By 2025, 80% of enterprises will give up their on-premises data centers and move workloads to co-location and/or cloud and managed services.
It’s pretty simple, really: a confluence of new technologies (serverless computing, AI/machine learning, the internet of things, 5G, edge computing, software as a service, etc.) and skills shortages have made it prohibitively expensive to keep on-premises data centers up-to-date and competitive. So most organizations are rethinking their IT infrastructures — and moving them to cloud and/or co-location environments.
As your business requirements drive how you choose which workloads to place where, you face a stream of decisions centered around how much control you need over your servers and the data they harbor.
If you don’t want to share physical servers with others (as in a public cloud), co-location provides a viable alternative to an on-premises data center and all its associated costs. Using your own servers – in effect, running a private cloud – in a co-location facility combines the control you seek with the ability to spin up more capacity for your servers whenever you need it.
You’ll enjoy cost savings from pooling your data center needs with others who also rent shared co-lo facilities run by a provider experienced in delivering live equipment monitoring, extremely fast internet access, strong technical as well as physical security, climate control and fire suppression capabilities, and reliable power and battery backup.
Thus, co-location enables your staff to focus on value-added work specific to your business and leave the data center driving to experts.
Beyond the co-lo basics
All sorts of considerations are at play when you’re choosing a co-location services provider. Besides the basics, you might also care about such capabilities as robust, multiple network connectivity services; an ability to handle bandwidth bursts on demand; multiple types of data service; layered security zones; locking, customizable cabinets; and a provider with multiple facilities able to spin up backup servers should disruption strike your primary co-lo center.
Beyond all that, I urge you to pay attention to a couple of other key co-lo considerations:
Ability to address hybrid challenges. If you’re running cloud workloads in addition to collocated systems, you may face integration issues that introduce latency and interfere with the user experience on which your business depends. A co-location partner that also provides a range of customizable cloud and managed services can optimize your hybrid IT environment.
Ability to provide access to business continuity/disaster recovery resources. A services provider able to integrate your co-located systems with a leading-edge array of data storage and business continuity/disaster recovery solutions, including disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) and business resumption center options, can help your business stay operational even if your systems go down.