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Colocation Services In USA – A New Wave In IT Infrastructure Management

Colocation Services In USA – A New Wave In IT Infrastructure Management

Using colocation services in the USA enables businesses of all sizes to shift their focus from managing infrastructure to increasing their value proposition. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know about how colocation services in the USA are transforming IT infrastructure management.

The development of IT infrastructure management in the USA

Traditional IT infrastructure management in the USA (and elsewhere) was very much focused on in-house infrastructure. This in-house infrastructure was usually run by an in-house IT team.

In the early days of IT infrastructure management, IT teams in the USA were notorious for not working collaboratively with other teams. In fairness, however, at that time, siloed working practices were commonplace.

Over time, the need for collaborative working practices became increasingly evident. Many businesses actively pushed to remove internal barriers. As a part of this movement, IT teams began to be integrated more deeply into the core of the business. This enabled them to push for what would later become known as digital transformation.

The digital transformation journey led to major changes in how IT was viewed and used and, consequently, in IT infrastructure management. In particular, it demanded that IT infrastructure be implemented and managed in a way that suited fast-paced, modern businesses. This in turn led to the development of the “as-a-service” sector.

The development of colocation services in the USA

Data centers began to be used in the 1940s but it took until the 1980s for them to start to go mainstream. In the USA, colocation services started in the 1990s but only really began to take off in the early 2000s.

By that point, it was becoming increasingly clear that traditional on-premises data centers were going to become very niche. Even businesses that could afford them did not necessarily want the commitment of running them. By contrast, the need for IT infrastructure was increasing rapidly. This means that alternative solutions would need to be found.

The obvious contenders were the public cloud and colocation. Initially, the public cloud looked like it was going to be the clear favorite amongst businesses and consumers. As time progressed, however, the popularity of colocation grew.

Many businesses now view colocation services as being essential to their business operations. Some businesses may only use colocation services. Many businesses integrate colocation services with other options such as the public cloud and edge computing. (Edge computing may also be run through edge colocation).

Colocation services in the USA compared to other options

Here is a quick overview of how colocation services in the USA compare to other options in areas that are major concerns for modern businesses.

Security and compliance

With colocation services, the colocation services provider takes care of securing the facility and its infrastructure (both physical and digital). It’s now commonplace for them to achieve and maintain certification in at least the major data security frameworks and standards. Some compliance services vendors also support more niche programs.

This means that colocation services providers take on a lot of the work that would otherwise need to be managed by the client. What colocation services providers do not do is secure their clients’ data. This stays on their clients’ own devices and is secured by them.

Public cloud service providers (CSPs), do manage data security. For some businesses, this may be a welcome convenience. For others, however, it is an unwelcome risk that can be avoided by using colocation services.


The public cloud offers the ultimate in scalability but CSPs charge high prices for this convenience. Colocation services do not offer the same ability to make real-time adjustments to resources. They do, however, allow businesses to adjust their provisioning in line with predicted workload. This makes them vastly more flexible than on-premises data centers.

Many businesses therefore use colocation to manage their core workloads. They also integrate their colocation deployment with the public cloud. This means they can scale capacity rapidly if it ever becomes necessary.


On-premises data centers offer the ultimate in customizability. Unfortunately, they also require a huge financial and practical commitment. By contrast, the public cloud is very limited in its support for customizability. With colocation services, businesses have full control over their equipment and everything that runs on it. They can therefore leverage customization to deliver optimum performance.

Support for different technologies

Colocation arguably offers businesses by far the easiest path to access new technologies. With on-premises data centers, businesses need to implement new technologies entirely by themselves. With public clouds, they are entirely reliant on CSPs to implement them.

With colocation, the colocation services provider will either deploy the new technology or deploy the infrastructure needed for the businesses to deploy the new technology.


Colocation offers vastly lower upfront costs than in-house data centers and generally offers lower operational costs than public clouds.


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