Colocation pricing: Why London offers the best service value in the UK

Do you need to host your data within the UK, but don’t know how much it will cost?

Wondering about rack space colocation and private P2P connectivity? Or which region delivers the best support and assistance when setting up your systems?

This guide takes a closer look at data colocation pricing within the UK.

We look at the different services on offer to suit your requirements. We break down the best regional workforce to support you. And we see who provides the best value for money.

Read on to discover whether a London data centre offers its users better value than the rest of the UK.


UK data centres

Data centres provide a centralised location for remote computing services. Businesses of all sizes use them to collect, store, process, distribute, and give access to large volumes of data.

A data centre allows for the deployment of large scale systems, in purpose-build server racks.

A business usually rents rack space to either host their own hardware or the equipment on rental from the data centre. They often choose primary providers within their own region due to lower latency, and easier physical access. A London data centre will provide faster access to UK users than one based in the US, for example.

There are many data centres throughout the UK, from Aberdeen in Scotland to Belfast in N. Ireland. Each facility offers similar services, but not all provide the best value as we’ll soon see.


Colocation services

Many businesses now choose to avoid hosting their critical systems in-house. By using a data centre, they have the option to rent or collocate their hardware in a purpose-build facility.

Colocation involves leasing rack space and letting the provider manage its safe, high-uptime operation for you. You can often access an online customer portal to view diagnostics and deploy additional services.


Rack units

rack unit is often abbreviated to 1U. It’s an industry-standard size and measures 1.75 inches or 44.5mm in height.

The racks themselves can vary in height, so can contain different rack unit configurations. They have a standard width of 19″, and usually hold up to 42U in a full-sized rack.

Each rack will have conditioned power and network connectivity delivered to it, for the operation of your critical hardware.


Regional data colocation pricing

While it may be true to say that you can find some incredibly cheap service options across the UK, it’s also fair to say that not all services are alike, and obtaining true value for money requires a top-down look at what it is you need most from a data centre.

Southern England

Although London is the major hotspot, areas like Cambridge also offer data colocation services.

Facilities in the South benefit from the lowest latency connections into the major London hubs, so are a good choice for any UK-based business, and for those with interests internationally.

While they do tend to offer high-value, high-quality services, this isn’t always the case. They’re still operating in a more costly region of the UK, and don’t have the same carrier density as London, so their value predominantly comes when used for highly-regionalised local access, or for a secondary site within reasonable distance of a primary site in London.

Midlands

The Midlands has a growing data centre community, in areas such as Manchester, however they really are best suited to UK-only service delivery, given their distance from the major interconnection points in London.

They also sit further away from the UK’s largest resource for tech growth and personnel, that again being the capital.

Scotland

Scotland is the obvious choice for a business based in the country, for their primary operation.

That said, if the business has ambitions (or key clients) beyond the borders of Scotland, it would be wise to explore secondary options in England. Again, London is a forerunner in the decision making process here, not only for its clear operational advantages, but also as it offers maximum diverse distancing from a Scottish deployment, being in the far South.

London

There’s no shying away from the fact that a colocation service in London is probably going to cost you more than elsewhere in the UK.

But we’re looking at total costings here, where value comes into play. Cheap does not equal good in the data centre market, so unless you’re primary driver is lowest costs, and you have only minor care for the service and uptime, a London location may not be for you.

Data centres in London, while technically similar to some other top-specification facilities around the UK, have access to far better connectivity, and sit right on top of the UKs largest tech community.

If you value service and quality, London really is the premiere choice in the UK for data centre, colocation and connectivity services.


Points to Consider

As noted above, price really should not be your only consideration when choosing a data colocation provider. Here are some points to think about when comparing operators:

Skilled local workforce

If you need specialised assistance and the latest support, choose the area with the most locally-available knowledge.

London has the largest share of skilled workers across Great Britain. This provides a larger talent pool for data centres located within the nation’s capital.

Uptime record

Not all providers offer the same uptime guarantee.

Double-check their record over the past year. How many times has the data center experienced an outage of some kind? Even if it’s only one percent, that still equates to over 88 hours in a year.

Proactive monitoring

Make sure that your data provider offers proactive support. This should include monitoring your servers and informing you of any issues within a short time frame.

A good provider also includes security software to actively check all incoming and outgoing traffic. Ask to see what security is installed and if any successful breaches have occurred.


Choose value over price

Data colocation pricing varies depending on your requirements and the region you choose. But you should never let price alone dictate your decision.

At Netwise, we believe in the best value and best service for our customers.

Our London data centres offer 1U to full rack colocation with multiple configurable options.

