A powerful and flexible IT infrastructure is vital for the continuity of a modern organization. The availability and security of data should be a given. The largest data consumers (think of giants like Google and Facebook) therefore build their own data centers, but for most organizations, this is a step too far, making colocation an attractive alternative. With colocation, you stay in control and don't have to worry about challenges such as:
- Limited space to place your own servers
- Strong need for high-quality connectivity
- Securing your server rooms
- Storage of a growing amount of data
But what exactly is colocation? And what are the key benefits of this service? You'll read about it in this article
What is colocation?
With a colocation solution, your own servers and network equipment are placed in one or more server cabinets (racks) in a data center. This equipment remains the property of your organization, and you are responsible for the functioning of the hardware and software. In exchange for a monthly fee, you can use a reliable network connection, cabinet space, power, and other facilities such as cooling. The amount of space (rackspace) a company rents depends on the digital needs of the organization. Rackspace is usually expressed in rack units (U).
In colocation, you can choose from the following options:
- Rackspace: Ideal for organizations that do not have a large server. You rent a rack consisting of 47 rack units (U), or half a rack (20 U), or a quarter rack (10 U).
- Need more space? Then you opt for a private corridor, suite, or cage. These contain multiple racks and provide ample space for large IT infrastructures and optimal privacy.
- A twin-data center solution: This means that you place your IT infrastructure in two geographically separated locations. This reduces the risk of downtime, while you also benefit from continuous backups and synchronous data replication.
The benefits of colocation
Colocation offers significant benefits for many companies, both in terms of reliability and cost. We will outline the 7 key benefits for you.
1. High reliability
The IT network is the backbone of every modern enterprise. Without well-functioning applications and IT systems, business processes are disrupted, and you cannot provide customers with the quality and level of service they desire. Employees also cannot progress without a reliable IT infrastructure.
By opting for colocation, you choose exceptionally high reliability. Colocation data centers are typically designed with redundancy in mind. This means backup power generators, excellent physical security (monitored 24/7 and accessible only to authorized personnel), multiple network connections, and redundant cooling systems are in place. This ensures a level of reliability that you can never achieve in-house. The risk of data loss or prolonged downtime due to factors such as power outages, security risks, poorly managed equipment, or natural disasters is significantly reduced.
2. Cost savings
Colocation also creates room for cost savings. Unless your equipment requires an enormous amount of space, the costs of using a colocation option will be lower than fully managing the IT infrastructure yourself. Setting up an entire department for this purpose is expensive, both in terms of personnel and technology and power costs.
Also, do not forget that the costs for security and redundant facilities in colocation are part of the fixed price you pay to the hosting provider. When internally hosting your server landscape, these costs are in addition to the amounts you spend on extra staff and technical maintainance.
Colocation also helps increase your uptime and assurance. Consider, for example, unpredictable costs. For colocation, you pay a fixed amount per month, allowing you to predict very accurately what you are spending on managing your IT infrastructure. You eliminate unpredictable factors such as hiring extra security personnel, costly equipment maintenance, office migration, or power outages.
4. Geographical flexibility
The location of a data center is also important. For example, there are regulations that prescribe that certain data may only be stored in a data center on Dutch or European soil. In addition, many organizations feel more comfortable when their data is close to home and users. With colocation, you can usually choose the location of the data center yourself, keeping the distance between the data center and the user to a minimum.
Is your company growing rapidly? Then the need for additional resources and server space naturally increases. An important advantage of colocation is that in such a case, you can quickly and easily add servers and supporting equipment. If all equipment is in your own server cabinet, it is usually much more difficult and expensive to expand rapidly.
6. Physical data center and equipment ownership
Colocation means renting a secure space in a physical data center, including power, cooling, and connectivity. At the same time, you retain full ownership of your equipment. This also applies to the physical maintenance of the hardware. This ownership aspect is extremely important for organizations like municipalities and healthcare institutions. They work with a lot of sensitive information and are bound by strict rules regarding data and privacy protection.
7. Support and peace of mind
Colocation also provides a level of support and peace of mind. You can rest assured that your IT infrastructure is in the hands of certified experts with ample technical expertise. 24/7 support is part of the service, ensuring that your people do not have to deal with technical side issues. They can focus entirely on their core tasks
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