What Does Colocation Mean To Businesses?

Many companies are choosing to colocate their IT services these days; seen as the next natural step in the progressive technology driven world.  But what does colocation mean to businesses and why would they choose it for their business?

Where do Data Centres fit in?

Colocation, simply put, is an IT hosting mechanism for businesses. Colocation allows businesses to physically place their server machine in a dedicated data center alongside other businesses and share their bandwidth.

These state-of-the art data centers are filled with what is known as ‘rack space’ or cabinets – the amount of space that a server will take up at the colocation facility – and businesses can buy as much or as little rack space as they need for their equipment and pay accordingly.

The data center provides IP, bandwidth and power to the company’s server and once up and running they can access it much like they would access a website on a hosting provider, the difference is that the company owns the hardware.

How does a company benefit from colocation?

There are many reasons why a company would choose colocation, some which apply to all companies and some which are specific to individual needs.  We live in a society reliant on web-based services and applications and it is vital that ‘back end’ operations run like clockwork 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For a company to guarantee an ‘always on’ connectivity its servers must be hosted in a completely secure environment, which requires a lot of attention and can prove costly.

What type of company will benefit from Colocation ?

Take a small company for example. For the very small, their designated IT person is often someone who is ‘good with computers’ yet IT is not their primary role within the office.  While small, this company’s business may rely on a large web presence but it doesn’t have the capacity to deal with the expensive IT hardware and software to support it.

The next size up will probably have a qualified IT professional on board who is busy with day-to-day tasks within the office and the medium to large sized companies may have a team of IT staff who are already stretched to full capacity. No matter the size, all of these companies are already bursting at the seams and see the maintenance of servers as timely, costly and laborious.

Despite their differing requirements, all of these companies would benefit from colocation, which would free up time, save on costly equipment and ensure the always-on connectivity that businesses need today.  Colocation enables every company, big or small, to enjoy all the benefits of a large IT department without the extra costs.

What are the advantages to my business?

There are many advantages to colocation, one of which is bandwidth. Colocation effectively enables an upgrade of bandwidth speed often with less cost. A company receiving broadband directly into its office will generally have chosen a lower cost business grade DSL line, but if it chose to host its server in a data center it could enjoy faster broadband speeds with little change in price; and often with cost savings.
For those requiring ‘always-on’ connectivity to email and the web, which is most of us today, colocation facilities provide better outage protection than most businesses could offer themselves. Power generators and back-up power within the data center will automatically kick in should an outage occur, which gives the client piece of mind and, more importantly, keeps business running as usual with no sign of problem to the end user.

How safe is my data?

Security is another issue which can be tackled by colocation. The servers are stored and maintained in a secure environment which is vital for many companies, some of which have to prove that their information flow is safe.

Am I losing control

For those who fear colocation will take control away from them, this is certainly not the case. The company owns the server machinery; they choose to install it within the data centre and if, for example, they feel the machine is running too slow or needs a bigger memory, they can upgrade whenever they wish.

They also own the server software and don’t have to rely on their hosting provider to install the software or tools they wish to use.

This article was written by Daisy Group plc, leading provider of business hosting solutions including colocation, managed hosting and cloud computing to UK SME, corporate and enterprise customers.  Daisy has data centres located in three locations across the UK.

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.