While using colocation services at a datacenter are becoming more common every day, many businesses still choose to host their services in-house. What are the top 10 reasons a business should make the move to a local datacenter and use colocation services? NetSource, a provider of colocation services in the Chicago suburbs, provides some of the main reasons businesses move to a colo facility.
1) Design / Infrastructure: Colocation facilities are built to specific specifications and standards to meet the needs of today’s high-tech hardware. Datacenters are built with conditioned power, cooling (HVAC), Generators, security systems and many other factors that can cost millions of dollars. These systems are monitored by professionals 24/7/365. Businesses can take advantage of this instead of trying to host their own equipment in a less than desirable location.
2) Risk Management: Having your data at a secure off-site location is a great way to manage your own business risks if you are hosting your primary data at your office location. Many businesses use datacenters as their “disaster recovery” location so they can recover from a major event at their office. Many businesses also choose to use the datacenter as the primary location and their office for backups and recovery. For certain types of businesses it is a requirement to produce a full disaster recovery (DR) plan to show how they will recover data they are hosting for their clients.
3) Redundancy: Datacenters are built with redundancy in mind. This means that most centers have N+1 redundancies built into the key infrastructure like power, cooling, bandwidth, and networking. At many standard office locations it may not even be possible to implement this type of redundancy, and when it is the costs can be extremely high.
4) Bandwidth: Bringing in 100 mbps of bandwidth might be hard at an office location. Try bringing in a full 1 gbps or 10 gbps and it could be impossible. Add a redundant line from a different provider and I think you can see how the costs start to pile up. Datacenters have large bandwidth pipes and they receive connections from multiple providers. This provides you many benefits for a fraction of the cost. Use the datacenter’s economy of scale and you will get better service for less cost in most cases.
5) Security: Datacenters by are build to be secure by nature. Datacenters are protecting millions of dollars of hardware and have many security features built into them when the center is being designed. For example, a datacenter may have biometric or key card access and regulated entry into certain parts of the building. Datacenters also have 24/7/365 security camera surveillance and staff on-site protecting the equipment. It is hard to get this level of security from a standard office building and when you add in certain security certifications your clients may require datacenters are usually the best option.
6) Compliance / Certifications: Many businesses attempting to do in-house hosting may overlook certain certifications their clients may require. Many organizations need to prove they are protecting the data they host and an audit may be required to prove this. Datacenters already hold these certifications and this can save businesses thousands of dollars per year. Certifications like SSAE16 Type II, PCI, HIPAA, and Safe Harbor are just a few of the items that may be required when hosting a customer’s data. Hosting at a colocation provider can make the process of being certified much easier by allowing auditors to review certifications at datacenter.
7) Cost: Creating and managing even a small datacenter can be very expensive. Is it worth the expense to build your own datacenter when it may not be as reliable as a local colocation facility? You need to factor in the cost of not only the infrastructure but also ongoing maintenance. When you factor in the costs to also gain certifications that may be required you can save massive amounts of money when you host with a local datacenter rather than hosting in-house. Also, it is hard to determine how much money you risk to lose if you are hosting in an unreliable location.
8) Support / Experience: By colocating your hosting environment your can instantly add 24/7/365 support to your offering. Datacenters have people on call at all hours giving you peace-of-mind when your business may not have staff on call. Also, when a business chooses to colocate their equipment in a datacenter their technical team gets instantly larger. Colocation facilities have experts in many different technical areas and can help businesses troubleshoot issues that may arise. Even if a business isn’t paying for a support contract they can usually hire experts at the datacenter if additional resources are needed and falls outside the initial scope of the contract.
9) Scalability: Building a datacenter can be quite expensive. If you are building your own in-house datacenter how big do you go? When will your hosted application take off and could you outgrow your space? You also don’t want to over-build and waste money on space that won’t be used for years. When you colocate your equipment at a datacenter you can expand your hosted solution instantly. Most colocation facilities can increase your space, power, and bandwidth within 24 hours. This is one less item you need to plan for and provides you more time to grow your product or service offering.
10) Reduced Maintenance: The dirty little secret about datacenters is once they are built the costs don’t go away. You need to maintain the infrastructure with weekly or monthly maintenance tasks. Batteries on the UPS need to be replaced and generators need regular exercise and fuel to maintain a truly redundant facility. By colocating your equipment you can save large sums of money that you can use to increase your presence at your colocation facility or spend to upgrade hardware (servers, SANs, etc.).
Please visit NetSource’s homepage or call us at for more information on our colocation hosting services.