By Scott Fuhriman, VP Sales and Product Development
If you’re wondering “colocation or cloud,” stop right there. The problem is the word “or.” The two are not exclusive: Colocation can be part of a cloud solution, a great step towards a cloud-based model, and a perfectly sufficient strategy all on its own.
In all these forms, colocation is on the rise, and increased cloud adoption is one of the main drivers of growth in colocation. A new report released by DCD Intelligence shows that almost a quarter of all data center footprint in the North America region is now outsourced, and predicts a further increase of 15 percent by the end of 2014.
There are many great reasons for this growth, and most fall into one of three categories: cost savings, reliability, and scalability.
- Cost Savings: Running your own data center is expensive, both in CapEx and OpEx. You’ve got to build, buy, or lease the space, and then staff it, network it, power it, protect it, and cool it. By outsourcing to a colocation data center, you eliminate the CapEx of building or maintaining a data center space and a private communications infrastructure by housing your own equipment in an environmentally controlled, secure, connected facility. OpEx goes down, too. Consolidation of expenses across multiple clients delivers a substantial discount on around-the-clock monitoring, an uninterruptible power supply, a staff of systems experts, and all the latest technologies. You should be able to maintain service provider diversity while saving money – your colocation provider can use its leverage to get a better deal than you could get on your own.
- Around-the-Clock Reliability: With colocation, it’s up to the service provider to ensure the reliability, performance, and power to protect and connect your data and IT infrastructure. Shared expenses mean you can afford a data center that’s hardened against forced entry, unauthorized access, fire, and natural disasters. Providers can afford to hire the very best security and systems experts to ensure reliable performance for your systems. You can reduce risk even further by putting your systems in multiple facilities.
- Seamless Scalability: Colocation allows you to specify and change the bandwidth and power you need and handle spikes in demand. You can adjust quickly to meet short- and long-term demands while simultaneously controlling costs.
For all these reasons, colocation should be part of almost every company’s IT strategy. In making your choice, look for a provider with deep expertise, flexibility, a carrier-neutral policy, and the ability to grow with your changing needs by offering value-added services (yes, including cloud) when you’re ready to expand your outsourcing strategy and benefit from the best of both worlds, colocation and cloud.