Factors to Consider When Deciding on Colocation
Taking IT infrastructure to the next level.
Whether an organization starts out with a modest, on-premises IT infrastructure or uses a public cloud provider to meet its data and networking needs, it will eventually reach a point where that solution is no longer viable. Perhaps it’s time to increase capacity to roll out new services, or maybe you want to step up your big data analysis by incorporating advanced analytics into your business planning.
Whatever the case may be, any company facing questions about the best way to scale IT operations needs to decide whether it wants to build out new on-premises infrastructure or turn to a colocation provider. Today’s colocation data centers offer a wide range of services that can greatly benefit businesses looking to take their IT infrastructure to the next level.
Costs and Efficiency
Building and operating a private, on-premises data center solution is a substantial investment for an organization. Setting aside the costs of obtaining the property where the facility is located, building out the structure for a data center can cost up to $200 per square foot. But that’s not it; once basic construction is complete, there are other cost factors to consider. Fire suppression systems need to be put in place, and, in addition to basic electrical wiring, fiber optic must be laid down to provide internet connectivity and network access. That’s not to mention the upfront cost of the cooling system needed to maintain an optimal environment for the data floor, which, while you’re tabulating expenses, could eventually consume about 40% of your annual energy costs. Once these initial capital expenses are addressed, the ongoing needs of staffing the facility and maintaining the equipment and infrastructure must be met.
By placing servers in a colocation facility, you can convert these upfront capital expenses into much more manageable operating expenses. Rather than taking on the burden of building and managing a facility on a day-to-day basis, colocation customers can, instead, rent space and pay only for the power and connectivity they need. Overall energy costs also tend to be lower in colocation data centers because they are more energy efficient than a typical private facility. Whether due to inefficient cooling infrastructure or poor server utilization, private data centers often consume huge amounts of power without a corresponding improvement in performance. Energy-efficient colocation facilities keep these costs under control to ensure customers aren’t paying for more power than they’re actually using.
Redundancy and Reliability
A backup or disaster-mitigation strategy is essential to ensuring business continuity. Losing access to data or mission critical applications is a nightmare scenario that can have catastrophic consequences for any organization. Whether due to equipment failure, human error, or a natural disaster, a downtime event of any kind can cost your company dearly in terms of lost revenue, missed opportunities, and brand damage. By utilizing a colocation data center as a backup solution, you can preserve your lifeline services and data availability.
Delivering high levels of uptime reliability can be a major challenge for data centers that lack dedicated operations staff and intelligent monitoring resources. With 24x7x365 on-site remote hands support, colocation providers can help their customers address problems faster to minimize downtime. These facilities are also able to deploy data center infrastructure management (DCIM) platforms that provide unprecedented transparency into power and bandwidth usage, allowing customers to further refine their deployments to ensure reliable and efficient performance.
Connectivity and Scalability
While there’s no question that cloud services are here to stay, it’s also true that fewer and fewer companies are entrusting their entire data infrastructures to public cloud providers. Between security concerns and the justifiable worries about vendor lock-in, it’s not surprising that more organizations are turning to hybrid cloud architecture, which incorporates distinct public and private cloud networks into a singular deployment. Building a private cloud network within an on-premises data solution might seem like the easiest and most secure choice, but it creates limitations in terms of connectivity. Gaining access to the public cloud platforms your business relies upon to deliver services as part of a hybrid cloud architecture is often difficult and expensive, making it difficult for your business to scale effectively when the time comes.
The interconnection marketplace of a carrier-neutral colocation facility offers all the hybrid cloud deployment options you could ever need. By placing your servers within such a data center, you can leverage cross-connections to build highly secure hybrid cloud environments that connect your private cloud network to the expansive public platforms you already rely on. This arrangement allows you to maintain control and visibility over your assets while ensuring secure, low-latency access to the services you need. When the time comes to grow, you can provision additional public cloud resources without having to upgrade your existing hardware.
Colocation can also help to enhance the performance of your network services. Speed is everything for today’s consumers. Whether you’re providing digital services or delivering content, you can’t afford to allow the latency imposed by geographic distance drive your customers to your competitors. Colocating assets in an edge data center located closer to end users can enhance IoT functionality and ensure faster network response. With edge computing architecture, you can overcome the challenges imposed by “last mile” connectivity to meet the demands of your customers.
Security and Compliance
Data security is a sensitive topic in today’s IT world, especially with the proliferation of IoT devices, the popularity of cloud computing, and the expansion of edge computing architecture. With so many devices coming in and out of the office, safely securing physical IT assets has become more difficult as well. Given the high costs of a data breach, organizations can’t afford to take chances when it comes to security. The same goes for compliance standards that stipulate what processes and protections need to be in place to safeguard various forms of data. A single oversight can result in expensive fines and embarrassing headlines.
Quality colocation providers build security and compliance needs into both their infrastructure and data center operations. Secure perimeters and multifactor authentication, which often incorporates the latest in biometric technology, ensure that no one can gain access to your hardware and data without your authorization. Frequent compliance audits are conducted to continually assess how well a facility adheres to industry standards regarding data security controls. With 24x7x365 on-site security and an experienced team dedicated to maintaining compliance status, a colocation data center can ease your mind when it comes to safeguarding your data and brand reputation.
Making the decision to colocate servers and other hardware with a data center is a big moment for an organization. It represents a transition from modest beginnings into a new era of growth and (hopefully) success. While companies were once constrained by the significant costs of building a private data center, today’s colocation providers give them access to a world of networking and infrastructure possibilities that were once available to only the largest enterprises. By finding the right colo partner, you can take the first step toward building the data solution you need for today and laying the foundation of where you want to be in the future.