5 Reasons Colocation Should Be Part of Your IT Strategy

Mar 01 2017


Today, IT infrastructure serves as the foundation for most businesses. If that infrastructure crumbles, the company faces extinction. That’s why it’s more important than ever for companies to analyze Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and develop long-term IT strategies. Colocation is the middle ground between the cloud and owning a data center, and it’s an IT strategy that works for businesses of all sizes, even those that can afford to own and operate their own data centers.  Here are five reasons why companies of varying sizes maintain footprints in colocation facilities:

1. Reliability

Colocation providers take on the substantial responsibility for maintaining a company’s uptime and provide assurance through SLAs. Colocation providers that operate purpose-built data centers are more equipped to guarantee uptime than companies that run their infrastructure out of server rooms or older buildings. In fact, according to the Ponemon Institute, 25% of downtime is caused by UPS failure. Colocation companies invest in backup power and cooling systems and a highly skilled and trained workforce to carry out backup procedures in the event of disasters or other emergencies. World-class data center operators will not only invest in their mission critical infrastructure, but in their people and procedures as well.

2. Connectivity

Many colocation companies are carrier-neutral, meaning they don’t show preference to one network provider over another. They provide customers with multiple network options. Colocation providers such as Data Foundry, Equinix, CPI Solutions, CyrusOne and others offer customers the option to use multiple carriers with blended bandwidth, resulting in the most reliable network connectivity.  In addition to network access, many colocation providers also offer private connections to major cloud providers, and customers enjoy low-latency, secure access to cloud storage and services.

3. Avoiding “Cloud Jail”

It’s never too early to start thinking about owning and managing your own IT equipment, even if your company is considered a start-up or a small business. The cloud can help you save money in the beginning, but as your data grows, cloud costs can be significantly higher than colocation costs. Infrastructure expert Avi Freedman, founder of Philadelphia’s first ISP, Akamai veteran and current founder of Kentik, has seen many fast-growing start-ups get stuck in “Cloud Jail” paying providers hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. He is a firm believer in companies owning some of their own IT infrastructure as soon as possible. Once your company is dependent on the convenience provided by your cloud provider, it’s not easy to get out. In this article from First Round, Freedman recommends, “The earlier you start to think about [colocation] the better. If you can get away with it, start out running multi-cloud and post initial traction, set up a small infrastructure, cross-connected to your cloud provider(s).”

4. Minimize Labor Costs

The highest recurring cost of running a data center is labor. Not only do colocation providers take on the labor costs of running a data center, such as hiring or contracting electricians, engineers, technicians and other experts for maintenance and operations, but many of them also offer managed data center services. Data Foundry, for example, offers network management services, virtual hands, network security, cloud services and infrastructure installation and support. This means companies don’t have to hire someone to service their IT environment in the data center unless they want to. This is especially helpful for start-ups that can’t yet afford to pay full-time data center technicians, but want to ensure they own some of their own infrastructure.

5. Security

24x7 data center security is another high labor cost that most companies can’t afford. Colocation providers with the best security standards equip their data centers with CCTV cameras, 24x7 onsite security personnel, gated access, biometric scanners and limited entry points into the facility. Tenants in these facilities know their equipment is protected at all times, and they don’t have to incur the capital expense and labor costs necessary to do it on their own.

This blog was written by Data Foundry. Data Foundry is headquartered in Austin, Texas and provides colocation, disaster recovery and managed services for enterprise customers. Founded in 1994, Data Foundry was one of the first 50 ISPs in the United States. Today, Data Foundry owns and operates purpose-built, carrier-neutral data centers in Texas with a global network and colocation presences worldwide. For more information, visit their website here. 

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