Colocation is not a new concept. It has been around for quite some time now. Slowly but steadily, it has been gathering steam among companies of all types and sizes. It is basically the practice of placing networking equipment and computing hardware at third party premises instead of keeping this all in-house.
This facility is quite unlike others where the client uses the server or the resources and server space provided by the host. In colocation, the server is owned by the client. It is just the physical space and some other basic amenities that are offered by the colocation provider.
In most cases, the client already has server and storage options, and the provider offers space/building, power, cooling equipment, and physical security. However, some intrepid providers have extended these offerings to the management of their customer’s business initiatives.
Benefits of Colocation
There are massive costs associated with expanding the in-house IT infrastructure. There’s always the risk of reliability and efficiency deficit, not to mention financial losses if the expansion fails to meet the expected outcomes.
To counter this scenario, more companies than before are moving their operations to free up valuable space and build up their budget. Usually, what happens is that companies that go in for colocation have the right resources, such as IT strategies, skills, and staffs, to create the best customized computing environments for their operations. Colocation, for them, is the best way to fine tune performance and manage expenses since they are able to control their server and network.
A professional data center has the best possible air filtration and cooling equipment. Most offices, try as hard as they can, would be unable to meet the hygiene and cooling standards set by colocation centers. Since the computing equipment works at peak performance in a dust-free and optimal temperature environment, it is a no-brainer that a data center would trump a normal office any day when it comes to performance issues.
Most colocation companies have tie-ups with multiple network providers. That ensures cost-effective and super-fast connection at all times, even when there’s overload or interruptions. In these competitive times, companies prefer to be connected with their customers all the time. This is where data centers or server colocation providers play a huge role in offering redundancy and optimal connectivity.
While companies can put in equipment, power, communications systems, etc. in-house to stay connected and online always, all of these would mean heavy expenses and headaches of buying, monitoring, and managing the paraphernalia. The main purpose of a colocation center is to provide all these and spare the client the associated hassles. Their constant monitoring and updates of equipment save the client from worrying about these mundane, yet vital, chores. This reliability is a huge plus for companies and that’s one of the biggest reasons they prefer to collocate their servers.
The main aim of most companies is growth. To meet that goal, they put in their strongest efforts. However, they require tremendous flexibility in terms of space and power. Colocation centers can provide them this flexibility and scalability as and when there is a requirement for the same. The best part is that they pay for additional resources only when they need them, and there is no scenario of having invested in resources already and having them lie around unused. Another factor that weighs in here is that all data centers employ experienced technicians and engineers to build and maintain the best infrastructure possible for the customer. And so, if the client desires to move to the next step, let’s say cloud computing, there’s a team at the ready to help them make the transition extremely smoothly.
Space is at a premium these days. And with so many other expenses demanding to be met, investing in more space to place computing equipment is something most companies would balk at. Colocation centers offer the perfect solution in this case since for a monthly rental, these companies can place their servers in a clean, cool environment where related services, such as round the clock physical safety, constant monitoring, and redundancy, are guaranteed. The companies can also save on the money they would have shelled out for maintaining 24/7 security of all their equipment.
Do as you might but disasters are something no one can control. Most data centers and colocation facilities are built in safe geographical locations. Also, they invest in the best quality safety measures, such as fire detection systems, fire extinguishers, manned physical security, lockable cabinets, biometric access, and others, so that their customer’s mission-critical data and the information is safe from prying eyes and natural or manmade disasters at all times. Some customers prefer to go in for disaster management plans, and some even go the extra mile to have these plans customized to meet their unique requirements. All these measures ensure that their operations continue unhindered even in times of calamities.
If the core IT team of any organization is swamped in routine server maintenance chores at all times, that would be quite counter-productive to its growth and development. If these necessary yet mundane tasks are taken over by the efficient teams of a data center or colocation facility, they can be free to concentrate on other, more beneficial tasks for the company. This move is quite advantageous for client companies and they save tremendously on manpower and efforts, and obviously time. Colocation centers allow customers to control the upkeep, maintenance, and configuration of their servers while taking full advantage of their infrastructure.
All these advantages help the customer benefit from economies of scale that are simply not possible as an in-house option. And that is the reason why there is such an exodus of companies from the hosting solutions industry to the colocation center field. Needless to say, this move has been truly beneficial in all ways, both for the companies and the colocation providers.