A colocation centre is a type of data centre where space for server equipment and/or bandwidth are rented out to external clients. Colocation facilities will typically provide space, power, cooling facilities and physical security for the data server, storage and other network equipment of other companies. This solution is preferred for many corporations rather than having their own data centres as it allows them to connect to a variety of telecoms and network service providers with minimum cost and complexity.
Colocation is a very popular option for midsize companies (or larger companies with midsize IT needs) because it permits limited resources to be focused on active work rather than the underlying infrastructure and logistics. There are also benefits of large scale in many colocation facilities which can work out more cost effective than handling things in house for many firms.
A typical secure colocation facility will provide a range of facilities, normally on a term rental contract, such as
- Lockable server rack cabinets or cages
- Power, both AC and DC, in a range of formats
- Network connectivity
- Cooling facilities
- Physical security such as CCTV, badge access and live logging
- Real time monitoring to minimise failure
- Redundancy to ensure as close to zero downtime as possible
A reliable and consultative colocation provider can become a long term partner for a business so it is always worth looking over a wide variety of options before making a choice. Ask about other non-IT relevant factors such as security, human monitoring and server technician provision, especially for out of hours issues. 24/7 monitoring should be the standard, and ideally complete server monitoring with a technician or team of technicians on standby will minimise the risk to all businesses.