Small to medium-size businesses (SMBs) are discovering the business benefits of colocation, the practice of housing privately-owned servers and networking equipment in third-party data centers. To save space, time, money, and bandwidth for their IT needs, a growing number of SMBs are implementing colocation strategies.
Colocation is helpful for businesses on a strict IT budget or for those who simply don’t want the hassle of managing all or a portion of their IT network. Is colocation right for your business? Here are four primary benefits of colocation and some things to consider as you move forward:
1. Cost Savings
Colocation reduces overhead costs. Your company relies on technology but like many other SMBs may lack the resources to properly, build, deploy and maintain an infrastructure suited for all your IT needs. But it’s not just the networking gear that should be considered. It’s the vital support systems as well—those that provide power, bandwidth, cooling, and redundancy throughout each system to keep things running continuously. The price of running this type of outfit can easily surpass the average IT budget, so it’s no wonder businesses opt for colocation to save on the total cost of operating their environment. Colocation allows you to tap into the economies of scale and specialization of the colocation provider.
2. Power Redundancy
In the event of surges, blackouts or brownouts, protecting your data is critical. To mitigate these risks, colocation facilities have contingencies built into their power systems. The costs of maintaining these sophisticated systems with their redundant power generators, Automatic Transfer Switches (ATSs), fuel tanks and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) is often beyond the reach of a small to medium sized business. These same systems provide continuous power and minimize or eliminate costly downtime. As the customer, you pay for your usage without the added costs of purchasing and maintaining these sophisticated systems to ensure power redundancy.
As your business changes so do your resource and data needs. And, if you manage your server room in-house, you’re tasked with estimating how much equipment and staffing you’ll need to meet not only current demand but future growth—or idle capacity, if your company goes through a slow period.
Colocation facilities make it possible for your business to scale up or down quickly in response to your company’s needs. Often, a simple phone call is all it takes to add or reduce your service.
4. Security and Disaster Recovery
“Colocation partners have already spent millions of dollars to provide top-of-the-line technology, disaster recovery, security and reliability capabilities—features that would be financially impossible for businesses to legitimately fund on their own,” says Chris McLean, a registered Professional Engineer, and LEED APM, writing for DataCenterJournal.com.
Colocation facilities are constructed to withstand power outages due to natural disasters like floods, storms, hurricanes and tornadoes. Most data centers offer advanced security measures, with best in class technology to safeguard your data. The heightened security provided typically includes physical facility access monitoring, personnel monitoring, physical attack preventions and sophisticated fire detection and control systems. And, should your business experience a disaster, your business-critical data is securely housed off-site and readily available as you implement your disaster recovery plans.
Is Colocation Right for Your Organization?
With a space designed and built specifically for housing servers, a 24/7/365 IT team, and state-of-the-art technology and infrastructure, colocation services can provide your business with the network it needs, the flexibility to grow and scale, and substantial cost savings.
Colocation frees up your company’s resources and helps you and your employees focus on more strategic business assignments. Colocation facilities offer not only space, power, backup power, cooling systems and security, but, as importantly, always-on connectivity, low latency, and high bandwidth. While there are many considerations in making the decision to employ a colocation strategy, you may well find that the benefits make colocation the right choice for your firm.
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