The Benefits of Colocation
As the online presence of a business becomes more and more integral to not only their promotional activities, but also their point of sales, the reliability and flexibility that they demand from their online infrastructure becomes more critical.
Therefore, it is a fundamental part of a business’s strategy to consider how their websites are hosted; how their servers can respond to high bandwidth if their sites become more popular, how they can ensure that they can keep up with changes in their online propositions, and the demands of their market place.
This will allow them to provide the availability and service that their customers expect. The solution will often be colocation, but what exactly is colocation and how does it work?
In short the concept of colocation is that the core infrastructure behind a client’s website, the physical hardware such as the servers and accompanying equipment, is located in a colocation provider’s facilities so that the client does not have to maintain it on their own site. This is quite a basic definition and in practice colocation providers will offer a range of services within that area.
The client can retain complete control over the management and configuration of their servers or they can buy this as part of the service from the colocation provider who can take on all responsibilities of monitoring and maintaining the servers’ operations.
The principle benefits of colocation are that the facilities will usually provide a secure home on an internet backbone that will ensure not only high levels of uptime, but also high levels of bandwidth capability and ultimately plenty of flexibility if the client’s requirements change.
The facilities themselves often come with highly sophisticated features such as power back ups (both instant battery and more powerful diesel generators), air conditioning for cooling, fire safety technology, security features (CCTV, highly restricted access controls to both the building and racks), and multiple connections (both into the building and within it) to provide fail safes if individual connections fail.
The client can also benefit from economies of scale in two costly areas as well. Firstly it is often cheaper for a colocation provider to ensure physical preservation of the servers and their up time – the aforementioned fire protection, on site security, power backups – to a high degree across a whole facility than it is for individually businesses to achieve the same levels on their individual sites.
Secondly the bandwidth that the servers can benefit from will come at a far more economical rate for the client than if they attempted to install the equivalent lines at their own site.
Moreover, when choosing a managed colocation service in particular, the facilities may offer greater levels of expertise and specialisation in up-time at a comparatively lower cost freeing up the client’s resources for more effective use elsewhere.
There is even a further option available to clients whereby the data centre can provide the server themselves as part of dedicated hosting service, rather than the client relocating their own servers. This is the complete package in terms of support and flexibility and tapping the full expertise of the data centre. It can be hugely beneficial for some clients, however it does therefore bring with it a greater cost.
Colocation is a real necessity for businesses which either need to exchange high amounts of data or cannot afford any downtime in their online services. Telecommunications businesses and critical e-commerce sites may already be aware of the benefits of colocation but it is fast attracting a wider church as businesses need to compete more efficiently online. There is no better time to see if your business can benefit from colocation hosting. If you are interested in finding out more about colocation services then visit Colocation Hosting or Business Colocation.