ColocationData Center

What is Colocation? What Benefits and Features it Offers?

What is meant by the term Colocation?

Last updated on September 3rd, 2022

The term Colocation refers to a reliable environment to access network connectivity and establish the hardware. The Colocation is also popularly known by the name ‘Colo’.  You can acquire the physical space, power, bandwidth, etc., from a Colocation service. The data centers of the colocation render the services. We spell such centers as co-location, and people sometimes call it a carrier hotel. The users receive the facilities such as cooling, physical security, space, other firms’ equipment, etc.

Moreover, also get to connect with the various network service providers and telecommunications. There is minimum cost, and less complexity involves in the colocation services. Hence, users rent the physical space for their computing hardware and co-locate it at the third-party data center instead of establishing it at a private data center or servers in-house. Your rental third-party data center will take charge of efficient network connectivity, power, and cooling. The Colocation provider will charge you a certain amount of fees from the customer. Then, the person will take over the functions of setting up, configuring, and managing the server. 

Before hiring any colocation hosting arrangement, you must make sure that you own your physical server as you are not hiring the server but storage space. You will bring your server physically to the colocation hosting provider’s place. Your server will only reside within the rental area of the colocation site. Besides, you can sustain the authority and administration of your entire hardware and software-related frameworks for the server. With time, your business can demand expanding resources that the colocation hosting provider’s team is providing. You can connect with the team to upgrade or expand the resources like bandwidth and space. Suppose, if you require to reduce the server resources, you can then also connect with the colocation hosting provider’s team to downgrade them. The colocation allows you to adjust the resources according to your business requirements. Hence, scaling up or down is the option you acquire when you rent space from the colocation center, which gives you flexibility in utilizing the server resources.

Having comprehended the Colocation term in detail, let us further see what features the Colocation data center offers its customer.

What Features a Colocation Data Center Have?

The services of the colocation data centers are not limited to only big enterprises. They are open to every kind of business and offer customization facilities. The colo data centers have in fact have come up with the managed services so that the customers can get the support in their business start-ups. When one takes the business initiative, professionals’ initial assistance for the services and storage space advocates the individual to operate the business adequately.

As discussed in the previous column, the colocation offers physical security, network connectivity, and space. It moreover grants you the following facilities:

  • The equipment inspection convenience is there. So, the user does not have to bother about any fault in the future.
  • Your equipment will get assembling services, and testing is done for verification. That way, one can get assured that no issue will come while they operate their work.
  • For any computing suggestions, information, or issues, you will have the technical staff to consult. 
  • There will be an inventory analysis to make sure everything is in the right setup.
  • Complete burn-in and verification process to ensure the equipment is rightly configured and other systems are operating efficiently.

The colocation data center is the ideal solution to discard the capital expenditures(CAPEX) to build and manage your physical space. It enables you to rent the space or room and still earn complete possession and control of the physical server. The expenses that get included while opting for the colocation services are the hardware costs. It will incorporate the travel cost also if you or your engineers require to access the equipment manually.

The principal features that the colocation service can provide are mentioned as:

Provide amenities

The users get the space to keep their information technology hardware. The area is available in the provider’s data center and ensures that it is reliable and comfortable. The room includes racks, cabinets, and cable trays, etc. for keeping your equipment. You will have a stable and maintained infrastructure at the site.

Grants power facility

The data centers of the colocation contain backup generators. These generators have variable redundancy at different levels. They have other battery backup systems too. Hence, depending upon the type of facility, the user gets the uninterruptible power supplies. Your server system will have complete in and out protection.

Gives security

Colocation offers a high level of physical security. For instance, the colocation center maintains on-sire security guards all the time and days of the year, including surveillance and biometric authorization. 

Availability of the Cooling system

The hardware systems tend to crash and stop functioning in a humid climate or high temperatures. Hence, the colocation data sites make sure to provide the cooling system to protect the hardware. The cooling system can incorporate a redundant HVAC system, centrifugal chillers, cooling towers, and water loop pumps, etc.

The next section will tell you the further principal benefits a user can have with the Colocation’s features, we just read.

Benefits Packed with Colocation

You can save cost.

The management responsibility of data in-house and outsourcing can be very costly. When a user takes charge of internal data management, a lot of work will require the user’s independent attention. There are many variables, and expenses involve. That way, it can become time-consuming and perplexing. The user may not maintain the everyday work of a business and manage its operations with full focus.

Whereas, colocation service akes a comprehensive package incorporating built-in assistance, support and redundancy. It allows the user to save additional costs. By outsourcing, you do not have to hire security staff, costly equipment, power supply, etc. Hence, by taking the colocation service for information technology outsourcing requirements, you can have the time and money to invest in your business further. 

Better connectivity will be there.

A neutral data center like a colocation center enhances the connectivity range for the customers. One can quickly gain extensive connectivity under such a service. That is why most companies opt for the colocation data center rather than building the private facility. Moreover, the company has to spend a considerable amount not on building the private data center but also on making new cabling. It has to create connections for the expansion, and all of this can be not very easy. The complications can get involved and creates the risk of vendor lock-in.

With the established multiple internet service providers’ network services, the colocation customers enable themselves to build the network infrastructure that meets their business’s requirements. The cross-connections and hybrid/multi-cloud architecture permit the companies to optimize the work operations while improving speed and functionality. 

Network security is rock-solid.

