The last five years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of enterprises turning to colocation hosting services. This is the result of a combination of the increase in technological demands, the decrease in the number of physical space companies have, and a need to cut costs while increasing efficiency. If your business is considering colocation, this article will explain what colocation is, what the benefits are, and what criteria should go into the choosing of a colocation hosting center.
Understanding Colocation Hosting
Colocation is the practice of housing independent and privately owned servers and networks at a third party location. Other, more traditional hosting solutions allow companies to rent out servers and networks from a third party – with ownership of the servers and networks going to these third parties. With colocation hosting, the company still owns the servers and network but simply chooses off-site housing for their equipment. While the customer will rent out the physical space (referred to as “racks” and “cabinets”) and install their equipment, the colocation service provider is responsible for providing the power, bandwidth, IP address, and cooling systems required for optimal operation of the equipment.
Benefits Of Colocation Hosting
Colocation hosting has seen a dramatic increase in the last five years. Part of the reason behind this is the tremendous increase in cloud utilization. Additional benefits of colocation hosting are listed below.
- Scalability. Renting out space in a colocation center offers companies the space to scale their servers and network higher than would be possible with in-house hosting.
- Higher Bandwidth At A Lower Cost. Since the colocation hosting provider is responsible for providing the IP addresses, power, and bandwidth for the servers and networks to run, companies are able to utilize a far higher amount of bandwidth, at a much lower cost, than would be possible with in-house hosting.
- Network Reliability And Latency. Generally speaking, colocation centers offer businesses a higher level of reliability and latency. This comes as a result of the redundancy protocol and backup systems employed by these centers.
- 24/7 Staffing. Colocation centers are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Therefore, companies are offered continuous availability of customer service and technicians on call nonstop to address any technical issues.
Buying Criteria For Colocation Hosting Services
When deciding to utilize a colocation service, or choosing the best hosting provider for your business, there are a number of factors to consider. Before deciding upon the best colocation service provider for your business, your company should ask itself the following questions.
- What is your ideal geographic location? Where do you want a colocation hosting provider to be located?
- At what frequency do you expect to need access to your physical equipment?
- Do you have a preference between cabinets, cages, and rooms?
- How much physical space does your equipment need?
- What amount of technical support will your business require?
Once an analysis has provided the answers to the above questions, there are a number of questions businesses should ask potential colocation hosting service providers. Before signing a contract with a service provider, here is what a business should ask.
- Do you have 24/7 access to the center? Is this access escorted or unescorted? Are there any extra costs associated with escorted access to the data center?
- What is the colocation center’s Service Level Agreement?
- Is onsite or offsite backing provided in the contract fee?
- How secure is the facility and how prepared is it to handle both man-made and natural disasters?
- Are scalable options offered? Are there any extra fees associated with scaling?
- Are there any additional fees you should be aware of before signing an agreement?
Finding A Colocation Hosting Provider Near Your Business
Businesses looking to move their physical and technological infrastructure to a colocation center should start by asking themselves the questions listed above. Once those answers are clear, find three or four centers in the area and call to inquire about the suggested questions. The ideal colocation center should be able to accommodate your needs while reducing your IT costs.
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