Owning a data centre, even a small one, is like owning a home — you have to pay for everything and keep up with all the repairs. If you cut corners and fail to upgrade your equipment when necessary, you may put your enterprise at risk. For these reasons, many enterprises are choosing to house their data in a colocation facility. Server colocation also known as colo refers to the practice of an organization hiring space in a service provider’s data centre to store its servers and other computational hardware. Apart from the physical space in its data centre, the server colocation services provider is also responsible for server maintenance, bandwidth, cooling, power and security among other things.
Quality server providers will store your server at a dedicated facility with all the right and proper rack, cage or cabinet, regulated power to generate the right temperature and environment along with high speed internet and extended levels of security.
At the core, colocation is the markets response to the enormous capital required to provide high quality, reliable environments for critical communications equipment. By spreading the costs across multiple organizations everyone gets more for less. There are many issues involved in designing, building and operating a co-location facility. These issues need to be addressed so that you can select the right server colocation services providers and leverage the maximum out of their data centre services with minimum of cost and complexity.
Some of the advantages of hiring the services of a quality server colocation services provider are as following:
As mentioned above, managing and running a data centre is not the easiest of tasks. There are a lot of complexities involved and a large majority of organizations are not equipped to handle the job well. Managing and maintaining a data centre is beyond the expertise and core competency of most businesses. Colocation allows them to concentrate on their business and their customers and not their data centre.
Colocation and its related services offer flexibility, so you can scale your IT environment to align with the business over the contract duration. Quality server colocation services providers no longer are responsible for housing the servers and providing power, space and cooling. They are expected to go beyond that and provide complete data canter solution through their sophisticated, protected and well-maintained data centres.
Security is another issue that compels many organizations to opt for colocation services. Many security issues are becoming standard and are no longer confined to organizations operating in finance and healthcare industry. Colocation enables an organization to meet stringent third-party audits as data centres offer much better physical security than private-owned facilities.
Having understood the basics of colocation and the various advantages associated with it, we shall now look at all those important factors that will help us in right selection of server colocation services providers.
It can be useful to select a colocation facility that is close to your office. The farther you are from your data centre, the greater your networking costs.However, quality server colocation services providers of repute allow you free remote hands support that eliminates the need for personally visiting the data centre for minor tasks like inserting a disk in drive, server reboots, screen reads, etc. Choosing a data centre that is close to home makes it easy to respond to issues.
Pay Attention to the Service Provider’s Reputation and Experience
It is given that you will want to look closely at the server colocation services providers experience as well as reputation before making a final deal with them. Colocation provider’s reputation for quality and reliable service, as well as how long they’ve been at it could be a fair indicator of how well they can take care of your colocation needs. You’ll want to consider all aspects of their reputation: service, support, reliability, stability, commitment. Don’t be afraid to ask for references – if they are unwilling to give any, consider that to be a sign.
Degree of Physical Security Provided
Ideally, you should have multiple levels of physical security both inside and outside the data centre. Before you hire the services of a server colocation services provider, ask what perimeter and external areas are covered by camera. Also understand vendor security procedures and if you can add your own security cameras within their space.