Posted by Matt Edgley on 25-Feb-2014 06:00:00

The benefits of colocation within a specialist data centre (part 1)

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

The benefits of colocation within a specialist data centre (part 1)

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 to 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 the market for a new colocation facility? Download the service provider's  guide to choosing a data centre.)

In this two part series, 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….

1. Internal confidence

Utilising a purpose-built data centre facility allows you to immediately gain valuable confidence that your IT estate is stable, secure and protected against factors which could otherwise cause potentially catastrophic downtime. The economies of scale on offer within a large scale data centre mean that you benefit from the very highest quality technical infrastructure—infrastructure that would usually prove cost-prohibitive within private, in-house data centres or server rooms.

By making the move, you and your business can finally rest easy that any possible outage caused by power cuts, floods, cooling failures or security breaches are mitigated against—enabling you to focus on your core business in complete confidence, without the constant worry and inconvenience of 2am fault finding visits to your on-site server room.

2. External confidence

Colocating your server and telecommunications equipment within a purpose built and expertly managed data centre delivers confidence to the range of stakeholders that are hugely important to your organisation.

Depending on the services being delivered from your equipment these will include existing and potential customers, insurers, investors, employees, and the wider public.

External perception is key to the success of your business and so safeguarding the stability and efficiency of your technology and online presence by putting your technical foundations within a data centre will prove that you are doing things in the right way. Once the move is made, make sure people know you have done it and make the most of the benefits that will follow.

3. Maintain complete control

Colocation is not the only IT outsourcing option available to businesses today. You can go down the cloud computing route, take virtual servers, managed servers or go with a comprehensive managed service. The difference with colocation is that it’s the only outsourcing model where you maintain absolute control over your critical IT systems—from the applications used through to network choice and the servers installed.

You have complete ownership of your assets and the colocation provider is not looking to replace your entire IT department. With colocation you can choose the data centre yourself, actually touch your equipment and be comfortable with the data centre in which it’s hosted. From a security point of view this can be invaluable, especially if you have to achieve particular security standards such as ISO27001 or PCI DSS and care about where your data is actually being held.

4. Cost savings

At first glance, outsourcing your data centre can appear a costly exercise, but in the long term there are real cost savings to be made in a range of areas that you may not have already considered. One immediate cost saving will be related to the time and cost of on-site technical resources that can be reduced straight away, if not completely removed.

Set monthly colocation costs, which generally include data centre support time, ensuring you have a grip on your monthly data centre expenditures from the outset. You will also make substantial savings on your internet connectivity by hosting your telecommunications equipment on the backbone of the internet—in the same location as your network provider’s core equipment.

Further to this, hosting your server equipment within an on-site data centre usually carries costs that are almost impossible to calculate and in many cases not actually considered as a ‘data centre’ cost—such as very high power bills due to inefficient cooling technology and unmeasured energy losses. Moving equipment to a colocation data centre immediately removes these costs which are the responsibility of the data centre operator.

5. Power redundancy

Installing on-site power redundancy can be extremely costly and so can the serious consequences of losing power to your servers. Colocation data centres have all the power redundancy you need in place already, all you need to do is plug your servers in and they will be protected by state-of-the-art UPS infrastructure and diesel generator backup systems. Some of these systems have enough backup capacity to power an entire village for a number of days should mains power be lost.

In addition to capacity needed to protect your power, a quality data centre provider will also deploy a backup system to the backup system. This means that multiple failures can take place before your equipment is at risk of power loss. This redundancy will also extend to data centre cooling systems, so if one or more air-conditioning units are lost then there will be standby backup units to ensure equipment remains at the optimum operating temperature.

So there you have it, part 1 of benefits of colocation within a specialist data centre is concluded. Click here for part 2 to find out more about colocation and how it can help run a more efficient and successful business.

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Topics: colocation

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