colocation, sometimes termed collocation, co-location, or data center hosting, allows the customer to utilize the features of a large IT department without the high cost associated with housing servers.
The customer physically keeps their personal server equipment in a rack in the data center of the colocation provider. The customer is provided with an IP address, bandwidth, and a power source for their servers. Many colocation providers also offer dedicated hosting; the customer can rent a server from the colocation provider.
What are the Benefits of Colocation?
There are many benefits to colocation, but one of the main benefits is redundancy. It ensures that the customers network is up at all times and that any failures are brought to immediate attention. Many colocation providers offer redundancy on multiple levels. This ensures that the customer will have outage protection, temperature regulation, network reliability, and network security. Many of these redundancy measures are too costly for customers to provide in-house.
Colocation data centers often offer power redundancy through the use of power generators and backup power supplies. This will allow networks to remain up even in the instance of a long-term power failure. Colocation providers often offer server protection from floods and fires as well.
Because servers generate a large amount of heat, temperature regulation is absolutely necessary. Heat and humidity cause serious degradation of operability in servers. Colocation centers have a controlled temperature level that keeps servers running smoothly.
Colocation centers often offer both increased physical security measures and network security measures. Some facilities require employees to escort customers, while others use a PIN code or proximity card access system to allow customers into the building. Individual server cages and cabinets usually have locks for added security. Furthermore, many data centers provide staff that monitors the data center security at all times. Occasionally, colocation providers offer a security audit and periodic security advising as an added service.
Colocation providers often utilize more than one Internet Service Provider (ISP) or multiple Optical Fiber Circuits. Colocation also offers a higher level of convenience for the customer. The customer will not have to provide space for their servers. In addition, ownership of server equipment allows customers to upgrade power, memory, and software as needed. The customer can also insure that their server will stay up during a company move. Overall, colocation is beneficial because it saves the customer time and money.
What Should I look for in a Colocation Provider?
The first area of concern when looking for a colocation provider is your company’s needs. If it is imperative that your network stays up at all times, check the colocation providers redundancy system and uptime rating, if available. You should also determine the additional services offered by your colocation provider. Many colocation providers offer to maintain and manage your server at an extra cost. You should also determine the servicing hours of the colocation provider. Some providers will allow you to perform maintenance on your server at any hour, but some will not.
A Kansas City Data Center delivers information technology services designed to enhance the performance of small to medium sized businesses. NetStandard Inc.