In-house data centers can be expensive, especially since the shift from individual servers to networked systems. It’s like owning your own home, where you’re responsible for all of the costs, maintenance/repairs and security. For these reasons, many companies are making the switch to colocation services to house their data centers.
A colocation facility provides an off-site location for companies to house their data, with specialists on duty 24/7 to deal with emergency system failures and security breaches. There’s also a huge gap between most in-house solutions and colocation services when it comes to power. In-house data centers often have just the bare minimum (an average cooling system and a small backup power source), whereas colocation providers offer diverse power feeds, multiple generator systems and on-site fuel reserves.
The big question when it comes to data center colocation is whether to go local or long distance. Experts fall equally on both sides of the spectrum for different reasons. If your business is based in a major metropolitan city, the main advantage to going local is you can use your team to manage everything private, as well as control day-to-day business operations. If you’re in a disaster-recovery zone, however, you’d want your data center to be farther away. This approach allows you to easily “flip a switch” to transfer data from your local headquarters to a location unaffected by the disaster (hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, etc.), and it provides a heightened comfort level for businesses because it keeps their data in a safe and secure area. Ultimately, the deciding factor in going local or long distance with your colocation facility is where the largest Internet pipes are located. You’ll notice that most colocation facilities pop up outside of Washington, D.C., or near military bases, where the government has a big presence and strong Internet connectivity is available.
Although some organizations see the cloud as another viable alternative to colocation, it provides neither a fully auditable system nor full control of an organization’s infrastructure. When using a colocation provider, a company can avoid storage bills. Store information through a colocation service is drastically cheaper than doing so in the cloud. And although cost savings alone make colocation appealing, there are many additional benefits, including sustainability, scalability and security.
Here are four benefits of data center colocation:
- Scalability. Colocation facilities are now designed to not only comply with regulations and standards, but also predicted capacity requirements, all while simultaneously reducing operating costs by incorporating aisle-containment structures. One solution offered by many experts in the field is to use scalable or modular designs. The aisle-containment structure is increasingly popular because it meets all of these goals by providing an infrastructure that’s easily expandable and rapidly deployable.
- Sustainable infrastructure. Data center colocation services help businesses reach their full potential by not only providing cost savings but also sustaining and providing an excellent business infrastructure. Colocation offers power access, delivery and efficiency. It gives you the best solution for power, connectivity, bandwidth and latency. Colocation facilities focus on the data center and network services, so your company can focus on the bottom line.
- Security. Colocation providers have the necessary resources to maintain high security—more so than a company. They continuously upgrade their facilities to ensure all tenants’ data is protected and secure through personnel monitoring, physical-attack prevention, and fire detection and control.
- Cost. The two major points of cost efficiency are capital expenses and operational expenses. With colocation, a business needn’t worry about purchasing land, hiring a contractor, handling deployment latency, managing security, or delivering and managing power in the building. The cost to expand a date center can be steep, which is why many businesses opt for colocation.
The cost benefits of colocation enable companies to not only expand but save money while doing so. Because colocation is a multitenant arrangement, other companies help distribute the cost to by “sharing” space. Doing so also allows a colocation customer to afford proper security and protect its data. Colocation drives cost down while maximizing a business’s potential. Businesses are doing more than renting space—they’re gaining access to year-round staff and state-of-the-art infrastructure that allows them to manage their data from a screen.
Whether big or small, any business can reap the benefits of colocation. This approach allows companies to connect globally, instantly and securely, all at minimal cost.
About the Author
As the director of engineering for DAMAC, Erich Hamilton provides support for accounts from the ground up. From concept and design to troubleshooting and marketing, he’s the cornerstone for all things racks and containment. After graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in mechanical engineering, Erich worked as a design engineer for Northrop Grumman, overseeing various contracts. When he’s not developing innovative designs for DAMAC, he spends his time hiking California trails, doing yoga and enjoying great vegetarian meals.