A data center colocation is a third-party facility that hosts a business’ computing hardware and servers. These facilities are equipped with high intelligent data center monitoring systems for power, cooling, and security to protect businesses’ data. They also feature cabinets, cages, or even private suites. Colocation providers lease space to tenants. These tenants can interconnect with each other within the colocation data center. This enables them to do business together and centralize IT operations. Additionally, it paves the way for a more efficient architecture that can help reduce overall costs.
The move, expansion, and consolidation of data centers should be determined based on cost, operational reliability, and security. Due to this, many companies opt for colocation data centers. This is because it offers their needed solution without the inconvenience of managing their own in-house data centers.
The engagement of the enterprise customer with the colocation company is similar to a rental relationship with a property manager. The customer rents a specific location in the facility in order to store their equipment.
The customer usually provides the servers and other necessary hardware to be used for their company’s daily operations. The colocation data center stores the equipment in an ideal environment for servers. They ensure that they are kept in a cool and monitored environment. These are made complete with the necessary bandwidth requirement. These data centers have different tiers of service that can supply a specific uptime based on company needs.
Features of Data Center Colocations
Colocation centers are shared facilities. This allows companies to share costs, including power, cooling, communication, and data center floor space, with other colocation tenants. This method is relatively cheaper than creating a new data center.In the event that a company’s existing data center no longer suffices, businesses can enhance their current data center by using a colocation facility space.
Colocation data centers also allow companies to maintain their own equipment, similar to how they would maintain their own in-house data centers. It is particularly beneficial for businesses that need to have full control over their equipment. Additionally, it gives companies access to higher levels of bandwidth as opposed to bandwidth in a typical office server room.
Often, colocation data centers are more reliable since they offer better protection from power outages. This is because there are numerous data backups in place. They also have stringent measures for protecting and securing data. These facilities often have CCTV monitors, mantraps, private suites, fire detection, and suppression systems.
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Enterprise Benefits of Data Center Colocation
Many businesses are interested in data center colocation due to the server uptime it provides. A specific tier provides a certain percentage.
Tier 1 Data Centers have a 99.671% uptime percentage yearly. Maximum total downtime per year = 1729.2 minutes or 28.817 hours each year
Tier 2 DCs have a 99.741% uptime percentage yearly. Maximum total downtime per year = 1361.3 minutes or 22.688 hours
Tier 3 DCs have a 99.982% uptime percentage yearly. Maximum total downtime per year = 94.6 minutes or 1.5768 hours
Tier 4 DCs have a 99.995% uptime percentage yearly. Maximum total downtime per year = 26.3 minutes or 0.4 hours
Data centers are used as a data recovery strategy. This is to mitigate possible risk in the event of an external factor such as a natural disaster or outage occurs. A colocation facility allows a business to continue should a major disaster happen. If the location of a business loses power, its network will not be affected due to the data colocation.
The multiple layers of redundancy available at data center colocations are more complex than companies can afford to invest in-house. Due to this, some companies use the off-site location as their primary data storage, while the onsite data copies serve as a backup.
The latest innovations in security technology are often embedded in data centers. They are often equipped with CCRV and biometric readers. Check-in desks are often in place in these data centers for inbound visitors. They ensure that these visitors possess the necessary security badges. There are 24/7 services for data center monitoring to ensure that there is no security breach or unauthorized access.
Colocation significantly reduces cost savings, especially when compared to in-house data centers. Leasing a place from a data center is a practical solution to minimal IT Budgets. Colocation reduces capital expenditures. Companies no longer need to procure their own UPS or uninterrupted power source, multiple backup generators, power grids, and HVAC units since they will be provided by the colocation data center. Businesses also no longer need to allocate maintenance costs for maintaining and managing in-house servers.
Colocation data centers have high levels of bandwidth. These are normally not found in in-house data centers. These allow data center colocations to support enterprises in a way that their office location cannot.
Support and certifications
Payroll costs are also reduced by using data center colocations since they will be relying on the data center experts to manage the equipment. They will be able to gain support from certified experts to troubleshoot their concerns.
Colocation data centers are conducive for supporting business expansion. These facilities are able to easily expand your IT infrastructure in proportion to the size of the business. Different industries have different requirements from their data centers related to space, support, power, and security. The service provider will be able to ascertain the business needs and make adjustments as necessary.
