As the role of data grows in shaping customer experiences, employee satisfaction, and productivity advances, many companies like yours are faced with decisions about how to manage data center concerns. Should you expand your on-site data center, or is it time to consider another option like colocation?
What is colocation?
Colocation is the housing of IT equipment in a center owned by a third party. You choose the colocation center, then set up your servers and other infrastructure inside the center. When you use colocation, you’re still responsible for buying, deploying and maintaining the infrastructure, though some colocation providers may offer managed services for one or all of these elements.
The colocation center provides the physical space, physical security and keeps power flowing.
Isn’t this the same as a cloud data center?
Colocation is different than housing data in the cloud, where workloads are housed in provider-owned infrastructure.
What are the benefits?
There are many reasons why companies choose colocation, though every situation is unique. Here are four reasons you may want to consider it:
Scalability: With data in a seemingly ever-expanding trajectory, colocation offers an alternative to physical expansion of your data center. Expansion is left up to the colocation center, while you simply pay for what you need.
Lessen Your IT Load: IT teams are freed up from some of their maintenance responsibilities with colocation because the physical space, as well as powering it and providing physical security, is no longer handled in-house.
Lower Costs: This is often the first reason that companies begin to discuss the possibility of using a colocation center. Rather than developing a plan for a multi-million-dollar facility and the securing of capital funds, a colocation center can be categorized as an operating expense.
Geographical Flexibility: Choosing a colocation center allows you location flexibility that may be necessary for compliance concerns or if you need to reduce latency in certain settings. It also serves as a way to bolster business continuity, with the ability to prevent a single natural disaster from shutting down operations.
Any discussion of the benefits of a technology decision merits a balanced approach, so here are three reasons you might be reluctant to implement a colocation strategy:
- Control – There are limitations to how much control you will have over aspects like networking and power, though you retain more control than you would have in a public cloud environment.
- Access – The challenge of geographically dispersed colocation centers comes into play when it is time to send your employees to set up or manage your servers. You’ll also be required to operate within the colocation center’s hours and physical security structure.
- Migration – Migrating to a colocation center is no easy task and could require a time investment of months or even years. It requires a lot of planning and dedicated personnel.
Deciding between a data center, public cloud, and a colocation center may lead you to some complex considerations. At eXemplify, we specialize in assisting companies like yours in prioritizing the most pressing needs of your organization and leveraging the best technology to support them. Contact us to get started.