Colocation

Colocation is the practice of housing privately-owned servers and networking equipment in a third-party data center

 

A colocation data center is a physical facility that offers space with the proper power, cooling and security to host businesses' computing hardware and servers. This capacity includes anything from cabinets to cages or private suites.

 

In Colocation we can provide

Rack space: Dedicated Racks of various sizes like 42U/45U/48U/52U are available along with Unit (1U, 2U and more) based space are also available.

 

Server rack cage: Adhere to your security compliance with our server rack cage that is completely customised and configured as per your requirement.

 

Dedicated server hall/suite: Our data center also has exclusive suites or rooms to house your servers and IT equipment. With this, you get a complete secured environment, which you can even fill up the servers progressively or at one go.

 

Dedicated server floor space: With a dedicated floor space, get full customization and control on security, cabling, and power. Additionally, you also have the advantage to scale up or down as per on-demand.

 

Standard and custom-designed colocation racks supported with energy-efficient power are available. From a single rack to an entire building, equipment with varying footprints are supported. Power is bundled with rack space as per your requirement.

 

Plain or Unmanaged Colocation

 

Unmanaged colocation usually takes care of only the first category of server costs, “Housing and Protecting.” This is a hands-off type of service that allows you to take advantage of a data center’s infrastructure, but you are solely responsible if something were to go wrong with your server (ex. your server runs out of memory). Unmanaged colocation services tend to vary from data center operator to data center operator but typically provide a safe and secure place to house our server. Features of a data center that factor in to the quality or their tier classification are the following:

 

  • Power supplies

  • Data communications connections

  • Environmental controls (ex. air conditioning and fire suppression)

  • Security devices

The more “disaster proof” a data center becomes, the higher data center tier it is (ranging from I-IV. IV being the highest). A Tier I data center is considered to be the most prone to failures and downtime whereas a Tier IV data center has the infrastructure in place to be the least prone to failures and downtime with a high amount of redundancy put in place, both on the network and power side.

 

Depending on the Service Level Agreement (SLA) with your data center provider, they can often guarantee a very high percentage of power and network availability (upwards of 99.9%). Depending on how critical uptime is to your company, a good look at your provider’s SLA is a often a must.

 

Besides the infrastructure of the data center, the main costs drivers and therefore price motivators of colocation are:

 

  • Power (Amps)

  • Bandwidth (Mbps)

  • Rack space (Us)

  • Setup (Labor and Equipment)

When looking at unmanaged colocation, these are the four things you want to have a good grasp of going into the purchasing process.

 

 

 

 

Managed Colocation Services

 

There is usually a wide variety of services that fall under “managed colocation” but all start with the previously mentioned unmanged colocation services as a base. The managed colocation services tend to cover at least one of the cost categories mentioned previously. With unmanaged colocation, the server owner is still responsible for monitoring and tracking, responding to and repairing problems with their server and taking preventative measures like backing up their data. Managed colocation outsources many of those operations to a data center operator that can offer those services at a lower cost then a company could deploy by themselves.

 

These services can include:

 

  • Threat Management

  • Technical Support

  • Multi-probe Monitoring, Alerts, and Logging

  • Asset Tracking

  • Patch Management

  • Capacity Planning

  • First Responder, Troubleshooting, and Remediation

  • On-site Backup and/or Off-site Backup

  • Part Replacement and Service

These services, when executed properly, can be very valuable to an organization and provide peace of mind that their servers have the proper procedures behind them to reduce the risk of downtime or lost data to as close to zero as possible. Managed colocation provides the flexibility to decide what services and procedures you want to outsource and which you want to have more control over.

 

This flexibility creates an ideal environment for companies that want their servers in a secure and reliable environment with their data backed up but may want to have more control over a situation, where something to go wrong. Managed colocation allows you to pick and choose the services you want and creates a more customizable solution than a traditional dedicated server.

 

If you own your own servers and are looking to achieve the same level of support as that of a dedicated server, managed colocation is a great option. Just make sure that you understand which services you are receiving and which are still your responsibility. Managed colocation is currently being used as a term to describe any sort of level of support beyond unmanaged colocation so make sure you know what you are getting when you sign up with a managed colocation provider.

 

Questions to Ask Your Managed Colocation Provider

  • What Tier Data Center will my servers be hosted at? Is there 24X7 Support? What kind of security is in place to protect my severs (both the physical features of the data center and the threat management security)? What is in the SLA? Is the data center SAS 70 Audited? etc.

  • What is monitored on my server? Be sure you know what metrics are being monitored and how you will be alerted to abnormalities. Will you be notified when you are close to running out of disk space? Will you get an alert by email, through a text-message, or by phone call?

  • Is my data being backed up and how so? Is it on-site or off-site backup, online or tape? How often is it backed up and for how long? What software are they using to backup the data and what procedures are in place to ensure that there is no lost data.

  • What happens when my server malfunctions? This may be the most important question to ask. Will there be someone available  24×7 in case something goes wrong? Who is going to troubleshoot and identify the problem? Are you responsible for the parts or the labor or both in order to fix the problem? Who will coordinate the resolution to the problem?

  • Are changes to my server being tracked and logged? Are patches being applied to my server? Why? How? and When? How long does it take for my support ticket to be resolved? Is that logged? Are changes to my server’s configuration tracked and logged?

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