By the end of 2020, industry watchers expect businesses to spend $51.8 billion on colocation services.
Data is the new oil, and as such, you will not achieve much if you do not develop a robust plan for your information technology (IT). If you invest in a weak IT infrastructure, it will invariably come back to bite you.
For many firms, though, the issue is whether they should bring their IT infrastructure in-house or outsource the task to a colocation center.
Here is an analysis of some crucial benefits the latter can deliver, to aid your decision making.
What Is Colocation?
Colocation is when an organization houses it’s privately owned servers in a third party storage space. Essentially, you rent the area where your servers will stand outside of your premises.
When you’re setting up a colocation arrangement, you physically transport your servers to the center. The service provider’s team then sets them up for you and will remain in constant contact in case you need to upgrade or down and for any other needs you may have.
You still retain ownership of the servers even as they sit in the rented space.
In return, you pay a monthly fee for the maintenance service and storage space the colocation facility provides you.
Advantages of Relying on a Colocation Center
If maintaining your IT infrastructure in-house is not suitable, then colocation might offer you a compelling alternative. Here’s a look at some of the reasons to consider it:
1. Cost Efficiency
Affordability is one of the primary benefits of colocation that makes many businesses go down this route.
When you take server hosting in-house, you invest in more than just the server. You have to account for a resilient cooling system, power supply, robust network connectivity, just to name a few.
These costs can quickly run up a significant bill, especially if you are not running a large number of servers that can bring the unit cost down.
Furthermore, to make the necessary equipment upgrades to keep up with technology means that you should forecast for significant capital expenses regularly.
In stark contrast to such a scenario, colocation gives you access to all aspects of the infrastructure necessary to keep your servers running. However, since a colocation service hosts several customers, the costs of supporting the infrastructure are spread across all the customers.
That makes the overall cost to you notably cheaper than bringing it in-house.
2. Access to Top-Tier Expertise
Running a data center calls for you to stay on the bleeding edge of new technology regularly. Unless you have a full scale IT unit in-house, keeping up with the latest developments can take away significant time from your core operations.
Additionally, you would need to frequently train an in-house IT team for their skills to match emerging tech breakthroughs.
A colocation service provider, on the other hand, deals with technology as their core competency. Meaning that every day such a firm digs into new technologies and trains its staff to acquire top-tier talent.
Simply put, a colocation service provider makes it their primary business to learn all there is to know about data center technology and perfect that service.
When you partner with such a provider, you get to tap into their exceptional talent pool. For a fixed fee per month, the headache of continually training your team on new technology goes out the window.
All the expertise you need now becomes a call away, which lets you focus on your core business.
3. More Robust Redundancy
Every time your IT infrastructure is down means your business can’t operate optimally. In turn, that means that you lose money. Thus, ensuring that your server hits maximum uptime is critical to your top line.
Outsourcing your server hosting to a colocation service company ensures that you keep downtime incidents to a minimum.
Colocation firms run a more efficient power and cooling infrastructure that enables your server to avoid unnecessary breakdowns.
A reputable colocation facility will also leverage sophisticated analytics that helps it achieve energy efficiency. The better these facilities utilize their energy, the more optimally the equipment will operate.
Therefore, when you are shopping around for a colocation partner to outsource to, inspect their downtime record.
An ideal mark is a proven record of 99.99999% uptime at the least. That’s essential to you as it means you can expect to experience downtimes that don’t last beyond 3.15 seconds any time one occurs during the year.
When technology becomes a critical component of your operations, you need it to be flexible when it comes to scaling.
At a lower level, you can manage to run a server in a dedicated area on your premises. But when your business grows, you quickly run into the challenge that is needing to scale your server and hosting.
But isn’t building out a data center an option? If your organization has a significant budget that can accommodate substantial capital expenses, then such a choice might work.
However, just because you can does not mean that constructing a data center is wise.
In case of a decline in your business, you will have to scale back your IT. When you own the data center, it means you let the facility run idle.
Renting the space out to other firms might be an option, but then it means you will need to manage it as the landlord. Investing the time to do so inevitably takes precious time away from your core competency.
Working with a colocation provider takes such burdens off your shoulders. If your strategy bears fruit and your operations grow, your data center capacity can expand with you. In the event you need to scale down, all you need to do is place the call, and it’s done.
Reinforce Your IT Operations by Outsourcing It
Technology now sits atop every industry, and leveraging it to gain a competitive edge is critical. Your IT infrastructure plays a significant part in how well you deliver on your objectives. Thus, relying on a colocation center affords you the benefits of an optimal data center operation with a minimal downside to keep your activities running optimally.
Is your organization in need of more efficient operations? Checkout more of our content for tools, advice, and practices that can help your firm deliver superior results.