Colocation refers to the professional data center facility in which a business can rent space for servers and other computing hardware. Generally, it provides building, cooling, power, bandwidth, lower latency, specialist services and systems, constant security and a whole host of additional advantages. It maintains flexibility and control of owning server reduce risk and minimize capital & operating costs incurred when hosting in-house. As technology has become a part of human life as well as for industry.
Colocation: A Flexible Solution
Colocation service provides a cost-effective way of hosting securely your mission-critical IT infrastructure with providing reliable and flexible Internet access for Internet or Intranet services. With colocation customer can own the server and rent required physical space to house it within a data center. Space is divided as in racks and cabinets. A rack is a horizontally standardized frame for mounting equipment and hardware. A rack is measured in rack units (U) where one rack unit is 1.75 inches. A 47U is often called a cabinet.
Housing hardware gives access to higher levels of bandwidth than normal office server room and at a much lower cost. Colocation allows customers to benefit from economies of scale which would not be available with an in-house option. Flexibility is a major element in colocation which allows clients to personalize their plans that which aspect will fulfill their particular requirement.
Some Key Points to Assess Before Collocating
At some point, probably you think how much energy you want to rent a data center. Maybe hiring an off-premise facility to house your data center just makes more sense. That’s all that colocation required. So how do start the colocation options? We have following essential tools to help you
1) Know why you’re Colocating
There is a lot of reason, but you probably have a limited number of items that design your enterprise.
- Cost saving by eliminating the onsite facility
- Availability, reliability, and enhancements
- Improved disaster recovery
- The efficient process to reach regulatory compliance
- Add flexibility for future growth
- Improved security.
Once you get to know about the collection of pertinent data, specification on the current workload, costs, employee level, problems, and strength. Create a checklist about the present and feasible future components.
2) Location, Location, Colocation
Colocation is an extension of your workplace. You are responsible for what you are setting up, maintaining hardware and software. It means you have own IT team which will visit and schedule plan to deal with unanticipated emergencies. If you are maintaining single office it could be across the street or across the country.
Whatever the reasons, it is all about the colocation of your server. The best colocation providers offer locations to serve you present and as your business develops in future. You can expand your data center globally to mitigate risks of your current location. Risks will be like geological instability, power disaster or unequal network access.
3) Let’s Get Colocation Center
Now you get to know that what facilities you want for your colocation center. your checklist might include some highlights:
- Colocation look: it should be new, clean, solid and smooth- running and more attractive infrastructure.
- Your server executes by themselves most of time. Ideally, the colocation company’s internal staff is granted access only when and where necessary.
- Verify the infrastructure, with long and short-term backup power, cooling and the quality of power density for the facility’s potential capacity.
- How accessible is the facility for delivering and removing equipment? When you will do installation and upgrades. It will become hectic or painful processes at the time. An efficient shipping series, protected storage, and large elevators will increase team’s productivity when the time comes.
There is some more key point to be considered before locating your data center like:
- Colocation center must provide stability.
- They must fulfill the requirement of compliance and security because of nothing more important than company's private data.
- Disaster prevention and recovery are a great reason to colocate. Keep in mind that colocation center has planned for the worst and consider full remote mirroring to streamline disaster recovery.
- Customized Services should be served individually that can make your colocation implementation perfect and worthy.
- It should connect to multiple carrier networks at a facility with optimized connection points and excellent network management.
- You can be great on-ramp if you plan correctly. you want to move some of your data operations to the cloud, you can move for an efficient migration.
- Always take a key concern for expanding data center to help in business growth.
Since you wish to run your colocated center “hands off” then there is no substitute.
Here are some best colocation providers: Equinix, Hurricane Electric, Liquidweb, Peer1, PhoenixNap, Rackspace, Savvis, Singlehop, Softlayer and Verizon Terremark
Advantages of Colocation
- A great benefit of colocation is the cost of bandwidth.
- It has outage protection. Customers pay for power generators and backup power to protect against the power disaster.
- If a machine is too slow or doesn't have enough memory, it can simply upgrade the server. There is no need to wait for the provider to get around upgrading it.
- No need to rely on hosting provider to install the software or tools. Users can simply install software by themselves.
- Colocation providers include additional security for a server. Your machine is stored and maintained in a secured infrastructure.
- Most colocation offers a service where they will manage and maintain your server for an extra cost. This is useful if you don't have IT team or your office is located far from the provider.
Disadvantages of Colocation
As every factor has some merits and demerit list. So colocation has also some disadvantages:
- Colocation providers can be hard to find. It is very easy when one near to your home or office. But it becomes more difficult when you live in big city with large network hub then you won't find more colocation option.
- Colocation can be more expensive than basic Web hosting. You have to maintain and manage servers yourself, so when the server requires for updating, firstly you have to buy that hardware and install it.
- Physical access to your server would be difficult because you have to travel at your colocation provider's location if you move out from the area where you located your server. Either you move your servers to a new provider or leave them there as you contracted before.
Colocation Way to Go
Colocation is a good option for a small business who wants to get web presence but don't want to invest in the infrastructure, and at the same time want a dedicated web server. If you are maintaining a large company with high bandwidth requirement or looking for secure hosting solutions such as corporate mailing plans, application hosting, secured FTP access and other mission web server based solutions, a collocating server is the best option.