What is Server Colocation and Why Should You Care?

Posted by Trevor Akervik on January 12, 2015

Servers are the backbone of business networks. This hardware powers many of the daily activities of your business, from email to document storage, and many things in between. Traditionally, businesses had to make significant investments in hardware to implement, operate and maintain servers that support operations.

On top of the direct costs involved with owning and operating servers, your business is faced with a myriad of additional costs. These include, but are not limited to, electric bills to power and cool servers, rent associated with the physical space the servers use, equipment maintenance and IT staff time.

To save on some of these costs, many businesses are turning to “server colocation”. This term is fairly new to the industry; so let’s begin by answering the common question, what is server colocation? Later, we’ll move into the important topic of how it could benefit your business.

What is Server Colocation?

what_is_server_colocationServer colocation is the practice of housing servers in professional datacenters that are located somewhere other than your primary business location. Modern datacenters are typically facilities that house a large quantity of servers, providing storage and access to multiple businesses, at the same time.

What are Server Colocation Services?

Datacenters that offer server colocation are configured to offer businesses with secure access to private servers. Typical colocation services include leasing server cabinets and cages, which are secured and inaccessible by other colocation clients. Additional services include connecting your ISP network and physical IT infrastructure and server status monitoring.

The Benefits of Server Colocation

Server colocation has the potential to save your company money in operating costs and IT staff lost productivity. The financial burden of maintaining the hardware (and related infrastructure), securing the servers with software and providing physical structures to house the equipment rests on the shoulders of the services provider. As a result, your business has more financial flexibility to focus on primary operations.

Server colocation also offers your company the potential for greater uptime and data security, compared to having servers located in the office. Many server colocation providers use load balancers to prevent server downtime. This means that if one server goes down, the network traffic load is balanced out across other available servers. In the process, your key services and programs remain online despite the crash of a server. In the event of a power outage at your location, your servers remain up and running at the datacenter. In an event of a datacenter power outage, you can be sure that your data will be protected because your colocation servers include quality backups and power redundancies. 

When it comes to security, server colocation services offer a significant advantage. Because datacenter providers maintain servers for a number of clients, the cost of purchasing, installing and managing security systems is spread out across all clients. So while your  business might not be able to afford on premise enterprise-level security systems, your server colocation provider can. You get access to the best security features; physical security on-site, 24/7 monitoring and regular upgrades, to name a few.

Last but not least, server colocation gives your business access to experienced technical support services. If you ever encounter problems with your servers, there is an IT professional available to help tackle the issue. These professionals maintain and monitor equipment, answer employee questions and are ready to act if a major issue were to occur.

 

Discuss server colocation opportunities for your business by requesting a consultation with a Cloud Services Specialist.

Request a Consultation with a Cloud Service Specialist

Topics: Servers, Business IT