Colocation is a service in which the client's network equipment is located in a third-party data center.
What is it?
Recently, cloud hosting draws more and more press attention. One can easily suggest that everything will be in the cloud soon. The prospect of lower costs and high elasticity is attracting a lot of companies. But is it really the best choice?
Statistically, a lot of organizations still do not want to move everything into the cloud, especially small and medium-sized businesses. In fact, most companies continue to locate their servers on their own sites. While this can be convenient, self-hosting is usually very expensive and quite risky. Every year more and more companies understand that something needs to be done about it. This is where colocation comes in.
Colocation is the placement of private servers and network equipment in a third-party data center. Instead of placing and maintaining servers in part of the organization's own infrastructure, it is possible to place equipment by renting space in a special data center.
Why and who needs it?
Colocation has many advantages, such as:
- Great for businesses looking for complete control over their equipment. Companies can maintain their equipment in the same way as if they were installing it at their own sites.
- This is a shared object. In colocation, the costs of electricity, cooling, communications and data center space are shared among tenants. This is significantly cheaper than building your own data center.
- It removes the limitations of existing data centers. Instead of building a new data center, enterprises can simply use space in a commercial data center.
- Can provide higher bandwidth. Placing equipment in such centers gives companies access to higher levels of bandwidth than conventional server hosting at a much lower cost.
- It is more reliable. Data centers designed for colocation are more reliable. They provide better protection against power outages with multiple data backups and provide network capabilities with lower latency.
- It is safer. Such centers apply more stringent measures to protect data, such as video surveillance monitoring, hired security, fire detection and extinguishing systems.
The conclusion suggests itself: colocation is one of the most convenient ways to host servers. It can be suitable for any company, regardless of its size.
How to choose a provider?
In order to choose a good service provider, you should keep in mind the following factors, be sure to clarify them before signing the contract:
Electricity is what most people pay attention to when choosing a data center. Unfortunately, this question requires little more than just finding the supplier that will supply you with the most electricity.
Energy can be included in server hosting rates in several ways. For example, if you have a large enough company with a large number of servers, you can only pay for the amount of power consumed plus a surcharge.
After electricity, uptime is the next factor people don't hesitate to ask about. However, there are ways to provide you with a number that looks better than it actually is.
For example, some vendors will have scheduled downtime at regular intervals. Since this is scheduled, this does not count as a shutdown, even if you cannot access your data and applications. The best data centers will have 100% uptime specified in all contracts.
Server racks require a very specific environment to operate. They generate a huge amount of heat that must be removed and constantly replaced with cold air to keep the machines from overheating. And then there is the threat of power outages, floods, fires. Even something as small as a mouse can be disastrous if it chews through the wrong cables.
Building a data center is not an easy task. Ask your supplier how they plan to avoid the pitfalls and what they are doing to keep your business from being hit by a disaster of any magnitude.
You might want to focus only on the hard numbers, but while support is more difficult to qualify, it can be critical to your data center experience. This is where the big savings can come from – the right colocation hosting services will provide you with things like having electricians on site, and the like.
The point of going to the data center is so that you don't have to do everything yourself. Focusing on support ensures that you get the level of attention and knowledge you need that you can't get anywhere else.
It is also worth mentioning Remote Hands – this is a service in which the client gets the opportunity to entrust any tasks to the data center specialists. It may be included in the colocation price, or it may not be included and is sold by the hour.