As we are becoming more reliant on technology, businesses are too. When technology plays a central role to how a company operates and offers their product, the performance and reliability of the equipment is of critical importance.
It’s common that we hear from companies such as accountancies, logistics, procurement companies and startups do in fact use dedicated servers to help them with their business processes in some capacity. However, as we prod deeper, we quickly learn that often they own their own hardware as well and keep the servers under the desk or in the corner of the room.
There are many reasons why the scenario above is less than ideal, or even something we’ll strongly advise against.
The condition of the server impacts the performance and reliability.
Dedicated servers are pieces of equipment that are there to provide some serious computing weight. In order to stop it from overheating from high usage and load, an optimal operating condition is required. This usually means a dedicated room is needed to house your server equipment. This room must take into account things such as cooling as a priority, anti static environments and surge protection as a basic.
To ensure the availability of services, the server itself must always be available.
This doesn’t just mean making sure the server can handle work loads. This mainly refers to having a system put in place that takes into account of power outages, connection failure and other damage limitation measures. You must make sure and invest in fail safes against multiple points of failure. If the current infrastructure of your office does not support this, modifications must be made in order to accommodate this. This could quickly lead to some serious costs that may put the cost of running and maintaining these servers out of scope for the business.
To not do any of this, you must ask yourself as an operating and reputable business, can you afford to have your server fail at any point (especially during a critical business period)?
Is Colocation suitable for me?
Deciding to colocate your server is an option which allows you to house the server hardware you own in a data centre managed by a third party.
A suitable data centre will have been built to handle exactly all of the scenarios above. Colocation gives you the ability to take advantage of the significant investments the data centre has made to ensure the performance and reliability of your server. It’s very important to clarify this point.
You are still technically responsible for your own hardware and its reliability. A data centre can only provide the optimal operating environment that allows it to operate continuously in the event of factors beyond server hardware itself.
Colocation is more of a partnership in this essence. But it is an option which will most likely work out far cheaper and less of a hassle than hosting your server locally. On top of this, when choosing to colocate, your dedicated server is kept in a highly secured environment. This means round the clock security, multiple security points and highly limited access. In a way it provides for a level of comfort knowing that if something happened to your office, you are still operational from the standpoint that your server has been safeguarded to a high standard. The risk of crucial client credentials and confidential information being lost or physically stolen is significantly reduced by colocating at a properly set up data centre.
Not many people are aware that colocation even exists as an option. However, once they are made aware of this service, the assumption is that it’ll automatically be far more expensive than running it themselves. To businesses that are more sensitive to budgets, it’s a cost they rather not incur. However this is far from the reality.
Cost of colocation could be far cheaper than you think. In fact, even when prices look higher, once you crunch the numbers, it will most likely work out as the more economical and practical option. The question you must ask yourself is this – how critical are the servers to your business and could you afford downtime at all? It’s better to be safe than sorry.
When looking for somewhere to colocate your server, you should do your research and background checks on the company you’re dealing with. Call them up, arrange a visit and a tour of the facilities. If you’re going to trust them to host your critical business equipment then you should definitely invest the time to know the company and even the people who will provide support to you.