The colocation market is set to see a 15.4 per cent growth rate from 2016 through to 2020. As a result, lot’s of companies are moving from in-house hosting solutions to an outsources approach involving data centres.
Why are so many companies making this change? Let’s take a look at the benefits of colocation / rack space, and how to choose the best data centre operator for your needs.
The benefits of colocation
Server colocation offers quite a few benefits over keeping your server infrastructure in-house. One of the most obvious of these benefits will be the associated cost savings.
If your server is on-site at your office (or even at home), it usually means you’ll need to install the infrastructure suitable for running high-uptime devices. This includes resilient cooling, network connectivity, power, and adequate physical security.
With a colocation service, the data centre handles these components for you, meaning you simply pay a fixed amount each month to make use of their enterprise-grade infrastructure. Because data centre operators provide colocation services to many companies, you’ll only need to pay a fraction of the total overhead.
Better support is another major benefit of working with a data centre. The colocation provider will have support staff on-site 24×7 to address any problems with your systems. Having your own staff on-hand around the clock would add enormous internal costs to your business.
Data centre operators also provide greater operational flexibility over keeping your systems in-house. There are a wide range of options available to clients, including various highly-resilient connectivity options. Offering a blended transit service ensures that individual carrier issues do not impact client services. This isn’t a viable investment for most companies when running a systems on-premises.
Scalability is another benefit that data centre hosting providers offer end-users. If your needs change and you need more bandwidth or power for your critical systems, you can scale up using the data centre’s existing infrastructure. Scaling up an in-house setup means fronting the extra cost of having these services installed, if they’re even available.
How to find the right colocation provider
There are several factors that you need to consider when choosing the most suitable colocation provider for your business, which include:
- Power and sustainability
- Connectivity options
- Security and environmental controls
Power and sustainability
One of the biggest benefits of a server colocation service when compared with hosting your critical systems in-house is power efficiency. This can vary from one provider to another.
Look for a data centre that offers a sustainable energy supply. Netwise’s resilient power feeds run on 100% renewable energy from wind, sun, and sea.
Your colocated systems should also remain operational if there is ever a power interruption that affects the data centre’s primary (and even secondary) power supplies. Netwise uses an advanced diesel generator system with a 48-hour on-site fuel supply to ensure your systems remain operational and available even during a power interruption.
We also have multiple 24×7 refuelling contracts in case of an extended power interruption.
The scalability of your system’s resources is another important factor to consider in choosing a data centre partner. This applies to both the system itself and the associated connectivity.
If your bandwidth needs increase, you need to be sure the data centre can increase your network resources to meet new demand. This may be a short-term increase for unexpected spikes in traffic, or it could be an ongoing permanent / semi-permanent elevation as your needs evolve.
Look for a data centre that works with several carriers. This allows for highly-resilient blended transit options as well as fallback connection options in case of an outage.
The data centre should also offer scalable connection types. As your needs increase, you can adjust your service delivery and composition accordingly.
With a colocated system, connectivity is critical. If you’re not able to reach your servers over the network, your entire business could suffer.
The data centre operator you choose needs to have multiple levels of redundancy engineered into their core to ensure your systems remain accessible. Access to multiple carriers is one aspect of this, but they also need to ensure diverse, redundant path options across the board, from edge to core.
Make sure the data centre network supports the IP standard you’re using, both now and in the future. IPv4 is the older standard, but if you’ve switched to IPv6 addressing standard, the network will need to support it.
Connections to cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud are also important if you utilise any of these services.
If you do business in an industry with particular compliance regulations, such as financial services and healthcare, you need to ensure the data centre you choose is fully compliant with any applicable regulations.
A component of some of these regulations is the physical location of your data. In some cases, the data must be stored within the same country the regulations apply to. This often applies to systems in which you’re storing customer records.
You also need to ensure the data centre is Data Protection Act (DPA) compliant if you’re doing business in the UK, as well as GDPR-compliant for any EU organisation holding personal information.
The location of a data centre has a bearing on compliance, but it also affects other things, such as accessibility to your equipment and the physical safety of your systems.
Working with a data centre that’s located nearby ensures your IT staff have access to your systems for upgrades and other maintenance tasks.
The data centre’s location will also affect how susceptible it is to natural disasters, like earthquakes and major storms. These events can cause downtime and other problems, so choosing a location that’s less likely to be affected by them is always safest.
Security and environmental controls
The physical security and environmental control of the data centre are other factors that affect your overall system availability. Not to mention the safety of your critical data.
Look for a data centre with good physical security, such as 24×7 on-site security, live and historical CCTV monitoring with a long retention period, and access technologies like RFID and biometric access controls.
Cooling is a critical piece of the puzzle as well. Data centres hold large numbers of servers that create a lot of heat, so effective cooling is critical to keep your equipment up and running.
Why you should choose Netwise as your colocation service provider
Netwise has over a decade of experience providing best-in-class colocation solutions to clients all around the world. Our data centres offer all of the above benefits, along with many others.
If you’re looking for a UK-based data centre for colocation or need dedicated server resources to expand your existing systems, get in touch with us today to find out how we can help.