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Why Is Colocation Service So Popular?

Why Is Colocation Service So Popular?

Over recent years, using a colocation service has steadily grown in popularity with businesses of all sizes. There are numerous, compelling reasons for the growth in the colocation sector. Here is a brief overview of the main ones.

7 reasons why colocation services have grown in popularity

Here is a brief guide to the 7 main reasons why so many businesses are implementing colocation solutions.

Cost efficiency

The cost efficiency of colocation services has significantly driven their popularity. With colocation, businesses can have the benefits of an on-premises data center without the hefty upfront costs of building or buying one. Moreover, they can benefit from sharing the costs of the data center infrastructure.

In essence, the colocation service provider can leverage the combined buying power of their clients when negotiating with vendors. This can allow them to unlock economies of scale that would not be available to the businesses individually. To be competitive, colocation vendors often pass some, or even all, of these discounts on to their clients.

Focus on core business functions

This is another huge driver behind the popularity of colocation services. For most businesses, IT is something they need to do their actual business. It is not part of their core business offering.

Using a colocation service allows businesses to offload most of the day-to-day practicalities of running in-house IT. At the same time, however, it allows them to maintain direct control over their equipment and its data in a way that is simply not possible with public clouds.

If businesses wish, they can also outsource responsibility for managing the equipment in the collocation facility. In fact, many colocation vendors will offer some level of managed services and ad-hoc support as value-added colocation services.

At a minimum, you can expect remote-hands support. This can be used to save your own staff from making trips out to the colocation facility. Alternatively, it can just be used when you need a task completed as quickly as possible.

Security and compliance support

On a similar note, having a colocation service provider share the work of ensuring security and compliance is often a major convenience for businesses.

Using a colocation service means that the collocation vendor takes responsibility for ensuring the security and compliance of the facility itself. The client just has to manage their own equipment (and the user access to it).

Guaranteed service

A reputable colocation service will provide a contractually enforceable uptime guarantee. The current industry standard is “five nines”, in other words, 99.999% uptime. It’s now becoming more common for vendors to guarantee 100% uptime.

Taking the necessary steps to achieve that uptime is the provider’s responsibility, not the client’s. Providers typically ensure that they meet these guarantees by implementing high levels of redundancy in every area of their business. This includes labor.

They will also ensure that the building itself is as resilient as possible. As a part of this, they will research local hazards and implement steps to mitigate them. For example, facilities in coastal areas will typically be strongly defended against flooding.

Having the colocation service provider take ownership of all this is a huge relief to businesses both financially and practically. It therefore contributes to the popularity of colocation services.

Scalability and customizability

Using a colocation service makes it easy for businesses to scale their IT resources to suit their changing needs while also customizing it to their specific technical requirements. It’s also worth noting that colocation service providers are typically very quick to integrate new technologies as they emerge.

For example, it’s long been standard for colocation providers to integrate with public clouds. Now, it’s increasingly common for them to support multiclouds. This provides not just greater scalability but more flexibility to customize how a business uses the public cloud.

Now, colocation services are increasingly providing both edge colocation services and infrastructure designed to support the specialist hardware used in artificial intelligence (AI). This massively facilitates the development of internet of things (IoT) applications.

Excellent network connectivity

Another reason for the popularity of colocation services is that colocation providers ensure that their network connectivity is of the highest standard. Fixed connections are usually based on fiber-optic cabling. Mobile connections will usually be 5G if it is available in the area. Moreover, the network will be managed to deliver the very highest quality of service.

Many colocation facilities are strategically located near internet exchange points. They will also have service contracts with as many ISPs as possible. Those contracts will, however, not require clients to give preference to any specific provider(s).

Access to high-quality infrastructure

Using a colocation service often allows businesses to access infrastructure that would be too expensive and/or too complicated for them to implement themselves. It therefore effectively enables them to benefit from the return on the colocation service provider’s investment.

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