Colocation: Do I need it?

What exactly is Colocation?

Colocation is one of the services offered by most data centres and we’re often asked if it’s right for small businesses. In reality the answer is almost always ‘it depends’ due to a number of factors.

Do you already own your servers?

If the choice is between colocation and dedicated servers and you already own your servers then it definitely makes more financial sense to consider colocation as you would pay a lower monthly cost for colocation.

Do you have secure in-house facilities (e.g. a server room)?

Most businesses are unlikely to have a server room where you could keep a server.  Also, consider that data centres have invested heavily in security and redundancy so your server would be in a highly secure environment and protected against ‘downtime’ in the event of, for example, a power failure.  All reputable data centres (check that they are ISO27001 certified) will have multiple connectivity carriers, generators and UPS systems.

Do you have in-house technical expertise?

When your own equipment is colocated in a data centre, you are primarily responsible for managing the server(s), including diagnosing and fixing faults (but check to see what support packages may be available to assist you in this).  Most data centres will include some form of ‘remote hands’ allowance for basic issues like rebooting servers and diagnostic work.

Are you reasonably close to your hosting provider?

If you have an issue with your server(s) which cannot be resolved using remote hands, do you have the resources to travel to the data centre in a reasonable time to fix the issue?  You need to carefully consider the cost/benefits of using a provider that is reasonably close to you versus one that is further away but cheaper.

These are only some of the various factors to consider when deciding if colocation is right for your business. However, what is important to remember is that colocation gives you the ability to take advantage of the significant investments the data centre has made to ensure you get the best performance and reliability from your server.

If you would like to speak with us regarding your colocation or would like some advice and guidance, contact us on 0161 464 6101 and we’ll be glad to help. 

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