As many organizations are reluctant to host data and applications completely outside of their own facilities, mainly for control and security reasons, colocation begins the journey to a hybrid cloud solution. Colocation offers many of the same benefits as the cloud, but at lesser risk. By partnering with a colocation provider, organizations benefit from reduced expenditures, scalability, and increased productivity. According to research conducted by Vanson Bourne, collocated services are estimated to become the prevalent model for IT infrastructures within the next two years.
But the decision to outsource to a colocation provider must not be taken lightly. The right choice of provider is critical in the move to a hybrid cloud, as the wrong choice can actually restrict the number of cloud options available to you.
In a report issued by Gartner, they state, “If the offering cloud model is not in line with the enterprise cloud goals, colocation with that provider is somewhat of a trap.” What this means is that organizations should be careful before signing a contract with a colocation provider because unlike most cloud contracts, which operate on a month-to-month basis, colocation contracts commonly last for three to five years, if not longer. This contract structure, if not examined carefully, can actually hold you back from achieving your goals.
When shopping for a colocation provider, the following questions need to be considered:
- Five years from now, where do we hope to be in terms of our cloud strategy?
- What does the architecture of our cloud strategy look like? Do we want a full cloud solution or a hybrid cloud?
- Which applications and data will be migrating to the cloud? How will they be interacting with each other? What users do they impact?
- Does our cloud strategy best lend itself to public or private cloud deployment? (Note that most colocation providers focus primarily on one deployment strategy.)
- How will we be implementing our cloud strategy?
- Are there any requirements imposed by our SaaS and IaaS needs?
- How does this provider approach scalability? What does the process of scaling look like?
- What is this provider’s cloud stance? Is it compatible with our goals?
Mitigating risk and maximizing agility are the likely reasons why many CIOs are opting for colocation for their mission-critical applications. Colocation helps them to reduce disruption to business applications and maintain control over them.
To reduce disruption, mitigate risk and increase agility, a colocation solution can provide a highly reliable and robust infrastructure with guaranteed uptime built into the service level agreements (SLAs). Selecting the right colocation provider is a critical decision that will shape your organization for years to come. OneNeck IT Solutions owns and operates facilities are that managed by seasoned industry experts and can provide you with the right mix of services and contract options to ensure your colocation and cloud success.