Businesses of all sizes are choosing to use colocation facilities to accommodate servers, store data, and house networks, off premises in secure, super-cooled buildings with generous generator backup. Also known as data centers, or carrier hotels, colo’s are an ideal hosting option for those who want custom design, high-tech environmental support, scalability, and outsourced maintenance and tech support. Colocation service gives small and medium-sized businesses access to significant bandwidth, carrier redundancy, and experienced technical staff that each would have difficulty affording individually. Colocation data centers serve as disaster recovery, redundancy and backup sites for enterprise customers who need protection from network failure. Colocation facilities can simply house server equipment, lease fully configured dedicated servers to a business without a large IT staff, or build entire data rooms to custom specifications, with varying levels of technical support and availability.

Would you buy a commercial airline ticket to travel across country, or purchase your own jet plane? Use of colocation centers is growing for the same reason – it’s simply not efficient or economical to house and maintain your own equipment on a small scale, when experts can do it with greater savings, using better tools, on a larger scale. Dividing the cost of data center services with many other businesses reduces individual overhead and optimizes efficient use of services like backup power supplies, cooling equipment, and redundant internet access for everyone. Large enterprises that already support an internal infrastructure of servers and network devices with an IT team know the high cost of providing power, cooling, bandwidth, and security for their equipment at multiple sites. Colocation facilities allow for redundant network hubs and nodes off-premises without adding to the infrastructure and personnel budget.

Web-based businesses like storage service providers, ecommerce companies, and telcos use colocation centers as ‘office space’ and colocation providers as outsourced personnel. Even more conveniently, multiple Gigabit Internet ports, each from a different carrier, can terminate at one colocation provider’s facility so that several service providers can share one point of network interconnection. What should you look for when choosing a colocation data center? Certain items are crucial: backup power generators; sufficient cooling and humidity control to protect the massed equipment; a minimum variety of top tier backbone connections; and a physically secure facility that is monitored 24/7. Additional features such as 24/7/365 accessibility to the facility, technically proficient staff, and responsive customer service will make the difference between a quality colocation facility and a bare-bones equipment warehouse.

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