Data center colocation plays a strategic role in modern IT operations. For many companies, it presents an attractive alternative to building and maintaining a sizeable data center.
Housing servers and network equipment off-site does offer companies a number of benefits, but the picture isn’t as simple as black and white. Before you commit to colocation, here are a few things to consider:
Data center colocation allows you to…
– Eliminate the up-front costs associated with building your own data center,
– Deploy IT infrastructure based on your company’s current network requirements with less impact to your budget, and
– Relocate the company without subjecting your network to downtime or other interruptions.
Data center colocation becomes a less attractive option when…
– The overall space and load requirements are substantial,
– Your data center requires intensive management, and
– Physical security is a major concern for your company.
Data center colocation providers can charge based on a number of requirements, including total physical space, amount of bandwidth, amount of UPS protection, quantity and type of power distribution, and the degree of physical security needed. That’s in addition to the cost of other managed services that take the place of your in-house staffing and tools. It’s easy to see how the costs can add up if your data center is high-maintenance in one or more of these areas.
Colocation is not a one-size-fits-all solution for data centers. Much like choosing between buying your own house versus renting an apartment, the decision to maintain your own data center or hire a colocation provider should be weighed based on your company’s present and future needs. Companies often benefit from colocation in the short term, but the option to house servers and network equipment off-site needs to be evaluated based on your big picture.