3 Things to consider when turning to colocation

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Implementing a colocation strategy offers organizations a path to improved data center operations. However, selecting the right provider to build a partnership with is integral to getting the most out of the strategy.

Choosing the right vendor to match operational needs is key to maximizing the benefits of colocation, and there are a few things companies should keep in mind when selecting a partner:

There are a few nuances involved in choosing the right location for a colocation service. On one hand, organizations are still responsible for managing hardware. As a result, they have to choose a colocation center that is close enough to the office to make it accessible to staff. On the other hand, geographical distance can provide companies with better reliability because the likelihood of an outage at both the office and the colocation facility decreases substantially. Location also has networking implications because of access to interconnect systems.

Consistent access to data center assets is vital for businesses, but the extent to which systems have to be highly available varies from industry to industry. For example, a traditional business can probably accept an hour of planned downtime in the middle of the night. A global finance organization that supports a 24-hour work cycle, on the other hand, cannot afford any downtime, even for planned maintenance. While most colocation facilities can offer 99 percent availability, the slight distinction between 99.9 percent and 99.99 percent can make a difference for some companies. Understanding precisely what a colocation provider can offer in this area is vital to making the most of the technological service.

Organizations have to ask themselves how physically secure their servers need to be when turning to colocation. Most providers will have some sort of access control system that ensures only authorized personnel can access a client’s servers. This is vital to properly protecting data. However, some vendors offer a small staff of security guards and a few decent locks. Others will have multiple levels of entry control, security staff throughout the facility, biometric locking systems and other advanced solutions. Colocation can meet just about any security need, and matching a company’s requirements to what the provider can do is vital to maximizing this capability.

There’s a lot to be gained by turning to colocation, but the full extent of those benefits are maximized when working with the right vender. Matching business needs with provider capabilities is vital to getting the most of colocation strategies.