Posted by Matt Edgley on 13-May-2014 06:00:00

The benefits of colocation within a specialist data centre (part 2)

This is the part 2 of a 2-part blog post. To read part 1, click here.

The benefits of colocation within a specialist data centre (part 2)

It’s only natural that business owners find the thought of moving mission critical data and resources to an off-site data centre facility pretty daunting initially, and a hard decision to make. Handing your integral systems and information a third party data centre – however specialist – isn’t a decision to be taken lightly.

However, making the move to a data centre based ‘colocation’ service doesn’t have to be a scary experience. When done correctly and in conjunction with the right data centre partner, the transition to colocation can be made in a smooth and efficient manner resulting in performance, reliability and service advantages that only serve to enhance your brand reputation, online performance and competitive advantage.

In this two part series (part 1 of which can be found here), we at TeleData have summarised some of the main benefits that you can expect when moving to a colocated service that is hosted and protected by a specialist data centre provider.

(Recommended reading: The service provider's guide to choosing a data centre)

6. Maximum security

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The SIA-approved 24-hour security team hard at work within Teledata's control centre.

Colocating your server equipment within a high quality data centre brings huge physical security advantages.  Your equipment will be located within a shared environment – i.e. other organisations host within the same data centre too – but as physical security is one of the key considerations and investment areas for all data centre providers your equipment should be protected by 24/7 manned security guarding, extensive CCTV systems and tight access control procedures.  When visitors arrive at a data centre they generally need to present Photographic ID and in many cases enrol on advanced biometric systems, such as iris scanners, which then work to control and restrict access to authorised areas for each visitor.  All movement is audited, controlled and visually recorded.  In most cases this level of security is unthinkable within a private server room, and insurers will usually reward you with a lower premium.

7. Network reliability and choice

Datacentres are the very backbone of the world’s internet.  By locating your equipment within a data centre you are choosing to be where major networks originate from and come together.  Network providers choose to colocate their own equipment for the very same reasons that other organisations do – for stability, security, performance and reliability.  Rather than being on an extended line into your office, colocation will offer you the immediate advantages that come from your servers being only feet away from a host of network operators – these being choice, cost savings, capacity, scalability and overall performance.

8. Integrated support

On-site technical support teams at your chosen data centre should be included within your colocation contract – you’ll get a highly trained technical team on-site and available 24/7/365 working as an extension to your own support team.  Your own resources can be utilised elsewhere whilst the dedicated data centre support team are always there in case of any emergency.

Support services are a key deliverable for any data centre.  A good colocation data centre operator will see the value in providing excellent support levels to ensure clients stay for the long term.  No matter what time of day you contact the data centre there should always be a technician available to talk to and carry out work for you – with quicker response and at less cost than sending out your own technical resources

9. Increased performance

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Whatever you are delivering from your server equipment, whether that be internal data, webpages, applications, downloads or databases, you will benefit from immediate performance increases.  Depending on the nature of your core services, performance can be measured in many ways – for example, by uptime statistics, speed of delivery, concurrent user capability, capacity or response times.  Colocation services within a high quality data centre will improve and maximise all of the above and minimise factors which would usually have an adverse effect on these performance indicators.  Your reputation will increase and your brand will grow stronger as a result.

10. Scalability and room for growth

Trying to plan your infrastructure for unknown levels of future growth within an in-house data centre is extremely difficult due to a range of physical limitations such as available power, cooling and network capacity.  Data centres are purpose built for scale and colocation facilities possess huge amounts of reserved power for their long term use from the national grid.  All infrastructure components will be future proofed to make the most of every ounce of power, cooling and other technical infrastructure that is available to you as your requirements increase.

11. Expert management

Running an in house data centre can be a real task to manage and maintain effectively.  A specialist data centre will be managed by a team of experts with advanced monitoring tools alerting key individuals to any environmental or technical factors that may need attention.  Such monitoring and management processes identify problems before they occur enabling resolution before the event.  Monitoring to this level or standard is rarely in place within on-site data centres and you usually find out when something has gone wrong when your equipment is offline and things have already gone wrong.

Data centres take effective management and downtime mitigation extremely seriously due to the financial penalties then can suffer in the event of any outages.  Stringent SLAs guaranteeing the availability of services keep the colocation service operators working for you around the clock.

Thinking of changing colocation providers this year but not sure of what to look for? We offer helpful advice in discerning the good data centres from the bad in our free comprehensive guide.

FREE download: The service provider's guide to choosing a data centre >

FREE whitepaper: The service provider's guide to choosing a data centre

Topics: colocation

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