Is It Time To Think Differently About Colocation?

What do you do with those servers and applications which either cannot, or you don’t want to migrate to a private or public cloud right now? It is highly likely they are sitting in a large comms room feeling pretty lonely with the rest of your infrastructure now having moved to the cloud.

This is likely to be creating a problem; not only are they taking up valuable real-estate that the business would love to repurpose, but also the cost of maintaining these on-premise in terms of power, cooling and management is now disproportional and uneconomic.

Does Colocation Provide The Solution?

Colocation is not new, in fact, many third-party data centres started their life as colocation services, providing a purpose-built facility to accommodate organisations looking to relocate their compute and storage infrastructure off-site.

As IT teams evolve their hybrid-clouds, the colocation option often gets forgotten, but if anything, the benefits it offers are stronger now than ever before:

Freeing-up Space – taking those final elements out of the now oversized comms room and freeing it up to be repurposed.

Reducing Operating Expense – removing the on-premises cost of power, cooling and security and gaining the economies of scale of a purpose-built and efficient data centre.

Reducing Environmental Impact – by moving to a facility that provides a greener option, leveraging efficiencies and sustainable resources to reduce your environmental impact.

Reduce Business Risk – by gaining the inherent resilience delivered by a professionally managed and operated data centre.

Selecting The Right Colocation Provider Is Critical

Colocation is only suitable if it meets your unique requirements and delivers the benefits that you need. Not all data centres nor providers are equal and as such, selecting the right partner with the most appropriate facility is essential. There are many factors that differentiate one provider from another, so you must ask yourself and them the right questions. We believe there are four critical areas where you need to do your due diligence.

(i) Operational & Commercial Flexibility

It is important that your Co-Lo provider meets your needs rather than you having to meet theirs. They should be able to accommodate the exceptions such as oversized racks or special power requirements.  They should offer contractual flexibility not lock you in beyond your needs, but more importantly, they need to value your custom and not push you to one size to accommodate that monster client looking to expand.

(ii) SLAs Are Important

Uptime, security and connectivity are as crucial in a Co-Lo facility as they are with a private cloud environment. You are looking to gain greater business continuity through moving to colocation and as such, you want someone who can guarantee 100% uptime, operates to a recognised standard such as ISO27001 and provides you with choice and resilience on connectivity.

(iii) It’s About More Than Just A Rack

You should be looking for a colocation that extends your facility and a partner that becomes a virtual part of your team. Having experts on-site around the clock to assist you avoids having your people go out to every incident, and ensuring the location is convenient and you have 24×7 access ensures that if you need to be on-site, you can be.

(iv) Colocation Is Part of Your Journey To The Cloud

You are likely to be utilising colocation as a step in your journey to the cloud and as such you should be looking for a partner that can assist you on this progression; a partner that can assist you with the migration of your on-premise infrastructure to Co-Lo, and then transition this to a public or private cloud infrastructure and provides you with additional value of bolt-on cloud services.

At ONI we feel strongly about the value that a Colocation service should offer customers. We have been doing this for over a decade now and truly understand the importance of flexibility, reliability and service. If you would like to learn more about our Colocation services, get an online quote for your requirements or see our guide to ‘Thinking Differently About Colocation,’ visit our webpage.