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Data Center Checklist: Why You Need Colocation Space

Data Center Checklist: Why You Need Colocation Space


Creating a data center checklist can be an effective way to focus on your needs, wants, and priorities in relation to your IT infrastructure. No matter what items are on your list and in what order, you are likely to find you benefit from using colocation space. Here is a quick guide to what you need to know.

Data center checklist: 10 benefits of colocation space

Here is a data center checklist that would probably apply to most companies from enterprises to SMBs. It shows 10 key benefits of colocation space.

Security and compliance

All colocation vendors implement robust physical and digital security in the colocation facility and its associated network(s). Many colocation vendors will also support mainstream data security frameworks and standards. Some will also support more niche options.

Having a colocation vendor deal with most of the work involved with security and compliance is often a significant benefit to businesses. It means they just need to take care of the security and compliance of their own equipment and data.

Uptime guarantee (SLAs)

Another major benefit of using colocation space is that clients get a guaranteed service. Any reputable colocation vendor will be expected to provide an uptime guarantee.

The current industry standard is 99.999% but some vendors push this even higher. In fact, some push it up to 100%. These guarantees are backed by massive levels of redundancy in every aspect of data center operations.

Vendors may offer additional SLAs relating to specific areas of their service (e.g. customer support). For most businesses, however, the uptime guarantee will be their major concern.

Overall value

Using colocation space has minimal to no upfront costs and very low operational costs. Clients benefit from sharing the costs of core infrastructure. In particular, they benefit from the fact that colocation vendors can leverage bulk purchasing power. This helps to minimize costs for the businesses that use the facility.

The convenience of colocation also adds to its value. Even if businesses leverage the scalability of colocation, they still know what they’re likely to pay each billing cycle. If they want a 100% guarantee of their costs, they can use an unmetered connection. Using colocation therefore makes forecasting and budgeting much easier.

Scalability

By itself, colocation is not as scalable as the public cloud. It is, however, vastly more scalable than on-premises data centers. It can also be combined with the public cloud to improve its scalability even further. This adds to its overall value since it means that businesses can align their use of resources with their workload.

Customizability

The fact that businesses have full control over their own equipment means that they can customize its hardware, operating system, and software. That means they can fine-tune it to the specific requirements of particular applications. Using colocation space can, therefore, enable businesses to coax the highest level of performance from their applications.

Access to key locations

Using colocation space enables businesses to choose where they will host their applications, services, and/or data with much more precision than using a public cloud. At the same time, it also enables businesses to access locations where it would not be cost-effective for them to deploy an on-premises data center.

This offers three main benefits. Firstly, it enables businesses to keep their assets near their users. Secondly, it enables businesses to keep their data in specific geographical locations. Thirdly, it enables more effective business continuity and disaster recovery planning.

Top-quality network connectivity

Colocation facilities are often strategically located near major internet hubs. They maximize the benefit of this with strategic network implementation. Finally, they add massive network redundancy to ensure that it is practically impossible for the network to fail. It’s also worth noting that many colocation facilities have implemented fiber optic technology. They may also support 5G.

Access to advanced infrastructure

Colocation vendors are typically amongst the earliest adopters of new technologies. They are also typically quick to update their facilities to be able to support new technologies. For example, many colocation facilities have invested in the specialist infrastructure necessary to support artificial intelligence and machine learning deployments.

Ability to use multiple clouds seamlessly

It’s now standard for colocation facilities to integrate with public clouds. Many colocation facilities can now support clients that need or want to implement multiclouds. This hugely increases both scalability and the options for developing highly customized solutions.

Ability to use edge computing

Edge computing is looking increasingly likely to be the new cloud, not in terms of functionality but in terms of impact. That’s why many colocation facilities support integration with edge deployment. In fact, some providers also support edge colocation.

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