Published on December 19th, 2022 | by Bibhuranjan


Co Location Hosting For Businesses – Advantages and Limitations

Businesses that want to expand their on-premise or cloud infrastructure now have a third option in the form of data center colocation. The rise of server co-location centers gives more flexibility to organizations that want to enhance their computing infrastructure without proportional increase in real estate investment.

Customer expectations have changed and that has pushed businesses to innovate new features in their applications geared towards personalization which, in turn, has driven the increase in data usage. Organizations also have to make sure that this increase in data usage does not have an adverse effect on the performance of the app and user experience. On top of this, this data also has a lot of sensitive customer information which means businesses have to keep that data on physical servers owned by them.

Co-location is the perfect solution for such businesses. It allows businesses to own and manage the computing infrastructure without spending money on a building, maintenance and associated support services. Here is a quick look at the advantages of co-location over public cloud and on-premise infrastructure.

CoLocation and IT Infrastructure

Not every solution is right for every business organization. Every company should take a close look at their IT needs to figure out whether colocation is the best solution for their needs. Carefully go through the pros and cons of colocation to figure out whether it is the right solution or a fully managed cloud solution is a better option for you. Here is a list of some of the major advantages of a data center colocation solution:

Better control — You get a lot of control over infrastructure. A shared data center is essentially renting out space to its customers which makes customers responsible for buying as well as maintaining the servers.

Scaling up is easy — If an organization wants to add to their on-premise IT infrastructure, they will also need to invest in a new data center for housing the equipment. It is not cheap to build a new data center and there is additional cost of maintenance and security. A co-location solution allows businesses to have all that as they just need to rent the space for keeping the equipment. They can then use the saved resources on growing their business.

Security — Colocation data centers have excellent security such as on-site technical personnel, fire suppression, fire detection, active monitoring, physical security and a lot more. Businesses with their own data centers need to invest in all these services which cost a lot of money.

Better bandwidth — A colocation data center typically has more advanced networking equipment as compared to a company’s own server rooms. It ensures better bandwidth leading to an improvement in the latency.

Cloud providers connection — Many co-locations also connect directly to various cloud providers which means businesses also get the opportunity to set up a hybrid cloud. It is easy for cloud providers to integrate their infrastructure with existing infrastructure through direct line provided by the Colo provider.

Colocation offers a lot more efficiency, reliability and flexibility to its customers as compared to on-premise option but it also has certain downsides.

Businesses need to analyze the limitations and trade-offs of using a co-location solution on their business. It will also help you have a smoother experience. Here is a list of some of the major disadvantages of a co-location solution:

Facilities shared — Another organization manages a colocation data center which means customers don’t have complete control over physical security, utilities, building maintenance and other aspects of a data center. This is why it is important for an organization to thoroughly research their co-location partners before making it a part of their business strategy.

Location inflexibility — You cannot choose your own location as you will have to go where the data centers have been constructed by your provider which can create logistics challenges when it comes to hardware servicing. Also, expansion of colocation data centers is based on the overall demand and not on your specific needs.

Management — When you use a public cloud, the cloud provider is responsible for management of their data centers including all the upgrades and servicing of equipment. When it comes to co-location, it will be your IT team’s responsibility. If you do not have too much bandwidth in your IT team, you might have to hire new people or risk extended downtime in case servers go down.

While colocation has certain limitations, the benefits certainly exceed its limitations. Ask yourself these questions to determine whether colocation data center is the ideal solution for your needs:

Are our data requirements too high which makes the cloud expensive?

Are we able to provide enough security for the on-premise equipment?

How quickly do I need to scale up existing computing infrastructure?

Does a hybrid cloud make sense for my business?

Is there any sensitive data that necessarily has to be stored on internal servers?

Cover Image by Unsplash

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Editorial Officer, I'm an avid tech enthusiast at heart. I like to mug up on new and exciting developments on science and tech and have a deep love for PC gaming. Other hobbies include writing blog posts, music and DIY projects.

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