Use our online colocation calculator to fully configure your deployment. Prices begin at £119.00 per month for a quarter rack. But our best value option is a full rack, starting from £259.00 per month.

Get in touch with our team if you need assistance. If you live in London and the surrounding counties, why not drop-in to our data centre for a cup of tea!

We promise to deliver you the best value with the best service possible.

6 tips for choosing a London colocation provider for your business

In the modern world of business, technology is king. The vast majority of core business functions rely on implicitly on critical technology. This is especially true when one considers the housing of business-sensitive data. With modern technological advances, it’s now easier than ever for businesses to house their data in many different ways.

Colocation services, which combine space, equipment, and security measures for your data into one packaged service, are particularly popular. If you’re in the market for London colocation services, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll give you seven tips to guide your buying process as you decide on a colocation centre for your business data.


1. Power is king

When it comes to colocation services, it’s true to say that power is king. The amount of power and how it is delivered should be an essential guiding factor in your decision-making process. If you do a poor job of estimating how much power your business will need, both now and in the future, there’s a good chance that you could end up choosing a colocation centre that simply won’t be able to meet your eventual requirements.

To avoid any hiccups here, make sure you do your due diligence before issuing an RFP. Figure out exactly what your power requirements are, not only right now, but also during peak times and as you expand. Some facilities allow you to purchase power as you go (metered power), while others will require you to purchase a certain threshold of power regardless of how much you really use. One option may be cheaper than the other for you, depending on your power requirements.


2. Think long-term scalability

When deciding on a London colocation centre, don’t just decide on a facility that fits your needs right now. Instead, remember that you want to work with an operator that will scale alongside your business. 

Many colocation contracts are for a minimum of one to three years. So ask yourself where your business will be several years from now. If you plan on introducing new technologies, changing how you store data, or make any other significant changes that will affect your power requirements, be sure to factor that into your decision-making process.

You should have a good idea of whether or not your operator of choice will meet your needs now and in the future. Skip this step, and you could easily find yourself trying to break or renegotiate a contract a couple of years down the road.


3. Check uptime reports

One of the most important considerations when a purchasing colocation service is uptime. After all, every minute your network is unavailable will likely cost your business money. Your employees are unable to work, rendering them completely unproductive. But worse yet, if your clients are on the same network, then the disruption to their service will certainly have untold consequences on your ability to retain their business when their contracts come to renewal.

Make sure you never sacrifice anything when choosing a colocation centre, including a poor uptime record. Instead, you want to choose the most reliable option available to you. The facility should have round-the-clock support services, so even if your systems go down overnight, there’s an expert who can help you troubleshoot and fix the issue. This is not the place to skimp on costs.


4. Assess security protocols

Rapid advances in technology have come with an unfortunate consequence: a sudden proliferation in cybercrime. It could be a hacker trying to redirect funds from business operations to a personal accounts. Or, it could be one of your competitors trying to steal proprietary technology. Either way, it’s bad for your business.

That’s why you need to ensure that the operator offers premium-level security. Again, this is not somewhere you want to skimp on costs. A data breach could compromise your entire network, not to mention client data. Remember that physical security should also be a consideration. The data centre should have stringent measures in place that prevent those with ulterior motives from accessing your equipment.


5. Check audit compliance

Few things can be as significant in setting back a company as finding yourself on the wrong side of an audit. With all of the different certifications and regulations in this industry, there are now several different audits that your organisation probably has to face every year.

Make sure that your colocation centre of choice meets any certification requirements and will cooperate with any company or third-party audits.


6. Look at total pricing

Last but not least, make sure that you’re looking at total pricing before you sign on the dotted line. Many cheap colocation centres will ‘nickel and dime’ you for things like additional cable routing and remote hands, so be sure that you’re well aware of all the fees for any service upgrades you may require. 


Choose the right London colocation centre for your business needs

There you have it — now you know how to choose a colocation centre for your business. Be sure to check out our London colocation facilities if you’re looking for reliable, secure, high-value services.

Supernode core network upgrade

Just as quickly as the new year begins, investment continues in earnest as we roll out our brand new Supernode core network architecture, enabling enhanced 100Gbps+ capabilities across our metro network.

Our core node in Telehouse received the steroid treatment mid-March, upgrading to a much larger ASR chassis, providing further interconnection capacity as we maintain the steep upward growth trajectory of our network. Telehouse now functions as our first on-net Supernode, handling masses of fibre connections that mix in and out of our multi-site network.

You can take a look at a compressed time-lapse of the upgrade work being undertaken here:

Beyond the full node rework in Telehouse, all on-net nodes have received line card upgrades that enable the enhanced operational capabilities we require as we head steadfast into 2020.

