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Colocation (colo) is the leasing of floor space for servers and networking hardware in one or many offsite data center facilities. Colocation providers are responsible for providing the access to the facility, power, network connectivity, cooling, and security. The client is responsible for proving and managing their own hardware and equipment including servers, network gear, and software.
Raised floor space is offered in different configurations including space for individual servers (per u) within a shared rack, full and partial racks, private cabinets, private cages, and suites. Space is typically determined by the number of physical servers but may also be calculated by power requirements due to power density per rack. Power usage is calculated by kilo volt amperes (kVA) and or kilowatt hours (kWh). Your bandwidth requirements are determined by approximate traffic, file sizes and applications running on the server or servers.
There are several reasons why a business would select colocation over on-premise hosting or the cloud. Colocation involves the physical placement of servers within a secure and redundant data center facility. These facilities are purpose built to withstand power outages, network downtime, and even natural disasters. They are climate controlled to ensure optimal operation of hardware. You also gain the benefit of managed services and support.
Colocation offers more control and accessibility than the cloud. This is especially true for mission-critical data and applications. With the cloud, it is difficult to know for sure where your data and applications reside and you are susceptible to the cloud provider infrastructure.
Businesses are able to take advantage of economies of scale. The costs associated with colocation are far less expensive than building an on-premise server room or data center.
The facilities are purposely built with redundancy in mind. They have redundant power, backup systems, and networks to ensure uptime. It is important to review the tier level and associated SLAs.
The service offers a high level of security including key card entry, bio-metrics, CCTV, 24×7 staffing, and locking cabinets, cages, and suites.
You can expect increased support capabilities and managed services including remote hands, OS updates and patches, load balancing, and monitoring.