Using colocation services for server hosting is getting more and more popular every day! Thousands of businesses already operate their mission critical servers in datacenters across the world and capitalize on the unequaled reliability and cost savings when compared with hosting the systems themselves.
When it comes to moving your systems out of your office and onto the cloud there are three common options; Leasing dedicated servers, leasing server resources, and colocation. Colocation is the focus of this article and we’ll lay out the advantages and how it can benefit your company. Colocation is basically the same thing as leasing a dedicated server or server space on the cloud, except that you provide your own equipment and pay only for the space, energy and bandwidth that you utilize.
1. Reliability. Properly equipped data centers have multiple power sources, battery backup systems and cooling systems. They are also equipped with multiple physical connections to the internet to provide redundancy in the event of a failure. The server rooms are also clean, dust free and have filtration systems to remove particulates from the air which lengthens the life and greatly improves the reliability of your servers.
2. Security. Running your equipment inside a secured data center ensures that your systems are protected from burglars, fires, and other things that can compromise the security of your information. Many data centers are equipped with video surveillance and have only one entrance, with special doors that do not allow you to enter without a special pass and a security guard near you. Your servers and data are protected allowing you to rest at night knowing that your equipment is being protected.
3. Reduced Maintenance. You will only need to worry about your equipment and software. The A/C, battery backups, routers, and firewalls are all handled by the datacenter. In many cases, small and medium businesses only think about the server support equipment after there is a failure. Data centers monitor and maintain these support systems and have dedicated systems and staff to see that these systems are running at top efficiency. You won’t have to worry about the expense of replacing batteries or coming in on Monday morning to discover that you’re A/C was off all weekend and that your equipment is ruined.
4. Speed. This is probably the most appealing reason to co-locate your server in a datacenter. Established datacenters have extremely fast connections directly to the major internet service providers. Many of them have multiple backbones with separate vendors, which provide redundancy in the event one connection is interrupted or overloaded. Data centers spend a lot of time engineering their networks and work with vendors to get the most direct connection to the internet with the least amount of latency and fewest points of failure. Most of us just worry about speed tests, not latency, hops, and maximum sustained throughput. Colocation centers have a staff of highly trained technicians that handle all of this for you. Establishing such a system in your own building is possible but why suffer through the frustration, headache, and expense when you can have all of these benefits at the fraction of the cost.
5. Control and privacy. Owning your own equipment and renting the space and bandwidth, you have more control over your hardware than renting space on a cluster. Your systems and servers are secured by you and only you have access. The datacenter does not need access to your systems nor do they typically want it.
6. Experience. When you collocate your there is a process of getting your servers ready and installing them in the racks at the datacenter. While you’re there you have direct access to some of the brightest minds in the technology field. Make friends and learn their names. We’re not suggesting that you try to glean free technical support but if you’re in a pinch or want to make upgrades these guys can be an invaluable wealth of information.
7. Cost Savings. The previous six points are all very good reasons to host your servers in a datacenter. However, all of these benefits can be had in your building. The defining difference is cost. In the early days of technology the benefits were known and companies invested heavily to have the latest and greatest tech to get the biggest competitive advantage. In recent years technology has become a known commodity and there have been great strides to reduce costs and get the maximum value. Datacenters and server colocation are excellent ways for businesses to lower the costs and improve the availability and reliability of their server infrastructure.
There are other reasons for choosing co-location hosting for a business, but the above are the most important. If you value time and money, but still want the same control over your systems and data that you’d get from having your servers in your own office, then co-location is a solution you should seriously consider.