A colocation provider operates a colocation facility that enables businesses and organizations to rent spaces for their serves and other physical equipment. Colocation providers are usually confused with dedicated hosting service providers, and understandably so because both colocation and dedicated hosting servers are stored in data centers that provide the facilities for maintaining these servers.
The major difference between colocation and dedicated hosting is in the ownership of the servers. A colocation provider provides the space and facilities like the power, bandwidths, security, etc. for the client’s own servers and hardware equipment. In colocation, the client owns and maintains the servers.
In dedicated hosting, however, the client rents the server as opposed to owning it. It’s the hosting services’ responsibility to maintain the servers too. Basically, a colocation provider provides the space and other limited facilities for storing servers while data centers provider maintain, and store rented servers for clients. They are sometimes used interchangeably.
Research Colocation Providers & Data Centers
When choosing a colocation provider and/or a data center, the first step is to always outline your goals, need, and objectives first. It is only when you are clear about what you want that you would be sure when you find a colocation provider or data center that suits those wants.
The next step after outlining your needs, goals, and objectives is to research for the colocation provider or data center that is best suited to fulfilling your needs. You can conduct your research by asking friends and acquaintances for feedback on the data center or colocation provider they use, or you can simply search for a good one close to you via the internet.
Factors to consider when choosing Colocation providers and Data Centers
In finally choosing the colocation provider or data center to use, you need to consider some factors to help you make the right choice:
One of the major determinants in choosing colocation providers and data centers is the location. In fact, depending on your reason for choosing a colocation provider or a data center, proximity to your home or place of business is a compulsory factor, for example, if you are looking for reliability and top performance, the closer your data center or colocation provider is to you, the better the chances of top network performance. The location also has its way of influencing TCO. Also, check around if the data center/colocation provider is located in a place that is prone to natural disasters, poor infrastructure, etc.
- Annualized power usage efficiency.
To measure your colocation provider/data center annualized power usage efficiency, divide all power entering the facility by the amount used to support the IT load. The result would help you know if they are a reliable colocation provider/data center.
- Concurrent maintainability.
Depending on the kinds of IT equipment and the purposes for which they are used, concurrent maintainability must be high enough to support the equipment. Concurrent maintainability is so important that many clients demand 99% availability at all times.
What are the colocation provider/data center’s prospects for the future? Do they operate best practices that ensure sustainability in the future? Are they constantly improving their services and equipment in line with industry standards? etc. These questions and more would help you know how sustainable their services would be in the future.
How well has the colocation provider/ data center fared in the past? How confident are existing clients in the data centers’ ability to perform optimally?
Irrespective of your needs, goals, and objectives for wanting a colocation provider or data center, security is one factor you just cannot afford to disregard. It all starts with physical security. If your colocation provider/ data centers’ physical security system is nothing to write home about, you can’t be sure that they are responsible enough to cater to the security of your servers.
You should be observant to notice how many layers of security you encountered before you could access your equipment in the colocation data center. If access to your equipment was very easy with little or no security stops, it’s a clue that the colocation center does not value the security and privacy of your equipment and that virtually anyone can have access to your sensitive data.
Good colocation providers/ data centers also provide certain software facilities for their servers and equipment to ensure that important information isn’t shared with any unauthorized personnel. They carry out regular physical and software security checks and examinations to minimize the risks of theft, they carry out regular security upgrades too.
Colocation providers and data centers help to provide certain facilities to help you store and manage your servers and hardware equipment for maximum productivity. If you run a business or use the internet for very important purposes and you need the services of a colocation provider or a data center, it is important to take into consideration a number of factors before engaging the services of any provider.
Your choice of colocation provider/ data center determines to a great extent how well your business grows and how well your websites or internet functions. You need to diligently research for the best colocation data center around you and ask them certain questions to understand how security conscious, reliable, sustainable, and efficient they are before you finally make your choice.
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