As businesses search for options to store their data, they need to know what options are available to them. Many options exist, such as colocation, virtual private servers, and shared web hosting.

Each option offers different features, but colocation is one that may need a bit more explanation for those who are new to the concept of off-site data storage. Businesses in Orlando, Space Coast, Tampa, and other areas of Florida should consider colocation for a number of reasons.

What Exactly Is Colocation(Colo)?

Colocation facilities are data center facilities that house numerous servers. A colo facility allows businesses to rent server and computing hardware space. Colocation services are an excellent option for businesses to store their data.

Of course, a colo may not be the best option for each business. So, to determine whether it’s right for you, we’ll discuss how colocation works and explore its features and benefits.

What Is a Colocation Data Center


Our data center in downtown Orlando has these server cabinets available for colocation services.


A colocation data center is a building that houses rentable racks and cabinets that store your equipment. The building itself has high physical security to protect the equipment inside. The data center facility has redundant power, meaning the power system is backed up by uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and generators. So if the electricity at the data center goes out, your servers are still powered by other means.

Redundant cooling systems are also provided to not only keep equipment cool but also at the right humidity to protect them.


How Colocation Works


A colocation provider supplies customers with a physical building, cooling systems, power, security, and bandwidth. In turn, the customer provides the servers for their business. Most providers rent the space in their facilities by rack, cabinet, cage, or private suite.

Once a business rents space in a colo facility, the data center provider ensures that the rented rack has the proper resources. It checks the rack’s space, power, IP addresses, and uplink ports to verify that the equipment is connected to the network.


Colocation Features


Each provider has its unique offer and way of operating. So, the features can vary from provider to provider. However, there are some features that most providers include in their colocation offers, like:

  • Cross connectivity
  • Physical security and durability
  • Redundant internet connectivity
  • Redundant power
  • Compliance with multiple regulations
  • Assured reliability
  • On-premise support

What Are the Advantages/Benefits of Using Colocation


• Cost-effectiveness 
renting server space in a colocation facility removes the need to build and maintain an on-site physical infrastructure. This decreases your costs significantly and frees up much of your time.

• Superior network security
Colocation data centers protect and monitor your data 24/7. Also, they use the latest cybersecurity protocols to prevent cyberattacks and data loss.

• On-site support
Most colocation providers offer on-site support services. This means an IT technician is here to replace a malfunctioning part and fix your hardware component failures.

• Excellent scalability
Colocation helps you expand your business quickly without interruptions. Also, you can develop your infrastructure without making significant capital expenditures.

• Improved connectivity
Most colocation providers offer multiple connectivity options. Therefore, companies can use the provider’s cross-connections and multi-cloud infrastructure to optimize their workloads, improve functionality and speed, and connect to other providers they need.

Before Migrating to a Colocation Data Center, Bear in Mind That:


• You share the facility with others. Therefore, the cost of powering, cooling, communication, and space is spread among all companies that use your provider’s service.

• It’s best for businesses that need complete control over their equipment. Colocation enables you to maintain your equipment like you would in your in-house data center.

• It overcomes the limits of an existing data center. So, if you have your own data center that you’ve outgrown, you can augment it by using the rented space in the colocation facility.

• It provides higher bandwidth. Because your data hardware is kept in a colocation data center, you’ll have access to higher bandwidth than in an on-site server room.

• Colocation data centers are more reliable. Also, they’re built to protect against power outages because they provide multiple data backups and low-latency networking.

• It’s physically protected. Most providers employ strict security measures and protocols, like CCTV monitoring, fire detection, and suppression systems.


Colocation Facilities


The differences between data centers usually relate to how the data center was built, its uptime, and operational efficiency. 

Colocation facilities offer tenants an SLA that guarantees a pre-set amount of availability. Also, many data centers promise a specific uptime, like 99.99%. However, data center uptime is usually expressed using the following four tiers:


  • Tier 1 – a non-redundant power, cooling, and network connectivity
  • Tier 2 – some power and cooling redundancy
  • Tier 3 – handles a 72-hour power outage
  • Tier 4 – withstands a 96-hour power outage

A data center’s efficiency is usually expressed via its power usage effectiveness (PUE). The higher the PUE score, the more eco-friendly and efficient it is.

Also, since every location in the world is prone to natural disasters, ensuring that your provider’s data center was constructed to survive such disasters is vital.


Colocation Security


Colocation providers implement robust on-site security measures like an on-site IT team that monitors your assets 24/7 and reports all irregularities. Also, they use electronic access cards, have multiple security checkpoints for entry, and some even use fences with locks to isolate the tenants’ hardware.

Additionally, some providers have vehicle access barriers, CCTV, and physical-attack prevention.


Colocation Services Pricing


Each provider has its own colocation offer and pricing model. Some base their prices on the amount of used rack space. Others lease their floor space by the square root. Of course, other factors influence the total cost of the service, including:


  • Bandwidth and power usage
  • Location
  • Customer support tiers
  • Power distribution units

Colocation Services vs. The Public Cloud


The main difference between colocation and the public cloud is how they store and manage data. 

Colocation providers use physical servers to store businesses’ data. The provider supplies the power, cooling, and network connectivity, while the tenants provide their hardware and set up their servers, storage, and network elements. 

Cloud providers use their own hardware on which customers deploy their workloads. The provider’s hardware is located in a cloud data center. Moreover, the cloud provider sets up and manages the servers, storage, and network elements. The tenants only need to pay for the resources they have used.


The Differences Between Shared Web Hosting, Virtual Private Servers, & Colocation


Shared web hosting, virtual private servers, and colocation all share the same purpose, which is to provide storage space, manage data, and keep your business applications accessible through the Internet or a private intranet.

Shared web hosting is a similar concept to renting an apartment. You pay for space but have no control over what goes on around that space. The only control you have is what goes on within your small space on the single server, and it’s only what the provider enables you to control. This is typically quite restrictive, much like a landlord placing restrictions on pets. Shared hosting can restrict the types of programs or content you have, as well as throttle traffic and storage.

With virtual private servers, it’s a bit like renting a house. The data center provides the equipment, installation, handles equipment failures, and backups—just as a landlord would handle any sort of repairs needed on a house. You are only responsible for configuring your server and the upkeep and maintenance on your server instance, but not the actual equipment.

Finally, colocation is much like owning your own condominium. You have complete control over your space and are responsible for everything inside your rack or cabinet, including the equipment, installation, configuration, upkeep/maintenance, equipment failures, etc. But the data center still supplies remote “eyes and hand” support services and is responsible for the shared common elements such as the delivery of power, connectivity, UPSs, HVAC, security, and more.

When evaluating whether colocation is your best option, you need to weigh various factors including your needs such as compute and storage requirements, compliance requirements, latency requirements, and of course, TCO or total cost of ownership.


Are you looking for colocation services for your business?


At Colo Solutions, we provide colocation services for many businesses across the areas of Orlando. Space Coast, Tampa, and more. We also service the entire United States. Give us a call today at (407) 210-2480 to talk about your business’ data storage needs!


Colo Solutions
100 W. Lucerne Circle,
Suite 201 Orlando,
FL 32801

Sales Phone
(407) 210-2480

Support Phone
(407) 210-2476

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