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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 center’s remote hands can replace the power supply and have the customer back up and running.
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.
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.
A cross-connect allows a customer to connect from their infrastructure.
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.