5 Reasons Collocation Should Be Part of Your IT Strategy
Today, IT infrastructure serves as the foundation for most businesses. If that infrastructure crumbles, the company faces extinction. That’s why it’s more important than ever for companies to analyze Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and develop long-term IT strategies. Colocation is the middle ground between the cloud and owning a data center, and it’s an IT strategy that works for businesses of all sizes, even those that can afford to own and operate their own data centers. Here are five reasons why companies of varying sizes maintain footprints in collocation facilities:
Colocation providers take on the substantial responsibility for maintaining a company’s uptime and provide assurance through SLAs. Colocation providers that operate purpose-built data centers are more equipped to guarantee up-time than companies that run their infrastructure out of server rooms or older buildings. In fact, according to the Ponemon Institute, 25% of downtime is caused by UPS failure. Colocation companies invest in backup power and cooling systems and a highly skilled and trained workforce to carry out backup procedures in the event of disasters or other emergencies. World-class data center operators will not only invest in their mission critical infrastructure, but in their people and procedures as well.
Many collocation companies are carrier-neutral, meaning they don’t show preference to one network provider over another. They provide customers with multiple network options. Collocation providers such as Data Foundry, Equinix, CPI Solutions, CyrusOne and others offer customers the option to use multiple carriers with blended bandwidth, resulting in the most reliable network connectivity. In addition to network access, many collocation providers also offer private connections to major cloud providers, and customers enjoy low-latency, secure access to cloud storage and services.
3. Avoiding “Cloud Jail”
It’s never too early to start thinking about owning and managing your own IT equipment, even if your company is a start-up or a small business. The cloud can help you save money in the beginning, but as your data grows, cloud costs can be significantly higher than collocation costs. Infrastructure expert Avi Freedman, founder of Philadelphia’s first ISP, Akamai veteran and current founder of Kentik, saw many fast-growing start-ups stuck in “Cloud Jail” paying providers hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. He is a firm believer in companies owning some of their own IT infrastructure as soon as possible. It’s not easy to get out once your company is dependent on your cloud provider. In this article from First Round, Freedman recommends, “The earlier you start to think about [collocation] the better. If you can get away with it, start out running multi-cloud and post initial traction, set up a small infrastructure, cross-connected to your cloud provider(s).”
4. Minimize Labor Costs
The highest recurring cost of running a data center is labor. Not only do collocation providers take on the labor costs of running a data center, such as hiring or contracting electricians, engineers, technicians and other experts for maintenance and operations, but many of them also offer managed data center services. Data Foundry, for example, offers network management services, virtual hands, network security, cloud services and infrastructure installation and support. This means companies don’t have to hire someone to service their IT environment in the data center. This is especially helpful for start-ups that can’t yet afford to pay full-time data center technicians; yet want to ensure they own some of their own infrastructure.
Another high labor cost most companies can not afford, is 24×7 data center security. Colocation providers with the best security standards equip their data centers with CCTV cameras, 24×7 onsite security personnel, gated access, bio-metric scanners and limited entry points into the facility. The equipment of the tenants in these facilities is protected at all times. They don’t have to incur the capital expense and labor costs necessary to do it on their own.
This blog was written by Data Foundry. Data Foundry is headquartered in Austin, Texas and provides collocation, disaster recovery and managed services for enterprise customers. Founded in 1994, Data Foundry was one of the first 50 ISPs in the United States. Today, Data Foundry owns and operates purpose-built, carrier-neutral data centers in Texas with a global network and colocation presences worldwide. For more information, visit their website here.