Data storage and access is key to the success of any business or organization in today’s world. Especially when delivering bite-size content continuously for microlearning. Various entities from small businesses to large corporations have different data storage and networking needs. As the needs become more sophisticated by the day, businesses and organizations have to look for more efficient ways to store and access their data. Colocation is a data storage and networking solution that allows individual businesses and organizations to house their servers and networking equipment at third-party data centers on a rental basis.
Colocation centers are basically shared data centers. These centers are shared by different entities (customers) who are actually tenants of the colocation provider. Colocation IT infrastructure is owned by the business or organization. All hardware and software components that form this IT infrastructure belong to the customer and are therefore maintained by the customer. The colocation provider owns the physical space that houses the different servers and networking equipment. A colocation provider avails physical space, power, cooling, bandwidth and IP addresses to all customers in the center. Physical space is divided into individual units that are further sub-divided into cabinets and racks for equipment storage.
Depending on a customer’s hosting needs, they can request for an entire unit or multiple units with several cabinets and racks. Colocation is an alternative solution to in-house data centers and cloud hosting.
Benefits of Colocation
1. Lower Cost
When compared to in-house and cloud hosting solutions, colocation is relatively more affordable. The economies of scale offered by this networking solution make it suitable for commercial entities. Setting up the infrastructure needed for colocation is easy. Minimal technical intervention is required. All supportive infrastructure and supplies are provided at the colocation center. Maintaining server equipment in any other location other than an approved data center can be quite expensive.
2. Higher Bandwidth
Colocation IT infrastructure provides higher bandwidth levels than many other hosting solutions. The bandwidth speeds on offer beat those you can achieve at a normal office server setup. Higher bandwidth is crucial especially for extremely busy businesses such as e-commerce websites. Global organizations with multiple online platforms also require higher bandwidth networking solutions. Because of the shared server environment, most colocation providers normally have a direct link to internet service providers (ISPs).
3. Reduced Network Latency
With higher bandwidth and connectivity comes reduced network latency. There are very few periods of server downtime or outage. Most customers at colocation centers are usually running high stakes operations such as banking, telecommunications, e-commerce and many more. Colocation providers make sure that network connectivity of servers to the internet is never affected.
4. Enhanced Reliability
The reliability of this hosting and networking solution is extremely high. Commercial entities and organizations can be sure that their data storage and access needs are taken care of. The best colocation providers offer protection from data loss through numerous back-ups. They also protect their customers’ IT infrastructures from power outages. There are trained staff who are stationed at these centers 24 hours 7 days a week in case any problem occurs.
6. Enhanced Physical Security
Hardware, software and information security is crucial to any business or organization. Nobody wants to lose crucial or sensitive information through theft or accidents. Nobody wants to lose expensive hardware or software networking components through similar circumstances either. With that said, colocation provides enhanced physical security by putting in place security measures such as CCTV surveillance, motion sensors, fire detection and suppression equipment and many more. Your expensive servers and networking equipment is guaranteed to be safe at a colocation center.
With the option to rent as much space as you want, colocation offers plenty of flexibility for different types of customers with different hosting needs. A tenant can request for multiple units depending on the size of equipment you have. Appropriate cabinets and racks are provided to hold all equipment in place. Most colocation facilities are strategically located meaning the can be easily accessed by employees or staff of the company, business or organization.
8. Connectivity Among Customers
Different customers at a colocation center can choose to link up their IT infrastructure for one reason or the other. There are special rooms that are normally set aside for this activity. Servers belonging to different entities such as for as businesses can be configured to share data.
All in all, colocation IT infrastructure is different from your conventional data center infrastructure as it provides an open and convenient hosting platform for different types of clients. The fact that customers have access to their servers in the colocation center for configuration, maintenance or upgrade purposes is an added advantage. Colocation hosting solutions are extremely cost-effective and can free up a lot of valuable floor space in office buildings. IT departments in companies do not have to house massive data storage and networking equipment on-site.