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Colocation Data Center
We’ve said elsewhere that a data center must be flexible. Just how flexible can be seen from the fact that the equipment you see at OFFSITE may belong to us or may belong to a customer. And, as with everything else we do, it’s the customer who decides.
Colocation data center means that the customer is renting space from OFFSITE to house its own servers and other hardware instead of keeping it in the customer’s own premises.
When colocation pays off
Data centers are far more technically complex than they used to be. A number of factors may send a customer to us, even though they don’t want to use our equipment:
- Physical security
- Cyber security
- The Network Operations Center (NOC)
- Power supply
- Disaster recovery
- OFFSITE Smart Hands
We’ll start with power supply, because that is increasingly important and has a tendency to creep up on the unaware and shout “Geronimo!” at the worst possible moment. Servers and storage devices are getting smaller and smaller physically, while they grow larger and larger in capacity. Manufacturers have done a great job of improving energy efficiency, but the fact remains that smaller packages are using lots of power and, as they shrink, more and more of them are being used in the same amount of space. Not every building is equipped to handle the steady growth in power usage. OFFSITE’s are.
HVAC matters for the same sort of reason; although servers run efficiently at higher temperatures than was once the case, cooling is still vital and owning your own hardware doesn’t mean your building is equipped to provide it. Sometimes, people turn to colo because their own premises can no longer meet the challenge today’s equipment poses.
It’s in security, though – both physical and online – that the advantage of the data center, and therefore of colocation, shines through. At OFFSITE, we are set up, to an extent and in a way that will not be true of a great many regular business buildings, to make sure that intruders are kept at bay. That’s real, live, physical intruders (who don’t always wear a mask and carry a gun and a bag marked “Loot”), and the deeply unpleasant kind signified every time you see a warning in the corner of your screen that a piece of software you don’t want has attempted to insert itself into your system.
The Network Operations Center (NOC) and OFFSITE Smart Hands are part of the same secure blanket. OFFSITE’s NOC ensures proactive monitoring and maintenance (because the best time to solve a problem is before it exists) and gives you a direct 24/7 line to engineers. And those engineers are trained up to the minute across multiple disciplines, so when you need help – you’ve got it! It’s just like having a certified engineer on – effectively – a zero hours contract. When you need an engineer, you’ve got one. When you don’t – you don’t.
Not all colocation is equal
Those are the reasons colocation is popular. What the typical customer needs to do, to make the most of colocation, is:
- Sign up with a colo data center close enough that travel will not become a drag for your staff
- Check out very carefully the contract and Service Level Agreement (SLA) on offer. You don’t want to be locked in for longer than you believe you will need, and nor do you want to find that the level of service you require can only be obtained at an increased cost that no one warned you about.
- Make sure NOC and Smart Hands are available for when you want them.
Think about the future. How readily scalable is the data center you’re looking at and the deal you’re being offered? Moving to a new data center involves time and effort. You don’t want to be doing it again when you find you’ve outgrown the first one you chose.