Colocation Services 101

It’s no secret that more and more enterprises are looking to move their servers into professionally maintained, strategically placed data centers. In fact, IMS research predicts the colocation market to grow to be a $10 billion dollar industry by 2017. The colocation market was worth $4.5 billion in 2012; these figures indicate that enterprises are moving towards collocated services more rapidly than ever.

Pricing on collocation services have fallen immensely over the past decade. As you can see by reading any cloud storage reviews, bandwidth and storage spaces are typically sold at discount as you begin to purchase more services from your collocation provider. Many enterprises will rent out their own cage, while others will rent out just a rack. Smaller organizations may only need a couple U’s of rack space to begin their collocation.

Selecting the right colocation hosting service can seem like a tough task. With so many different factors to consider, it can be difficult to remember your core objective after hearing multiple sales pitches. When you begin searching for colocation services, it is important to hone in on the key factors that matter the most to your organizations. The following tips will help you be completely prepared for your venture into collocated hosting services.

Proximity & Accessibility

Your organization may require that you select a data center that is within a “Stone’s throw” of your office. Many systems administrators enjoy being able to go into the data center as if it were their own. When your servers are within driving distance, you can have peace of mind knowing that if all else fails, you can physically go into the data center and begin seeing what went wrong. The very nature of collocated services make this a non-concern yet many systems administrators still enjoy having this luxury. Ensuring your data center is accessible also solves other concerns such as latency over a wide area network.

Managed or Unmanaged?

Colocation providers often give you the choice between managed and unmanaged support plans. In an unmanaged support plan, the colocation provider is solely responsible for making sure your servers have the infrastructure in order to operate. This includes power, cooling and data connectivity. Unmanaged plans typically allow for data center employees to hard reset uncooperative hardware.

Managed plans goes a step further by allowing the data center employees to actually login, perform service monitoring, implement security measures and other administrative activities. Managed plans are good for organizations that are unable to hire dedicated administrators for their server deployments. Managed plans take an enormous burden off of the enterprise’s IT staff. Many large scale organizations work hand in hand with their managed support providers in order to ensure that all systems are running properly.