Data centers have become a necessity in doing business today. As more information is shared electronically, the amount of data that companies need to store is increasing. The cost of setting up, running, and maintaining a physical data center can be steep though. Here’s where colocation comes into the picture. In essence, colocation means that a company’s servers are housed and powered in a shared data center.
Colocation allows you to piggyback on existing infrastructure. It is important to choose your colocation service provider carefully. They should be equipped with the ability to run, cool, and secure the servers – these are functions that cost a lot of money. Besides the basic requirements of running the data center, choosing colocation has other benefits including:
- Lower energy costs – it can be expensive to keep physical data centers cool, especially during summer. Colocation providers usually use state-of-the-art cooling technology to keep the servers running smoothly.
- Increased Bandwidth – one of the main advantages of colocation is the availability of high-speed connections to multiple internet backbones. This provides an abundance of potential bandwidth but you’ll only pay for what you use. The cost can be significantly less compared to a T1 line.
- Protection against power outages – colocation providers can guarantee 99.99% uptime because they have redundant power lines, generators, and multiple internet connections. In case of physical damage, the colocation centers usually have in-house staff that can repair the damage quickly.
- Hardware ownership – at this point, you might be thinking, “What’s the difference between colocation and managed hosting?” The answer is colocation can help you upgrade your company’s capacity quickly. There’s no need to wait for the web hosts to acquire new servers. You’re in charge and you’ll get the equipment you want, when you want it.
- Software options – another difference between colocation and managed hosting is the availability of software options. In the former, you can install the software you want on the machines. The choices aren’t limited to what the web hosting company provides so you can use Adobe ColdFusion, Microsoft ASP.net, or any other software.
Colocation is the ideal option for businesses that currently cannot afford to set-up their own data centers or those that prefer to avoid the hassles. It is a viable option over the short term and even the long term. The crucial factor is to choose the best colocation service provider right now.