It is undeniable that the users, customers, or companies will want their data to be protected 24/7 through constant guard facilities and monitoring service. The colocation introduces their clients to the multi-layered protocols for physical security. The colocation data centers always have their location at a strategic distance from their clients’ headquarters. The on-site IT support team is available to look over the technology assets and resolve any issue. The additional security that the user can have are – computerized access cards, vehicle access checks, 24/7 camera monitoring, physical-attack prevention, fire detection, and its control, and many more.

The colo data centers exercise the utilization of cybersecurity protocols, managed backup services, and next-generation firewall technology. It allows the colocation centers’ technicians to restore the physical and virtual data in case of failure or damage. 

Scalability is achieved.

The companies will not gain the level of scalability from private data centers or server places that they can acquire from colocation data centers. You have the option to extend the resources quickly. In many cases, cloud providers can get direct connections from the colocation data center services. Thus, making it simpler to scale within a hybrid data center model. The company can grow without breaking the bank balance by using colocation services that contribute to control your long-term IT budgets.

Numerous colocation data centers offer a wide range of configurations for various company’s business needs, depending on the number of the server the company is utilizing. The most standard colocation configurations are mentioned below-

  • 1u colocation: This “entry-level” colocation solution.
  • Quarter cabinet colocation: The smallest-sized locked private cabinet solution.
  • Half cabinet colocation 
  • Full cabinet colocation

If you are the one who is pondering about cloud migration, the colocation also provides a step forward towards cloud migration. There might be a need in the near future when your company prefers to look for cloud computing. The colocation enables you to do a smooth transition. It permits to move the equipment offsite. Let us see how and understand the aspect of colocation vs cloud.

Colocation Vs. Cloud

In a single line, the cloud computing description will be as – It is the distribution of computing services. For offering flexible resources and encourage innovations, cloud computing delivers services over the Internet. The services incorporate servers, storage, databases, software, analytics, statistics and networking. The consumer will only have to pay for the services that he is utilizing. It helps to adjust operating costs, infrastructure administration according to the business requirements.

There are several models of cloud computing available to offer the right solution to your business. Some of the standard models of cloud computing are-

Public Cloud – The third-party cloud service providers, delivering their computing resources over the web, prefer this model.

Private Cloud – An individual business or organization prefers the private cloud model to use resources.  

Hybrid Cloud – It includes both public and private clouds and permits data and applications transferring between them. It enables optimization, greater flexibility, more deployment options towards the business.

When it comes to deciding the pick between colocation vs cloud computing, one cannot opt amongst them in a mutually exclusive choice. Colocation vs cloud computing works best in different aspects. And, the companies can choose both the solutions at a time for executing various jobs.

Suppose a company runs the daily processing systems on a cloud server and operate the critical databases on its private server. If it maintains the server on-site, the cost expenditure will become expensive. So, the company will instead opt for colocation services for managing the equipment.

Therefore, executives and IT professionals must decide based on various factors that benefit the company the most. Otherwise, relying entirely on one facility will snatch away the chance to expand the business, get security, increase productivity, acquire high-level performance and uphold connectivity, especially when you can incorporate both the services.

Colocation Pricing

As we have understood, colocation hosting is not about leasing a dedicated server. The customer has to deploy his personal equipment and rent a space through the colocation services to keep it. So, he needs to purchase the hardware on his own. But the best part is, one does not have to pay for the server to the provider every month as he will have to pay for the colocation space. Purchasing the server is a one-time investment, and you do not have to spend extra every month for any dedicated servers. Additionally, you will have full authority over the equipment and choose the hardware components that best fit your work.

You can find many colocation providers who provide the hardware as a part of the service. The hardware gets associated with the colo data centers facility.  

One can acquire the equipment necessary for the business without any additional expense. In case your business requires the equipment for long-term investment, search for the lease-to-own agreement with the providers. When the contract term gets over, you can own the equipment as it becomes yours. 

When you think of owning the equipment, it will be wise to get a backup for the components. These components are those that fail to operate quite often. They include hard drives, memory, etc.

While concerning the colocation services’ pricing, the cost varies according to the following factors –

  • The physical space that your server requires in the colocation data center. 
  • The range of network connectivity needed for your business.
  • The way the power will transmit to the cluster.
  • The number of on-site support services required for utilization.

Let us also study some model rates for colocation services.

Cabinets with flat rate circuits

If you require a smaller deployment, like one to four cabinets, the colocation providers give lockable cabinets. These cabinets will include the primary power feeds. You can further opt for the redundant power feeds if you want. Each power feed can deliver anywhere between 2kw – 17kw. It will depend on the power capacity and cooling abilities of the space that the colocation provider renders. Your billing will include the line items for the cabinet(s) and circuits delivered. 

Space/KW with Usage-based Power rates

If you require larger deployments like more than 100kw+, then this will be your solution to opt. You will need to pay the cost according to the number of square feet. There will be a variable monthly charge depending on the power usage. The monthly fee will vary according to the preset dollar rate per kilowatt-hour. 

Having explained all, one can conclude that the colocation offers businesses and organizations a passage to retain the authority of their equipment and still be able to cut down the expense of maintenance, security, scalability and network connectivity range.

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Arpit Saini

He is the Director of Cloud Operations at Serverwala Cloud Data Centers Pvt Ltd and also follows a passion to break complex tech topics into practical and easy-to-understand articles. He loves to write about Web Hosting, Software, Virtualization, Cloud Computing, and much more.

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