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Cloud and Data Center Colocation
Data storage and management is the main difference between colocation and the public cloud. Colocations offer physical management of assets while the cloud offers a virtual one. Cloud-based infrastructure also reduces costs because of shared facilities similar to colocation.
For cloud services, the provider is the one in charge of managing a company’s servers, storage, and network elements. The provider’s staff are also the ones who set up these elements. This reduces capital expenditure and lowers operating expenditure costs. Meanwhile, colocation requires businesses to employ their own staff to set up their own storage, servers, and network. However, such a setup will incur additional costs.
Many businesses prefer cloud services since they use data centers for more productive tasks for business expansion. Cloud services are also flexible. Cloud providers are able to rapidly adjust data capacity higher or lower based on evolving business needs. It also allows access controls to the environment, infrastructure resource management, and change management without being physically present.
However, experts believe that cloud services are more costly compared to data center colocation. Data center colocation is believed to be more cost-effective since businesses only need to rent the space for all assets. Meanwhile, renting the asset itself or the cloud storage will be limited based on the subscription.
Datacenter colocations tend to be used by cloud service providers. This is because they have huge equipment storage requirements. The industry, however, remains fluid to accommodate the changing of the laws with regard to cloud storage requirements.
Colocation has become a big industry over the last six years. There are large enterprises that are transitioning their on-premise data centers to colocation facilities. Many companies are also now considering multi-cloud services. Many organizations are also transferring into colocation data centers from their cloud deployments. This is because data volumes have started to become hard to manage and afford through the cloud. The re-nationalization trend that has been occurring worldwide has required deployments where customer data does not enter certain countries’ boundaries.
Digital Realty, the second-largest data center colocation provider by revenue, has developed engagement frameworks, discovery sessions, on-site workshops, and engineering briefings to allow customers to better understand how a global data center platform caters to their edge needs.
Monitoring is an often-neglected part of the overall colocation strategy. Basic data center monitoring takes very much effort to set up, and it can be a life-saver when the chips are down. Make sure that your chosen data center colocation provider has a strong monitoring system to ensure efficiency in operation. You’ll need a system that gathers and analyses system logs from your devices to receive and forward the traffic of the servers. AKCP has a data center monitoring solution to gather logs from many different devices, store them in one place, and provide analysis tools. AKCP monitoring can be implemented at many levels. Here are some:
A data center is not a simple public facility where anyone could be granted access. No matter if it is your own facilities or in a colocation, you should make sure to have the highest level of security. Unauthorized entry can be prevented with CCTV, surveillance guards, RFID security card-based access to internal facilities, and alarms. You can also have remote monitoring access to these various security means.
A proper data center should be set up with different types of sensors to monitor the temperature, humidity, and water, power level. These monitoring systems are installed to keeping track of every environmental variable within their data center. A monitoring system gives a precise notification which might be useful for the technical team to be aware of harmful issues. Thus, implement preventative measures necessary. Proper utilization of these environmental monitoring tools will allow the data center provider to see which system is using which resources, this is what helps them to maintain their optimal performance.
It is evident that the use of data center colocation provides several advantages to businesses. It also has a wide variety of customizable options that businesses can choose from depending on their industry needs. Colocation and cloud services offer different business alternatives in housing data. Each service has its own unique pros and cons.
There is an increase in the need for monitoring data centers’ colocation. New technologies are also becoming available that offer rack storage and density options. This allows monitoring data centers colocation to better manage the demand.
It is reported that data center colocation will undergo further rapid growth throughout 2021. Since there is an increased demand for these facilities, there will also be a need to tighten virtual and physical security. Ensuring that stringent security measures are in place will be vital as data centers continue to evolve with new technology. It is important to ascertain the colocation service that is most suitable for the company’s needs in order to identify the best course of action moving forward.
AKCP sensorProbe2 monitoring device with dual temperature and humidity sensor installed at the Keck Observatory in Mauna Kea, Hawaii. AKCP's monitoring technology was deployed at the WM Keck Observatory to monitor the humidity at the lasers boresight, constantly monitoring the humidity levels. High humidity at the boresight causes the laser to fail to propagate and the telescope to be down until the laser can be de-fogged.