What is Colocation and Why You Should Care
Executives responsible for managing businesses of all sizes are keenly aware that they need to pay attention to high-level IT decision making so that they are constantly aligning business objectives with IT’s strategic direction.
Our team is often asked “what is colocation” by finance executives seeking to understand more about moving IT infrastructure assets to a colocation services provider; a move that changes the IT cost model. There are presently over 4800 colocation facilities globally and 1850 in the United States. The global colocation market is experiencing a 10% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) and is expected to top $60 billion by 2026.
Colocation of IT infrastructure involves the outsourcing of data center “space” to a third party that specializes in building, maintaining, and securing hardened data center facilities. Modern data centers are typically built to meet strict compliance standards. Infrastructure to support colocation includes diversity of all services including power, network services, cooling, and other critical systems. A video overview of Google’s data centers can be found HERE.
Basic colocation is sometimes referred to as “Ping, Power, and Pipe”. This terminology references basic monitoring of customer hardware (ping), electricity to run the hardware (power), and internet connectivity (pipe). Moving IT assets to a colocation provider shifts these concerns to a third party who is focused on building data centers to suit numerous tenants.
Below is a summary of key considerations when selecting a colocation provider:
Location – The Macronet team has colocation data center mapping tools that identify colocation providers by distance from an address. The tool will overlay key consideration factors such as US Earthquake Risk, US Electricity Cost, Public Cloud Connectivity (AWS/Azure/Google Cloud Platform)
Reliability and Efficiency – Uptime of all systems is a critical consideration. Tier 4 data centers offer 99.99% uptime and are at a cost premium. Tier 1 data centers average 99.67% uptime and are less expensive. Also, efficiency of cooling systems will determine how much hardware you can run in your colocation cabinet.
Network Connectivity – How many network service providers are built into a data center dramatically impacts your cost and your ability to design a resilient network. The Macronet team’s fiber and Cloud Service Provider (CSP) tools will accurately identify available providers at each colocation facility.
Scalability – It is important to know that the data center and its systems will scale to exceed the available floor space. In addition, your cabinets or private colocation cage should be designed to scale to empty space. Right of First Refusal (ROFR) can be negotiated to ensure that you can claim abutting space.
Security – Strict security policies and procedures should be established to prevent unauthorized access. Control measures must be taken to prevent alteration of information.
Compliance Certifications – Our tools will identify which colocation providers meet certification and compliance standards required for your industry including FISMA, HIPAA, PCI, SSAE 18, NIST 800-53, ISAE 3402, ISO 27001, ISO 50001, Privacy Shield, SOC 1, SOC 2, SOC 3
The team at Macronet Services has extensive experience with the design and sourcing of colocation services for businesses of all sizes. In addition to identifying suitable colocation providers, we will help your team with a long-term strategy for network connectivity. Please contact us anytime to discuss your project and a candid conversation about how we can help.
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