More businesses are opting for cloud services and colocation than ever before. The Uptime Institute’s 2023 Global Data Center Survey shows that the share of workloads placed in on-premises facilities has fallen to below half for the first time and is expected to shrink further in the future.
With costs for building and operating data centers seeing sharp increases in 2023 — coupled with challenges in attracting and retaining a skilled IT workforce — it is easy to understand why so many businesses are exploring colocation options.
This article explores the pros and cons of colocation so you can make an informed decision about your data center needs, starting with an answer to “What is colocation?”
What Is Colocation?
With a colocation service, your computer, storage, and networking assets are physically located off-site at a “colocated” data center. You lease the space to host your equipment, and the data center provides the infrastructure, power, cooling, and physical space.
The Advantages of Colocation
Lower Infrastructure Costs
Data center colocation enables businesses to save on upfront infrastructure costs. Colocation data centers invest in redundant and fault-tolerant systems for power and cooling, but since you share the facility with other businesses, you are only paying a portion of the costs. This relieves the financial burden of managing and maintaining your own data center.
The cost of building or upgrading an on-premises data center — along with the staffing and ongoing maintenance — can make doing so impractical compared to the relatively lower-cost operating model with a colocation facility.
Range of Connectivity Options
The best colocation facilities are carrier-neutral and provide a wide range of connectivity options. This prevents vendor lock and provides you with multiple options for redundancy. Colocation clients can leverage the facility’s network to connect with multiple internet and cloud providers, giving you more flexibility and capacity.
Colocation providers implement multiple security layers, including surveillance systems, 24/7 monitoring, locked cages and cabinets, and biometric access.
Reliable and Redundant Systems
Performance and redundancy are improved with colocation. Facilities are built with backup power sources, generators, and chillers to keep your systems running in case of a power outage. You benefit from the same control as an in-house data center, with enhanced backup systems at the colocation center.
The best data centers will offer service-level agreements with 100% uptime for power, mitigating the potential of costly downtime.
A major advantage is the ease of scaling your infrastructure as your needs evolve. You can add more racks, cages, or suites in the future without having to add to the cost of building out capacity or upgrading cooling or power. Colocation facility staff can set up additional power circuits and network connectivity to support your growth.
You can scale more quickly, too. You avoid having to build out data center space and the hefty capital expenditure that goes with it.
24 x 7 Access With Remote Hands Options
Colocation facilities should provide 24/7, year-round access to your hardware and network. At the same time, you should have the option for remote hands help. On-site staff can help with deployment, maintenance, and troubleshooting without you having to travel to the site.
Remote hands help can be a significant advantage amid today’s shortage of skilled talent, enabling IT staff to work on other projects rather than handling routine maintenance.
The Disadvantages of Colocation
There are some other considerations with data center colocation, however.
Colocation will have much higher upfront costs compared to using virtual or cloud resources. You will be responsible for buying the hardware and servers to manage your data. You will also be responsible for the maintenance, upgrades, and replacements as necessary.
You may also have less control than if you host an on-premises data center. If you do need to access equipment, you will have to travel to the site. Depending on where you colocate your data, this can make routine maintenance more time-consuming.
You are depending on the colocation facility to take appropriate measures to safeguard your equipment and provide the necessary level of redundancy to keep your business running. So, the choice of which colocation facility you choose is a mission-critical decision.
LOGIX is Built for Business
You can trust the data colocation experts at LOGIX Fiber Networks. LOGIX operates data centers in Austin, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth.
LOGIX data centers have security, power and cooling to meet the most stringent requirements and layers of redundancy to ensure you keep operating in case of a power disruption. LOGIX offers a 100% uptime SLA on power and carrier-neutral connectivity options.
Call 281-688-6231 to discuss collocating your data and your data center options or contact us online to request a data center tour.