All businesses have IT hardware they need to house. Whether it’s a handful of servers in the corner of the office, a larger estate of multiple servers or some racks in a comms room.
This requires reliable power distribution, cooling systems, and much more infrastructure for the servers to operate optimally. The cost of housing servers, therefore, requires a significant level of capital investment that many organisations simply can’t afford.
That’s why many businesses are turning to colocation. In this article, we discuss the meaning of server colocation, why it’s more cost-effective, and how it could help support your IT growth.
- What does ‘server colocation mean?
- How much does server colocation cost?
- The advantages of server colocation
- How safe is it to collocate your server?
- How to collocate your servers
What does ‘server colocation’ mean?
The definition of ‘server colocation’ is the process of housing an organisation’s compute, storage, networking and security hardware in a purpose-built data centre, owned and operated by a partner.
Using a data centre removes the need for your business to spend money and resources on housing servers on your own premises. You simply move your existing equipment into pre-built racks, and the data centre looks after the supporting infrastructure. We will take a look at what some of this infrastructure is below.
How much does server colocation cost?
It’s important to understand the factors that can determine your colocation costs.
The commercial goal of colocation is to avoid the up-front capital expense of building your own hosting facilities. This is done by following an OPEX model of paying the colocation provider only for the hosting space and services you need.
Our colocation contract terms are flexible. We allow you to rent a space as small as part of a shared rack, up to multiple racks locked in your own secure cage. You can even have a dedicated private room within the facility, depending on your needs.
The point here is, you only pay for the capacity you use. Billing is monthly, and you don’t need to commit to lengthy contract terms. Furthermore, as your IT needs grow, your data centre footprint can scale accordingly.
This system saves you having to pay the up-front costs of expanding your own on-premise server room.
The advantages of server colocation
- Frees up your IT resources
- A colocation service provides engineering staff responsible for maintaining the facility and responding to issues 24/7.
- More cost-effective
- We house multiple customers within each data centre, allowing us to spread the cost of maintaining the facility. For you, this means benefitting from economies of scale.
- All the infrastructure is provided
- The data centre provides the building fabric, power feeds, cooling systems, generators, CCTV cameras, maintenance engineers and back-up servers.
- More reliable
- Power outages and loss of network connectivity are major disruptors to IT operations, and in business-critical or customer-facing IT systems, any downtime will result in loss of custom and reputation.
How safe is it to collocate your server?
The ISO 27001 accreditation for IT security management covers all of our data centres. Each one is designed from the ground up to be reliable.
As part of our server colocation package, you can expect:
- Multiple redundant cooling systems
- Multiple power feeds
- High-capacity, enterprise-class UPS systems
- On-site diesel generators,
- Steel perimeter fencing preventing access
- Internal and external CCTV
- Diverse network connections
The latter takes services from several different telecommunications carriers to minimise the risk of communication outages. Your IT will continue to function and serve your customers even after a component failure.
Because we own and manage the entire environment that houses your servers, it provides us with clear visibility of any issue affecting your collocated servers and vastly increases the speed of diagnosis.
Where can I collocate my servers to?
One of the potential downsides to the colocation approach is it can mean long travel times if your engineers need to physically access your hardware.
To mitigate this, we own and manage a range of data centres across the country, with excellent transport links.
All of our data centres are constructed to enterprise-class specification, allowing you to choose a facility that is geographically convenient for you.
We also offer a ‘remote hands’ service, where our engineers act on your behalf in carrying out essential maintenance, repairs, or upgrades to your collocated equipment. That means, in many cases, you can avoid sending your own engineers entirely.
You still own the servers and you are responsible for setting up and configuring them. Your own engineers will have access to them 24/7 if required.
How to collocate your servers
If you’re interested to find out more about server collocation, you can contact our team today. We will be happy to find a solution that meets your business needs.