Business disaster recovery plans are not one size fits all. If you’re currently debating whether you should use colocation for disaster recovery, you’ll want to keep reading. There are distinct business cases for taking on-site precautions, building your own data center, or outsourcing disaster recovery entirely with a remote colocation provider—your choice depends on your business’ individual needs. Colocation offers a viable alternative to the DIY data center approach and is often a more efficient way to implement a successful disaster recovery plan (DRP).
Here are three of the top advantages you gain by choosing colocation and disaster recovery in a data center:
Advantage #1: A Remote, Secure Facility
Natural disasters, such as fires and floods, have the potential to interrupt operations for days, if not weeks. The long-term effects of such events may force you to replace primary equipment and suffer operational downtime—unless, of course, you’ve invested in an off-site data center. With colocation, your equipment will be nowhere near the epicenter of disaster, housed away in a facility that’s built specifically to store enterprise-level equipment. Ultimately, this strategy improves resiliency and minimizes business downtime during emergencies that strike your headquarters. Colocation facilities employ state-of-the-art physical security measures including access monitoring, personnel monitoring, physical attack preventions and sophisticated fire detection and control systems. They are constructed to withstand power outages due to natural or man-made disasters.
The trick to rapid recovery is in the location of your data center and being aware of how its proximity affects your operations. If the facility is too close, it may be just as affected by local natural disasters as your primary location. Conversely, it will take longer for your support team to travel to in the event of a situation, and you won’t be able to recover quickly, leading to unnecessarily long downtimes. Select a location in the Goldilocks’ zone—not too far, but not too near—and enjoy the security and peace of mind that comes with disaster recovery at a distance.
Advantage #2: Retaining Equipment Control
Colocation allows you to maintain control over your own servers and equipment while still housing it in a secure facility. Customizing your hardware, software, server, storage, and communications infrastructure will allow you the flexibility to run your business how you want. Plus, you’re able to employ your own technical staff to manage that equipment if you so choose. This level of control over your infrastructure means that you can rest assured that you’ll able to address any situation 24/7 with the accuracy and precision of your own team.
Advantage #3: Saving Capital
“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, Professional Engineer and LEED APM, writing for DataCenterJournal.com.
McLean is right. Many organizations would rather not spend money on capital expenditures such as construction, heating and air conditioning systems, and security measures. Colocation allows you these basic amenities, without the hassle of maintenance and upkeep. Plus, you’ll get to treat these advantages as operational expenses bundled in with the colocation service. Additionally, colocation lends itself to long-term scalability, so if your business grows you can just purchase more data center storage space rather than expanding your own facility.
According to a study by Computer Economics, outsourcing disaster recovery in 2015-2016 had the highest potential cost savings for organizations compared to other common IT functions, such as desktop support, database administration and application development.
In the end, most businesses will find that colocation is a fantastic choice for a secure, offsite DR option that allows you to stay in control of your IT infrastructure. Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you have a robust disaster recovery plan that addresses all of your organization’s and customers’ needs.
Choosing the Right Data Center
You’ll want to confirm that your data center provider is secure and compliant with industry-recognized standards and certifications to ensure your data is secure. Types of data center compliance can include SSAE16, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS compliance. Because you are relying on the facility to keep your equipment safe from disasters, these standards verify that the colocation provider has the proper physical and administrative safeguards. That way, if a disaster does occur, your equipment and data will remain unaffected. Ask the following questions:
- Is your data center facility remote?
- Does your facility have adequate redundancy?
- How do you secure your facility?
- What certifications or audits have you undergone to prove your compliance?
Have questions or concerns regarding your disaster recovery plan? Feel free to reach out.
Additional Resource on This Topic
Using a Colocation Data Center for Disaster Recovery
Planning Disaster Recovery with Data Center Colocation in 3 Steps
Advantage of Disaster Recovery with A Secondary Site