Colocation is a popular option among hosters for organizations that want to get a high degree of control over server software and hardware without significant costs for building a data center in their territory.
In this article we will present a few facts that will help those who choose between colocation and other features, such as virtual hosting, cloud hosting, a dedicated server and their own data center.
COLOCATION IN THE DATA CENTER PROVIDES INFRASTRUCTURE
Typically, a hoster that provides colocation services provides a place to install the server, all the necessary connections (electricity and network) and the corresponding infrastructure. And the client uses its own hardware and software.
If the organization does not have its own servers and software, then it will have to invest some funds in the respective purchases. But there are hosters who provide equipment and programs for rent to their customers.
Even in terms of the cost of new servers and programs, collocation has significant advantages over the organization of its own data center. The data center will require not only space to be placed on the organization’s territory, but also provision of a number of other costly conditions, such as air conditioning in the server room, provision of backup power supply, creation of security systems and data backup.
For a large number of servers, air conditioning alone will require significant costs, which may cut a hole in the budget of a small business. In most cases, such systems require structural changes in existing office space. And insufficient cooling of air can lead to server failure.
Backup power systems are also expensive projects. Many colocation data centers are equipped with autonomous electric power generators in addition to connections to city power grids.
In addition, they can be equipped with uninterruptible power systems (UPS). And the price of such solutions for small organizations may simply be overwhelming.
Security of your own data center also requires a serious approach. It is necessary to take into account not only the protection from hackers in the form of proxy servers and antivirus software, but also the possibility of direct intruders entering the premises with servers.
Hosting data centers can have modern fire-fighting facilities and security systems that will include a secure perimeter around buildings. Access to the premises with servers can be carried out in compliance with serious organizational procedures. Such funds may not be affordable for small companies.
THE AMOUNT OF SAVINGS DEPENDS ON THE ORGANIZATIONAL AND EXPERT EFFICIENCY OF THE TENANT’S COMPANY.
The key parameter is the efficiency of leased data center use. If the efficiency is low, then it is worth considering other options, such as cloud or virtual hosting.
If the organization does not have enough experience with servers, then it may take some time until the effective and optimal use of the data center. But if the company has staff experienced in the use of servers, then such a period of time will be significantly shorter.
In order to make the best use of the server’s hardware and software, the company’s team must have experience working with Internet projects. Also, the web server must be of the same high quality as the cloud service offered by the hosting company that contains its equipment in accordance with the latest technological advances.
The cloud hosting provider distributes the cost of equipment maintenance among users of their system. And in most cases, each client pays only for the resources that he actually uses. Such systems are a very serious competitor to the colocation service.
But there are certain advantages of collocation as your own data center in addition to the lower cost of maintenance. For example, the client will have full control over the server all the time it is used.
The client knows the size of the resources that are available to him, and all the equipment works only for his organization. When using the cloud service, the client has to rely on the fact that the service provider will provide everything necessary to meet the order. There are cloud hosting providers that make loud statements that exceed their capabilities, and clients of such services actually face a lack of resources.
Colocation allows clients to gain experience with servers, which can then be used to organize their own data center or even to offer hosting services.
Of course, if the organization already has the equipment and qualified personnel, collocation allows you to efficiently use the available resources. Why buy a cloud service, for example, if a company has several first-class servers at its disposal?
One option would be to use server collocation to reduce the cost of maintaining equipment.
A COLOCATION HOSTER USUALLY PROVIDES TECHNICAL SUPPORT.
There are people who believe that the colocation service leaves users without any support. But in reality, most providers provide support to their customers under the 24/7/365 scheme.
Of course, in the data center, the provider team monitors the energy supply, communication systems and security. But in most cases, providers also offer direct support to clients in servicing servers by phone, web chat, or other similar means of communication.
The staff of the data center, where collocation is provided, does a great job of ensuring the continuity of services. For example, it monitors the state of power lines and temperature conditions in rooms with servers. The provider also controls the communication lines and is responsible for server security.
Many companies providing colocation services have qualified personnel who can assist customers with hardware and software. In such circumstances, an organization without experience with servers can get useful instructions and tips.
SAFETY AND ADEQUACY OF TECHNICAL RESOURCES FOR THE SERVER DEPEND ON THE HOST AND MAY VARY GREATLY
Although some companies provide all the necessary infrastructure for collocation, including even the best way to rent servers and manage them, the situation may vary significantly depending on the service provider.
The company can only offer a server rack, an Internet connection and simple power supply. But they may not have, for example, protection from problems with electricity.
And leaders can have separate UPS systems for each server. The local power supply system of such a company can also be equipped with solar panels, diesel and gas generators. And for cooling, your own artesian well can be used to supply cold water. Some providers install special ventilation systems to use natural winds to ensure air circulation.
The simplest colocation service can offer a security system that will look like a regular door lock. And the best providers have a multi-level security system for the safety of equipment and customer data. For example, in the data center can be used closed-circuit surveillance systems with motion sensors.
The best data centers are protected by special services that even organize patrols of the territory. Although in some cases first class service may be redundant and too expensive.
In some cases, a small provider will have higher prices, as the costs are decomposed into a small number of customers. And large hosting companies will have excellent prices and offer the best conditions for the use of resources at the expense of a large customer base, which provides access to wholesale purchases.