The explosive amount of data to be collected, processed and stored by IoT devices, digital medical imaging, law enforcement body cams, and “Big Data” analytics, to name a few, is a crucial factor driving businesses towards finding new data center solutions. This wave of data growth is also putting more pressure on businesses to meet data retention requirements, add more power, better cooling, and increased storage. On top of this, the expertise needed to support and manage an onsite infrastructure becomes unwieldy, and an organization’s ROI can suffer.
Colocation enables organizations to rein in upfront investments while acquiring the redundant infrastructure and high availability they need to support their mission critical applications, workloads and data.
This post will help organizations weight the value of using colocation services in a provider’s data center, learn what to look for and best practices for colocation facilities, and how a trusted provider can help you get started.
Why organizations choose colocation
Resiliency and Uptime
Organizations choose top-tier enterprise-class colocation providers for many reasons, such as Disaster Recovery (DR) scenarios. Backup and recovery from a different DR site are inviting options because the remote data center doesn’t face the same risks as the local site. Housing mission-critical workloads in data centers in a separate geography, or geographic diversity, can minimize unplanned downtime.
Growth and Expansion
Organizations increasingly rely on third-party data centers for space and power to support their growing IT demands. As they add products and services or expand to new markets, IT investments must scale to support that growth. Data center providers offer pre-built enterprise-class space, power, and cooling so companies can extend their IT resources quickly. Companies looking for the flexibility to scale their infrastructure can get up and running sooner by deploying IT hardware via colocation instead of building out on-premises facilities.
After a merger or acquisition, it is not uncommon for organizations to consolidate legacy data centers to unify their IT infrastructures. Third party colocation facilities are ideal centralized locations for easier access and management.
Organizations also turn to colocation for its connectivity advantages. Colocation often enables access to a variety of carriers for redundant connections, and reliable network performance when connecting to their data and applications in the data center. Colocation offers the ability to scale bandwidth quickly and to take advantage of pay-per-use models.
Organizations get more benefit by leveraging high availability and redundant infrastructure from a provider’s data center than from building their own. Moving to a colocation provider can help businesses avoid a large Capital Expenditures (CapEx) investment of building out a secure & redundant facility and staffing the facility. There are also savings on cooling and power as provider facilities are optimized for those savings. However, there is still CapEx because their equipment and infrastructure in in the provider’s space. If they stayed on-premise there would still be Operating Expenditures (OpEx) for power costs and bandwidth.
Colocation providers best practices
Designed to guarantee uptime
Top tier colocation providers offer high availability and redundant power and networking infrastructure to ensure up-time for IT assets. They routinely test and maintain infrastructure, operations, hardware, software, and services to meet SLAs. The best providers offer a selection of power configurations using multiple PDUs, UPSs, and onsite generators. Redundant cooling equipment such as CRAC and CRAH units compensate for maximum heat loads. Redundancies and resources ensure near 100-percent up-time.
Built to scale
Colocation services meet capacity requirements with high power and cooling density within ample space so that IT infrastructure and workloads can scale. Elite colocation providers have valuable expertise in efficient energy and cooling configurations to maximize value and minimize costs. Systems and infrastructure are concurrently maintainable for planned maintenance or expansion of power and cooling systems without disrupting the operation of IT equipment.
Physical security is critical. Data center safeguards encompass security staffing, electronic and video surveillance, and access controls for high-security areas. Facilities should institute background checks and exit procedures for employees and vendor controls to manage vendors when they are on-site. Data centers must comply with regulatory requirements by preventing all cyber and physical access that could breach a given regulation.
Top tier data centers complement their physical security measures with a portfolio of security solutions to help improve an organization’s security posture and mitigate cyber-attacks. In today’s world, security options must include next-gen network and application firewalls, endpoint protection, encryption, and DDoS protection as part of a proactive IT security approach.
Data centers build in power redundancies to keep IT up and running. Power redundancy often includes two power sources adjacent to connected to different parts of the power grid. Multiple systems of PDUs, UPS, power panels and whips are typical, and specifications are negotiable.
Carrier neutral for network diversity and redundancy
Many data centers use multiple network carriers, so they can failover from one to the next in an outage. The carrier-neutral environment includes redundant connections via arrays of ISPs and direct peering arrangements with other networks, ensuring reliable bandwidth. Available ISPs and private fiber networks offer 10G connections.
TierPoint data centers for colocation and beyond
Our data centers meet or exceed all the best practices mentioned above. Each facility aligns with client capacity and space requirements by combining customizable cabinets, cages, and suites in raised floor environments with high power and cooling density ensuring maximum expansion for IT infrastructure for the given footprint.
We can help you scale: Our data centers also have the ability to scale with an organization as it grows, providing the space, capacity, and up-time SLAs companies demand.
We’re carrier-neutral: Our carrier-neutral networking and connectivity options from multiple redundant ISPs, carriers, and private fiber providers, provide speeds up to 10Gb for blended internet bandwidth as well as direct peering with other networks across the internet. We connect enterprises to multiple POPs nationwide via private fiber for resilient, reliable fault-tolerant transmissions, so any single internet outage does not affect basic connectivity.
We’re secure: Every one of our secure data centers is audited annually under SSAE 18 SOC 2 Type II, HIPAA and PCI DSS v3.2.compliance mandates. TierPoint provides on-site security staff to safeguard IT assets, electronic and video surveillance to observe, record, and alert the team to potential attempts at physical breaches, and controlled access using digital keys and PINs, MFA, and biometrics. Our facilities also use background checks, employee exit procedures including changing access codes and revoking access credentials, and vendor controls that monitor onsite vendor activity.
Interested in seeing one of our facilities? Contact us today.