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Everything You Need to Know About Colocation 

Everything You Need to Know About Colocation

IT equipment needs a secure and modern data center in which to operate but building a facility and maintaining the staff and hardware is extraordinarily expensive. This is where colocation (colo) comes in. Colo refers to the sharing of third-party space in a multitenant data center (MTDC) in which an organization manages its own IT equipment in a facility that is operated and managed by a colocation services provider.  

Organizations can use colocation to eliminate facility maintenance, expand computing power or set up an environment for disaster recovery. The service model provides IT departments with the benefits of continuous uptime, third-party support, and options for scalability. 

Most colo facilities provide the building, cooling, power, bandwidth and physical security as well as maintaining existing managed high-speed connection to the majority of connectivity providers. Space in the facility is usually leased by the rack, cabinet, cage or room.  

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Benefits of Colocation

There are several reasons a business might choose a colo over building its own data center in addition to the lower costs of operations, which includes the cost of the additional IT staff needed to operate and maintain a data center.  

Downtime is costly. A business that solely relies on onsite hosting is vulnerable to any number of incidents—from a hurricane to a broken water main—that could take them offline. Data centers are designed with disaster recovery in mind, and most have data centers in numerous locations both in the U.S. and outside, to ensure redundancy.  



Predictable Costs
Predictable Costs

Using a coloation provider can simplify forecasting for a company because the fixed costs enable a business to know what they need to spend each month to keep their company online; there are no surprises. Additionally, using a shared data center can significantly reduce the cost of cooling and power; plus, colocation companies typically get better pricing from Internet providers than a single company will.  




The typical pay-for-what-you-need model of colocation services enables an organization to easily scale up or down based on their current business needs. This fixed cost can also help with forecasting growth, as the related costs are predictable.  



The majority of colocation facilities provide superior security features which many in-house data centers cannot. From redundancy to safeguard data to both on-site and digital security measures, colocation providers take the security of their customers' data very seriously.   


Frequently Asked Questions

What is bare metal?

Bare metal is in reference to the compute/storage customers can source at physical data centers. It is hardware with no operating system, thus making it bare, and can be ordered in any configuration to suit a customer’s needs. This is a lease option from the data center. 

Can a customer use their own equipment, or do they have to lease?

Yes, customers can choose to leverage bare metal or bring their own equipment. In a colocation/data center, the customer would need to order space, power, and bandwidth to have a complete solution. 

What are other services commonly found with data centers?
  • Remote hands 
  • Helpdesk 
  • Private cloud/Infrastructure as a Service 
  • Cloud Connects/Direct Connects 
How can ‘remote hands’ help me?

Customers that are not close or do not want to travel to the data center can leverage remote hands for any physical repair or maintenance. For example, if a power supply fails the data centers remote hands can replace the power supply and have the customer back up and running.  

Why is a data center different from hosting your own server? What redundancy does it give?

A data center offers extremely high levels of redundancy for power, cooling, and connectivity. Often, additional services like cloud connects can also be leveraged to provide a hybrid architecture and/or a more resilient network for users.  

What is a Meet-me room/MMR?

A Meet-me room is the location of the data center where the connectivity providers enter. Typically, an organization will have two Meet-me Rooms for redundancy.  

What is a cross-connect?

A cross-connect allows a customer to connect from their infrastructure. 

What security measures are typically in place at a data center?

Security measures range in scale depending on the data center tier. This can go from ten-foot-tall perimeter fences and security cameras to biometrics and mantraps.

Typically, you will find several layers of security starting with manned entrances, badged access, and fingerprint/retina scanners. 

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