With the daily integration of information technology in almost every business, it is clear that IT is more important than ever. This IT equipment requires a substantial amount of money and energy investment.
As colocation becomes more popular, it has become increasingly affordable for small-sized firms to benefit from the same infrastructure amenities as large-scale firms. In many cases, private data centers have become a thing of the past even for larger businesses. They are only affordable by those enterprises that have vast amount of capital resources. Some enterprises with large-scale IT investment budgets look towards building data center facilities. Others now resort to employing colocation vendors for their IT needs.
Colocation versus In-House Data Centers
A colocation center differs from an in-house data center in terms of its business model. An in-house data center is solely owned by a single company and is used to house its own IT equipment. On the other hand, a colocation facility houses the equipment of a number of different companies. These companies all share the costs of energy and bandwidth costs, as well as the physical area where servers are stored.
A data center is limited in its capability of providing server space. A data center also requires considerable investment for setting up and daily operational costs for colocation. Colocation facilities do not require any initial investment, minus the cost of the companies IT equipment. They charge their clients for the server space that they provide, as well as the other features that they offer such as security, cooling and 24x7 supply of power. Therefore, companies are saved the considerable cost of setting up and managing an entire facility on a daily basis.
Energy Use and Colocation
However, rising energy costs have also forced colocation providers to rethink their fee structure. Since a number of companies utilize a single colocation facility, the amount of energy being utilized is quite large. However, the impact of rising energy costs is reflected mostly onto the clients through increasingly higher fees.
This is why leading colocation vendors are now concentrating upon lessening their energy utilization with a variety of tactics. The single most energy-hungry feature of a colocation facility is its cooling system. Servers and other similar types of equipment produce a lot of heat. Heat can damage IT equipment causing it to malfunction. Consequently, the temperature within a server room needs to be monitored and regulated. For optimal performance, it is necessary to siphon out waste heat from within the server room.
Colocation facilities feature extremely sophisticated cooling systems. A conventional temperature regulating infrastructure includes rear door heat exchangers, chimneys and cooling fans.
There are different types of cooling setups. Some systems require a lot of energy because they are mainly dependent upon air conditioning units. However, there are some systems that make use of convection currents and other similar arrangement-based advantages. These systems are more efficient in terms of cooling, as well as energy consumption. In addition, other facilities are requiring the use of more energy efficient and cooler-running servers.
Consequently, quality colocation facilities make use of cooling systems that are high on the performance and low on power consumption.