There are pros and cons to everything, and colocation is no exception. Though it may be a relatively new concept to the data center world, it definitely wasn’t born yesterday. Other industries have been building their business models around the idea of colocation for quite some time. Jason Bourg points this out on Page 7 in his article titled “Everything You Need To Know About Edge Colocation Is at the Airport.”
But, if you’re new to the concept, that’s OK — you’ve come to the right place. Basically, colocation, or colo, data centers allow companies to rent space to store their servers and other network hardware. The colo facility then provides everything else needed, including on-site services.
So, what’s so great about colocation? While it may not be the silver bullet solution, it does offer quite a few benefits. Some of these include:
Connectivity — Colocation facilities are designed to be fully redundant to ensure uninterrupted service for critical applications.
Security — Colocation facilities monitor their clients’ networks 24/7 to detect and prevent security breaches.
Reliable power — Because of their size, colocation facilities are able to employ a mix of reliable power sources to ensure maximum uptime.
Bursting capabilities — In a colo data center, data spikes get distributed across several users over time, which reduces the cost for each individual client compared to what they would pay to accommodate the same level of traffic in a private facility.
Flexibility — As the needs of your company or organization change, colocation facilities offer infrastructure that is able to change with it
Cost savings — Colo data centers offer costs savings to organizations both large and small. Beyond the fact that companies can save on the initial investment of building their own data center, they continue to realize savings by sharing power, increased bandwidth, and on-site security/IT. This allows small companies to gain the opportunity of working with a large IT department that they would otherwise not be able to support. Mid- to large-size companies have the luxury of being able to expand without the costs of additional space.
All of that sounds amazing, right? But, I did say there were cons … remember? But what are they? It really comes down to your particular company and what you’re looking to do. Some people live by the saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” With that being said, there is an initial cost to migrating to a colocation facility, so if avoiding upfront costs is your main initiative, it may not be for you. But it’s important to consider the ongoing cost savings mentioned earlier before deciding on a firm no. Additionally, colo facilities are usually located far from their clients’ headquarters, which can be a benefit when it comes to security, but it could be a drawback depending on your needs. And finally, one of the biggest concerns comes down to the fact that you need to find a colocation services provider that you trust and feel comfortable with.
That’s just a broad overview of colocation and what it means for the mission critical industry. But as you know, all the pages of this special supplement are dedicated to colocation. The authors of these articles are experts on the topic, and they have chosen to share their expertise with you in an effort to shed some light on the industry and how it is evolving today.
Though this supplement only comes once a year, colocation is here to stay.
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