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Choosing Data Center Colocation

Today’s enterprise is being pressed in by all sides. Even with mitigating technologies such as cloud computing and virtualization, the data center can hit the point where it can’t handle the business’ computing needs. When that happens, your options can become quite limited. One way out of this conundrum is through data center colocation.

Here are some basic principles surrounding data center colocation you should be familiar with if you think it might be an option for your company:

•    Colocation differs from traditional hosting in that you own your servers and networking hardware. In many cases, you’ll even physically manage the servers, although remote vendor assistance is usually an option.

•    Wholesale and retail colocation providers differ in what they offer. Wholesale providers might offer a huge data center with power and cooling structure, leaving server installation, racking, cabling, and more to the customer. Retail spaces are smaller and often consist of a cage, or even of single servers.

•    Upsell is the name of the game with colocation. Most colocation services want to be able to offer you managed services.

•    The major reason that companies choose colocation has to do with capital investments. With colocation, you don’t spend huge amounts of cash up front, and instead rely on an operating expense model.

•    Data center space needs are projected to grow. Even with virtualization and cloud computing technologies in place, most enterprises are expected to see an increase of about 15 percent per year for the next couple of years in terms of data center space. This means that many enterprises are going to need to build or turn to colocation.

•    Most companies utilize some sort of data center colocation. More than two thirds, however, don’t outsource the entire data center.

In the end, it’s a matter of determining what works best for your business. Some businesses have the capital and the need to continue to build the data center via expansion. Others look at the long term and recognize that, eventually, their data center space should decrease due to technologies like cloud computing and virtualization. Data center colocation can be a good move in the interim while companies wait to see how big that impact will be.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.