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The Pros and Cons of Data Center Colocation

Posted On: September 17, 2021

Topic: Data Centers

The rise of data center colocation has added a third option for businesses thinking of expanding their cloud or on-premise infrastructure. Now organizations can expand their computing infrastructure without increasing their real estate.

Data center colocation servers.Changing customer expectations have pushed businesses to support new application features and employ more personalization — accelerating the increase of their data usage. These organizations need to ensure that growing data requirements don’t slow down performance and therefore hurt user experience. Plus, much of the data contains sensitive customer information that businesses are required to house on physical servers they own.

Colocation (colo) provides a middle ground for businesses. They can still own and manage their computing infrastructure while cutting down on the costs of building, maintaining and supporting a data center. Let’s look at how colocation stacks up against on-premise infrastructure and the public cloud.

Enhance Your IT Infrastructure with Colocation

In business, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Every organization must look at its IT needs and determine if colocation is the right fit. Considering the pros and cons can help you determine if your business would benefit from colocation or if you’d be better off with a fully managed cloud solution. Below are some of the most compelling advantages of data center colocation:

  • More control. Colocations give you more control over your infrastructure. Customers are essentially renting space in a shared data center, and they are responsible for purchasing and maintaining their own servers.
  • Simplify scaling. When a company expands its on-premise infrastructure, it will likely need a new data center to house the equipment. Building a data center involves high upfront costs as well as the need for maintenance and security. By using colocations, all businesses need to do is rent the space for their equipment. This leaves them with additional resources to focus on expanding their business.
  • Better security. Data center colocations come with heightened security, which can include active monitoring, fire detection and suppression, on-site technical personnel, security staff and more. Those building their own data centers must manage these costs.
  • Increased bandwidth. Another benefit of sharing this purpose-built space is that networking equipment is typically more advanced than those found in your server rooms. This provides customers with excellent bandwidth, resulting in improved latency.
  • Connect with cloud providers. Some colocations even work directly with cloud providers, giving businesses easy access to hybrid cloud setups. The cloud provider can easily integrate with your existing infrastructure since they already have a direct line through the colo provider.

Colo can give customers more flexibility, reliability and efficiency with their servers when compared to on-premise equipment. However, there are some downsides to using a shared facility.

Team analyzing the benefits of using colocation for their IT infrastructure.Analyzing the cons of colocation allows businesses to understand the tradeoffs and minimize their impact. This knowledge will help you prepare so that you get a smoother colocation experience. Below are a few disadvantages of using a colocation:

  • Shared facility. Because colos are managed by another organization, customers don’t have control over how utilities, physical security, building maintenance and other physical aspects are overseen. When leveraging colocation in your business, it’s important to thoroughly research the partner you’ll be working with.
  • No control over location. You’ll be limited to the location of your provider’s data centers, which can present logistics challenges for servicing your hardware. Additionally, colocation expansion will be determined by demand and not your individual needs.
  • Managed by you. With the public cloud, your provider fully manages their data centers, including upgrades and servicing equipment. In a colocation, this job will likely fall upon your team’s shoulders. If your IT team is limited, this may force you to hire new people or be at risk of extended downtime when servers go down.

Despite the cons, in many circumstances, the benefits of colocation outweigh the challenges. The following questions can help you determine if data center colocation is the right choice:

  • Do we have sensitive data that needs to be kept on internal servers?
  • Do our data requirements make it costly to rely entirely on the cloud?
  • How much security are we able to provide for on-premise equipment? Is it enough?
  • How important is the ability to scale my computing infrastructure quickly?
  • Is my business interested in the hybrid cloud?

Scale Your Computing Infrastructure Flexibly With OneNeck Colocation

Modern organizations can’t afford to keep static infrastructure. They need the flexibility and computing power to keep up with customer demand. OneNeck colocation services give you ample control over your services while providing unparalleled support. Are you interested in expanding your IT infrastructure with colocation services? Contact us.

For more information, check out our colocation provider checklist.