Looking further ahead, we’re also adding a brand new core POP to our metro network in Q2 2020, which will be officially announced in a few weeks. This will further increase our on-net capabilities as we gear up for what will be the largest evolution in our service offering since launching the London Central data centre in 2016 – more on that very soon!

Ditching the data closet: why colocation might be a better fit

Do you have an in-house ‘data closet’ that’s becoming too hard (or hot!) to handle? You’re not alone. Companies that are rapidly expanding often find they’re at a crossroads when it comes to managing their on-site data closets. 

Renovating your in-house facility is an expensive option that comes with many hurdles. Depending on your needs, you may find that colocation is a better and more affordable fit.

Read on to learn all about the benefits of colocation, and why migrating away from your cramped, outdated data closet could be the best choice for you and your business.


The pitfalls of an in-house data closet

Although it may feel as though an in-house data closet or data room is the best option, there are many cons that you may not be aware of.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the maintenance and security of your servers fall to your in-house IT team. If your business is still growing, you may not have the budget to hire suitable employees in this area. 

Construction

You may not have a big enough space for all of your equipment. You’ll also want to keep in mind the operational costs for keeping your data closet properly cooled and running efficiently. 

Redundancy

Redundancy is necessary to lessen the chance of downtime for your servers in emergencies. However, small and mid-sized businesses may struggle to afford extra connections and emergency backup power contingencies. 


Benefits of colocation

You’ll find that compared to an in-house data closet, migrating to an off-site colocation service provides a host of benefits that you may not have considered.

1. Access

One of the biggest worries to a business owner is that colocation means they’re giving up complete access to their hardware. However, a colocation service still gives you the ability to access your server stacks 24×7. If an emergency arises, you won’t need to jump through any hoops or hurdles in order to gain the access you need. 

2. Security

Security is also a huge point of concern. However, many colocation providers have high-end security features for their facilities that in-house data centres typically can’t afford. They can also provide mirrored data centres for disaster recovery, along with redundant internet and power connections for increased up-time.

You can expect to use key cards or biometric security features in order to gain access to your servers. Camera surveillance is also common, so you can be sure nobody is tampering with your servers. 

3. Controlled conditions

You probably already know that your servers need specific cooling in order to run optimally. These are conditions that you don’t need to worry about constantly monitoring, because these facilities are monitored by in-house professionals. Since you don’t need to pay someone extra to monitor these conditions for you, this can save you a good deal of time and money. 

4. Customer service

One of the best features of a colocation data centre is that you don’t need to pay a full IT team to get help and support you need. These facilities offer exemplary customer service, so when something does go wrong, you’ll have an expert to turn to. Besides monitoring conditions and security, they also maintain up-to-date industry certifications.

Even better, colocation facilities offer a select handful of specialist services. This means that the people who work there are experts at what they do and can provide a level of service that exceeds those of a general IT department.

5. Scalability

Server colocation is a great option if your business is continuing to grow and evolve. This is because you’re able to scale up and down easily when you’re renting space in these facilities. You’ll be paying for space and power only when you need it. Here’s an example of some of the choices you have:

  • 1U, 2U, or 4U colocation
  • Quarter rack
  • Half rack
  • Full rack

The best part of colocation flexibility is that you’re not locked down to a certain size or plan. For instance, if you’re predicting a new launch of a product or service, you can scale up your deployment as and when required. Afterwards, you can scale back down in line with demand.

6. Marketability

Last but not least, investing in a colocation service as opposed your own data closet is great for marketability. The enhanced security features that you’ll enjoy with colocation is an optimal selling point for customers who want to be sure their data won’t be compromised.

It’s also tangible proof that your business values data management and security protocols, which boosts your reputation with potential customers. 


Growing your business with colocation

Now that you know all the benefits of colocation, you can see why opting for a data closet instead can seriously limit your growth, and even put you in dangerous situations. Colocation provides total convenience, because it offers you the ability to access your servers 24×7. As your business grows, you can pay more to increase your rental space.

Better still, colocation offers you enhanced physical and digital security to keep your critical information secure. And in the case of emergencies, colocation facilities offer redundant internet connectivity and power so that you won’t incur any downtime. 

Founded in 2009, Netwise is one of the UK’s leading colocation service providers. Interested in migrating to colocation? Get in touch with us today and book a tour of our world-class data centres!

Does your business have a data disaster recovery plan? Here’s why it is necessary

Is your business ready to handle a data disaster? If all your electronic documents and information are lost, how will your business survive?

25% of small businesses in the UK don’t have a data disaster recovery plan in place. 80% of businesses that went through an IT disaster failed within 18 months of their data loss event.

