If you’ve come across the term colocation before and weren’t quite sure what it is, then we’re here to help. Colocation is when you install your servers in a professionally managed, secure data centre rather than on your own premises. So instead of having to find space in your own building and handle the maintenance of your servers yourselves, you pay an external provider to do it for you.
Your servers are important because in today’s world, information is the main commodity and that information resides on servers. These servers require their own infrastructure including power, cooling, connectivity and security, all built with redundancies and back up. Colocation enables you to mitigate these costs by housing your servers in a facility that provides this infrastructure.
Businesses of all sizes use colocation for a variety of reasons, for example small businesses tend to use colocation to access the features of a large IT department but without the capital investment. Whereas a larger company may look to use colocation to expand their existing infrastructure capacity but without undertaking costly construction of or leasing of their own data centre facility.
If your company hasn’t yet explored whether colocation is right for you, we can get you started with what we think are the main business benefits below.
1. Improved Security
In the wake of the Travelex hacking scandal, the importance of data security and privacy is only set to increase. Customers are putting more and more pressure on companies to ensure their data is handled securely, meaning enhanced security is a major advantage when it comes to colocation.
Using colocation helps shift the security and compliance burden somewhat by using a provider with data security expertise. Of course it is always your responsibility to know exactly what is happening with your data but at a basic level a shared data centre will come with locked cabinets & alarms, next generation firewalls & encryption and multilayered protocols in terms of physical security. A quality colocation facility may also have policies and controls in place to meet a variety of compliance standards such as ISO 27001 and PCI DSS.
2. Increased Resilience
Your business relies on certain critical applications like your website and core business software systems being up and running and operating at peak performance. Plenty of things can happen in your server room to stop that from happening however, with things like simple power outages and even fire/floods keeping technicians up at night.
Uptime reliability is one of the major benefits of colocating especially if a data centre has a proven record of >99.999% uptime, which amounts to less than 3.15 seconds of downtime throughout the course of a year. This is because your servers are benefiting from a redundant power supply, additional backup sites to ensure your data can be restored in an emergency and better connectivity so your business critical applications always run uninterrupted.
3. Resource Allocation
When businesses reach a certain size you might expect that growing IT infrastructure is a necessary cost of being an expanding and successful business. With a lot of budget and resources being tied up in housing, managing and maintaining your servers. That’s budget and resource that in an ideal world you could release to re-invest in growth initiatives. The good news is colocation is a simple strategy to reduce those costs and free your business to grow, while still having the IT resources you need facilitate expansion.
Depending on how quickly your organisation’s networking needs grow you could find yourself having to scale servers and network services regularly or worse could invest in a data centre only to suddenly experience a decline in customer demand that forces network services to be scaled back. Leaving the company paying for space, power and cooling infrastructure it no longer needs.
With a colocation provider a company can establish service terms that allow it to scale services as needed. This flexibility allows colocation customers to make long-term plans without the risk of having to make substantial capital investments.
For many businesses today, colocation just makes sense. It provides the infrastructure and security of a dedicated data centre without the costs of maintaining such a facility on your own. Now you understand the benefits, your next step is finding the right provider for your business’ unique needs.
To find out more about our data centres and colocation services email email@example.com.