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The Basics of Data Center Colocation

Published on 25 November 14
The Basics of Data Center Colocation - Image 1
When considering colocation for your data infrastructure, there are some basic aspects that you should be aware of as you decide whether to colocate your servers or keep the servers in-house.

How long can your business be down?
For some businesses who just need to find a place to host their backup and archival data, downtime isnât as critical as someone who is running their primary site and applications who absolutely cannot tolerate downtime. So the driving force behind colocation is the basic requirement of uninterrupted uptime.

Can you do it all yourself?
Another driving force behind colocation is the cost of hiring someone to manage your data infrastructure versus simply outsourcing your servers to a data center provider who offers managed services. You can save more money by letting someone else manage your servers than by paying for someone to do it in-house.

Are you likely to have a natural disaster shut your business down?
Some people live in high disaster risk areas, where itâs common to have hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, severe weather and earthquakes. If youâre hosting your servers in your office in a high disaster risk region, then youâre setting yourself up for downtime. Geographies like Salt Lake City, Las Vegas and Phoenix have very low disaster risk profiles, and hosting your servers in a colocation data center in those areas would give you the best chance of avoiding downtime due to a natural disaster.

How expensive is your power?
Colocation in California is expensive mainly due to the high cost of power. Itâs a fixed cost, and purchasing directly from the local utility company will guarantee that youâre paying far more than you would if you hosted your servers in a multi-tenant colocation facility in a state that is a net exporter of power. For this reason, you see companies in California hosting their data infrastructure in nearby Utah.

Can you provide a proper operating environment for your servers?
Many small businesses and startups have a server that they simply host in their closet or a room in their back offices. While it may work fine for one server, what about 5 servers? Can your air conditioning handle the heat that those servers are going to put out? A colocation data center facility operates in a temperature window for optimal server performance, and conditions the air in a way that ensures that it stays within that ASHRAE window.

How connected are your servers?
While downtime can happen in a number of ways, the primary way is when your internet connection goes down. Do you have a backup connection? Probably not. Everything else could be operating well, while your business is down because a backhoe dug up the fiber line outside your building. Colocation in a data center facility ensures that you have access to multiple Internet providers. Some data centers offer a blended BGP solution which gives you the fastest path between 4 Internet carriers, ensuring redundancy and fast connectivity from your servers to your customers.

Most people donât fully understand the advantages of colocation until they have a critical outage where they lose customers or potential sales revenue. Others donât realize the cost-savings of colocation until they are forced to find ways to cut costs in their IT budget. Whatever the reason may be, it is far safer, cheaper and smarter to choose colocation over hosting in house. With colocation, everybody wins.
This blog is listed under Data Centre Management Community

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