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Maximizing Business Potential With Data Center Colocation

Maximizing Business Potential With Data Center Colocation


Businesses of all sizes can leverage data center colocation to maximize their potential while preserving their capital and cash flow for other purposes. Here is a brief guide to data center colocation and how it can help your business.

Understanding data center colocation

Data center colocation is essentially the provision of data-center infrastructure on an as-a-service basis. Businesses lease or rent space within the data where they deploy their own equipment. The data center colocation vendor provides everything needed for the running of the data center itself. This includes the building and its security (physical and digital), utilities (including network connectivity), and climate control (especially cooling).

Modern colocation data centers often provide seamless integration with public cloud services. In fact, it’s now standard for them to offer multicloud support. They also often support edge computing systems. This means that data center colocation facilities can be used as the hubs of hybrid IT ecosystems.

Benefits of data center colocation

The growing popularity of data center colocation is a reflection of the many benefits it offers. Here are just 10 of the main ones.

Cost savings

With data center colocation, businesses avoid the upfront expenses of building or buying data centers. They can also potentially benefit from the economies of scale that can be unlocked by sharing ongoing infrastructure costs.

Enhanced security

Colocation facilities deploy robust physical and digital security measures to protect their data center infrastructure (and hence their clients). These will typically include a wide range of physical barriers and automated security tools plus human staff to oversee them.

Easier compliance

Colocation facilities typically achieve and maintain certification in the major data security standards (e.g. HIPAA, PCI/DSS, GDPR). Some will also support more niche ones (e.g. FISMA). This gives their clients an easier route to their own compliance.

Disaster recovery and business continuity

Colocation data centers make it much easier for businesses to replicate their critical data, applications, and services across different locations. This helps to reduce the impact of localized disruptions.

Improved scalability

With colocation, businesses can easily scale their IT infrastructure up or down according to their changing needs. This means that provisioning accurately reflects demand.

Guaranteed uptime

Colocation facilities are designed to be resilient. In particular, they have extensive redundant infrastructure, especially for power and cooling. This enables data center colocation vendors to offer guaranteed uptime of close to 100%.

High-speed connectivity

Colocation data centers are equipped with high-speed internet connections and multiple network carriers. This enables them to provide businesses with reliable and fast connectivity to support their operations and ensure optimal performance of applications and services.

Value-add services

Most data center colocation vendors offer a range of value-add services. At a minimum, they’ll offer remote-hands support. It’s very likely they’ll offer full managed colocation services. Using these services can be both convenient and cost-effective for their clients.

Access to advanced technologies

Colocation providers invest in state-of-the-art infrastructure and are quick to support emerging technologies. For example, most colocation providers already support the specialist infrastructure used in artificial intelligence. They are starting to support quantum computing.

Energy efficiency and sustainability

Colocation facilities employ energy-efficient practices and technologies such as hot aisle/cold aisle containment, LED lighting, and renewable energy sources. This minimizes both their environmental impact and their operational costs.

Factors to consider when choosing a data center colocation provider

Getting the most from data center colocation often hinges on choosing the right data center colocation provider. With that in mind, here is an overview of the five key factors you should consider when choosing a data center colocation provider.

Location and accessibility

Choose a colocation provider with data centers strategically located to ensure low latency and easy access for your staff and customers. Consider proximity to major internet exchanges, transportation hubs, and disaster risk factors.

Facility infrastructure

Assess the quality and redundancy of the facility’s power, cooling, and network infrastructure. Look for features such as N+1 or 2N redundancy in power and cooling systems, carrier-neutral connectivity options, and diverse fiber entry points to minimize single points of failure.

Security and compliance

Evaluate the physical and cybersecurity measures implemented by the colocation provider to protect your equipment and data. Find out what data security frameworks and standards the vendor supports. Make sure the vendor has robust disaster recovery and business continuity measures in place.

Service level agreements (SLAs)

Review SLAs carefully to understand the provider’s commitments regarding uptime, performance, and support response times. Look for guarantees on power availability, network availability, and maintenance windows.

Scalability

Choose a colocation provider that offers scalable solutions to accommodate your current and future growth needs. Look for options to easily add or remove server space, bandwidth, and additional services without disruption to your operations.

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