Data is fragile. If your business doesn’t have an IT disaster recovery plan already in place, it’s time to create one.

Understanding a data disaster plan and why your business needs one is very important. Read this handy guide and you’ll have all the detail you need to start the process of creating and integrating a suitable plan. You’ll then be well-equipped to find and work with a data centre partner that serves the needs of your business to the highest possible standard.


What is a data disaster recovery plan?

To be clear, this article does not cover business continuity planning. A data disaster recovery plan sets out a business’s workflow in the event of a disaster that wipes out electronic data, documents, and information. Wider business continuity plans put in place the processes that ensure the physical business can continue should a disaster occur.

The term disaster covers a multitude of potential events. Anything from terrorism to extreme weather and more can be included in this term.

Business stakeholders and investors expect data disaster plans to be in place so that in the event of the worst-case scenario, the business will not succumb to that data loss.

There are many different types of DR plan that your business can implement. These include prevention, detection, and correction plans. The best IT disaster plans naturally include elements of all three.

The prevention element of a plan aims to stop a disaster happening in the first place. Proper data storage, backups, and power protection are all part of the preventative approach. Outsourcing your data storage to top-quality data centers is a smart way to engage in proper disaster prevention.

Detection of imminent threats to your data is also highly important in avoiding a devastating loss. Routine system inspections should form part of any solid data DR plan.

Correcting data loss is an internal business function and should form part of any good plan. Investing in insurance against data loss will allow your business to correct any damage more quickly and completely. You’ll also need all key internal stakeholders involved in the data protection and recovery process to be ready for immediate action in the event of a data disaster.

Understanding these core elements of an IT disaster recovery plan will mean you’re in a good place to integrate such a plan to your operation. Having that plan in place ahead of a disaster, rather than scrambling to create one in the aftermath, is the smartest IT-related move you can make for your business.


Why does your business need an IT disaster recovery plan?

The threat of data loss is very real. Whether the threat is natural, environmental, or human, there are more and more instances of data loss in the UK every year.

Environmental disasters are less common in the UK than in some parts of the world. Outside of flooding, there’s a very low chance of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado wiping out your premises. A less severe environmental issue, such as a fire, will be more likely.

But in the UK, the biggest threat to your data comes from hacking. 88% of UK businesses have been subject to a cyber attack in the past year.

Dealing with the cost of losing your data and your business being unable to function as a result is a primary driver for implementing a recovery plan. If you lose your data and your business is unable to fulfil its responsibilities to its clients, it has the potential to cost a lot of money. The downtime your business experiences during a data loss event can also be highly damaging to your organisation’s reputation.

Chances are, you employ humans. Humans are wonderful creatures. But humans are also fallible. Your business needs a way to recover lost data quickly, because it’s all too likely that human error will, at some point, cause your business to lose data in one way or another. You can’t eliminate the possibility of a mistake, but a good data disaster recovery plan will help your business get back on track far sooner.

Hardware, much like humans, also isn’t perfect. Even without a natural or environmental incident, there’s a chance your hardware will simply fail. If your systems go down and you don’t have a recovery plan in place, it’s going to get expensive. You’ll have to replace or repair your machines, and you’re not going to have the data and documents you need to do your work.


What steps should you take to ensure your business can survive a data loss event?

Plan ahead. That’s the most critical component here. And that’s the point of a data disaster recovery plan.

Find a reputable data center that can assist with DR as standard. Talk to them about how your business can create a plan that’ll work properly for you in the event of a disaster. There’s a decent chance that your organisation won’t have adequate data recovery expertise in-house. Don’t try to do everything on your own, because you’ll likely need specific expertise and experience to make a plan that will work across the board.

There are steps your business can take to reduce the impact of any data disaster, even if you don’t have a recovery plan in place at present. These steps work no matter the size of your business, but are especially important for smaller businesses without dedicated IT departments or third party services.

Make sure you know your data. Work out which files and directories are crucial to the survival of your business. Assess your documents closely; you can assign a priority and importance score to the data your business produces / uses.

At the very least, you should have some form of data backup. Ideally, this backup will be offsite, in the cloud. But if for some reason you’re unable to do that, there should be regular internal backup functionality built into your workflows.


Make sure your business is ready for the worst

A data disaster will, at some point, impact your business. It’s simply a reality most businesses will have to face. The level of impact will depend on the quality of your data disaster recovery plan.

Creating and implementing a plan should be top of your to-do list.

Contact us today to learn more about data recovery plans, and how we can help you reduce downtime, reduce risk, and make sure your business recovers strongly in the wake of a data loss event.