Benefits of Colocation in a Global EconomyMay 17, 2016
The benefits of Colocation go beyond borders
At first glance, the relationship between a Data Center and a Colocation tenant is simple.
Colocation essentially means renting vs. owning a Data Center.
Just like an apartment building, owning a Data Center has costs for maintaining the building, energy, staff, insurance and security. Any company that relies on its data (which is nearly every company) and has their servers on premises is vulnerable. Even with backup, a lot can go wrong.
Colocation is a close independent relationship
In a colocation environment, the Data Center provides space, power, cooling and connectivity for your equipment. After that it’s up to you. You provide servers and racks. You manage those servers. You control what happens in your space. Once you “take the key,” the facility staff may never enter your caged space.
But colocation has come to mean much more than that in our global economy.
For companies with a global presence, collocating in a global network is essential to their business. Connectivity and speed are essential to media businesses like Netflix, financial institutions, social media content providers, retail and healthcare. Colocating in a network of Data Centers can provide faster connectivity from local facilities.
Not only that, colocating within a network of Data Centers can help businesses navigate the hurdles of doing business in unfamiliar countries. More on that to follow.
The difference between cloud and colocation
Cloud providers house their servers in Data Centers. They are of course, not actual clouds—those belong to Mother Nature. Cloud providers simply own and operate their banks of servers, housed in Data Centers, and sell space to companies for their applications. They are the subletters. Companies may utilize both Colocation and Cloud.
Benefits of Colocation
- Take advantage of more efficient connections through Peering exchanges located in Data Centers
- Data centers employ the highest bandwidth speeds possible
- A global Colocation network can give you faster content delivery from your local Data Center
- The provider can navigate you through local requirements and customs
- Access to global IP backbones
- More predictable operational costs with a fixed Service Agreement (SLA)
- You only pay for your equipment, not the whole Data Center
- Take advantage of volume and package pricing
- No need to hire staff: security, engineers, and facilities managers
- No maintenance costs. It’s included in your SLA
Learn more about the quiet evolution of the Data Center
Increased power and redundancy
- Your Network is more redundant with dual power feeds, multiple power connections
- A detailed and frequently tested Disaster Recovery plan is in place
- Link to standards article
- Have a choice of connectivity options with a carrier-neutral Colocation provider
- Scale to need with a pay as you go model
- Use is not always predictable
- You won’t pay for space you are not using
- No need to hire/fire staff as business grows or slows
Reliability and Uptime
- Tier 3 and Tier 4 Data centers have the greatest uptime possible
- Disaster Recovery plans are in place and frequently tested and reviewed to ensure stability
Read more about identifying Data Center Tier levels
24/7 local support
- Have access to your equipment
- Can use remote hands provided by experienced engineers
- Rigid standards are employed
- Continually monitored
- 24/7 monitoring and support are typically included in service plans
Advantages of a global Colocation provider
Jumping the hurdles of doing business outside of your geography is easier when you can see them. Geo-fencing issues are minimized by the inherent knowledge of local Colocation Center staff. They are familiar with the challenges of getting started in new markets. Their expertise addresses things like:
- Information privacy mandates
- Language capabilities
- Regulations and restrictions
- Key players in your local area
Read more about doing business in China: Taming the Dragon
And like working with your domestic Colocation provider, assistance is a phone call away. Their experts can mirror anything in your first setup with all necessary tweaks.
Cloud definitely has its benefits, but so does Colocation.
It’s not an all or nothing proposition. An experienced Colocation team can advise you on which of your applications can go to the Cloud, and which should be proprietary based on your individual needs and business goals. The move to cloud will not spell the end of Data Centers.
Why own when you can rent?