IT. To make the most of this option, however, it’s important for businesses to choose the right colocation provider for them. This requires analyzing their facilities, networks, and services. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know.


The starting point for evaluating any colocation provider is generally checking their facilities. If these are inadequate, then there is usually no point in looking at their networks or services. Here are the 7 key points you should look at when checking a colocation provider’s facilities.


A colocation provider’s location will have a strong influence on its accessibility and security. In some areas, it will also influence the quality of its network connectivity.

Security and compliance

Any reputable colocation provider will implement a high standard of physical and digital security. Many colocation providers will demonstrate this by achieving certification in recognized compliance programs.

It’s generally fairly easy to find a compliance provider that supports mainstream programs (e.g. HIPAA). If, however, you need to support a more niche standard (e.g. FISMA), then your choice may be more limited.

Power and energy efficiency

Colocation providers should be able to ensure that the colocation facility has power at all times. Ideally, most, if not all, of this power should be generated from renewable sources.

Also, colocation providers should optimize their power distribution systems to ensure that equipment receives only the power it needs. This is important both for cost and sustainability.

Cooling systems

Colocation providers should be able to ensure that equipment receives the necessary cooling at all times. As with power, cooling systems should be optimized to use minimal electricity.

Network infrastructure

Before looking at a provider’s network connectivity, you need to check their network infrastructure. Fiber-optic cabling is largely standard but support for 5G is still more variable.

Hosting options

Does the colocation provider only offer racks or can they offer cages and/or suites? If so, what is the process for moving between one option and another?


Checking the colocation provider’s uptime guarantee should give you a basic idea of their resilience. If, however, you are seriously considering using a colocation provider, then it’s important to check the details that back up this guarantee.


If everything about the colocation provider’s facilities looks good, then you can move on to checking their networks and network connectivity. Here are the five points you should evaluate.

Connectivity options and internet service providers (ISPs)

The more ISP partners a colocation provider has, the less exposed it is to issues with any particular one of them. Look for a colocation provider with multiple high-speed connections to major carriers, promoting network resilience and optimal data transfer speeds.

Carrier neutrality and diverse network connections

Carrier neutrality ensures flexibility and the ability to customize your network solutions based on performance, cost, and specific business requirements. Access to diverse network connections enhances redundancy and, hence mitigates the impact of network failures.

Network redundancy

Redundancy minimizes the risk of service interruptions by providing alternative routes for data transmission. A robust network infrastructure with failover mechanisms ensures continuous operations even in the face of hardware failures or unexpected outages.

Latency and bandwidth

Low latency is critical for real-time data processing and applications. Assess the provider’s network architecture to ensure minimal delays in data transmission. Additionally, consider the available bandwidth options to accommodate current and future data transfer requirements. Adequate bandwidth prevents congestion, ensuring smooth and efficient data flow within the network.

Network performance monitoring and management capabilities

Look for a colocation provider equipped with advanced network monitoring tools and proactive management capabilities. Continuous monitoring allows for early detection of potential issues, enabling swift resolution before they impact performance. Effective management tools contribute to optimal network performance. They ensure that resources are allocated efficiently and potential bottlenecks are identified and addressed promptly.


If facilities and networks are up to standard, the final consideration is services. Here are the three points you should assess.

Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

When SLAs are contractually enforceable, they create a binding agreement between the provider and the client. In the context of colocation, the most important SLA is the uptime guarantee. The current industry standard is 99.999%. Some colocation providers will offer 100%

Customer support

The quality of a colocation provider’s customer support team can make a huge difference to your experience of using them. Customer reviews can often tell you a lot about this.

Colocation managed services

Even if you’re not planning to use colocation managed services, it’s advisable to check what the colocation provider can offer. That way you know what your options are.

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