Category Archives: Colocation

6 Data Center Colocation Trends to Watch in 2021

About Data Center Colocation
A colocation data center is additionally referred to as “colo”, is a type of large data center facility provided by companies that offer a shared, secure area for enterprise businesses to store hardware related to data storage and other equipment. Colocation facilities offer infrastructure, power, cooling, and physical security for the server, storage, and networking equipment of other organizations. The space at this facility is either leased or rented by the room, cage, rack, or cabinet colo services depending on the requirement of the client. It is a common facility where companies share the resources provided by the data center.

All this sharing comes with significant cost reductions bundled with perks like redundancy/ reduced downtime, higher security, flexibility, scalability, and 24/7 IT Support. It can also be a step towards cloud migration. Switching towards colocation means more focus on revenue projects and overall improvements instead of managing an on-site data center. Data center colocation could be the right choice for any business of any size, in any industry.

This industry has seen tremendous growth in the past decade. In 2020, despite the demands of social distancing and the work-from-home model, this sector still performed well and should continue this year. Infiniti Research published that “the global data center market is projected to grow 18% annually to exceed $270 billion through 2024.”

So what can we expect in 2021? We’ve identified the top 6 trends that will shape the colocation business this year.

Top Trends to Dominate in 2021

  1. Market Growth: COVID-19 pandemic and the associated work-from-home economy has accelerated digital transformation, resilience, and edge strategies for service providers. This in turn has boosted demand for IT services in which colocation serves as a major pillar. As we move into 2021, many industries and individual companies are looking to downsize their commercial real estate and facilitate remote work. They are transitioning into cloud-based frameworks. They have already started to turn to colocation as a flexible option.
  2. Interest In Remote Offerings: The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has put restrictions on travel. This means that enterprise customers can’t always rely on their staff to manage the necessary operation at data centers. The interest of industries will be more towards the colocation companies that offer remote help when their personnel is unavailable to visit the site.
  3. Remote workforce Security: Due to the work-from-home culture, businesses have quickly deployed approaches such as VPN tunneling to ensure secured access to applications for employees working from home. These organizations will look forward to colocation services for more robust security. A colocation facility with a VPN or IP routing, equipped with managed firewalls, which in turn can control access to websites and cloud-based applications will be looked forward to in 2021.
  4. Evolution Of Edge Computing: Edge computing will go mainstream in 2021. The global rise in data use, the continued push towards innovative technologies, the growth of 5G networks, and a long-term remote workforce will all drive increased demand for edge computing. Colocation facilities need to weigh these effects on colo use cases, technology, and investment strategies.
  5. AI Demands On Infrastructure: AI compute as a service will significantly affect colocation data center services. Automation and robotics will play a key role in facility management. This can include the use of robots to install servers in racks, swap out failed servers, manage disk storage and interconnection, and site security. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which demands less reliance on human resources.
  6. Focus On Environmental Impact: One major trend of colocation facilities will be how the service providers will make more energy-efficient solutions and commitments to address both customers and regulatory requirements. Innovation around on-site renewable energy generation for power will be at pace this year. Colocation centers need to minimize their impact on the environment and move towards sustainable practices for energy consumption.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the colocation landscape for many organizations with a continuous emphasis on securing business continuity with its IT systems. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), 80% of businesses will boost their cloud and IT infrastructure at twice the current speed by the end of 2021.The expected result is that the colocation data centers are set for vigorous growth in 2021.

Top 10 Reasons Why Companies Choose Colocation Hosting

About Colocation Hosting
Colocation hosting and dedicated hosting are similar terms with one notable exception. In dedicated hosting, customers rent servers as well as the infrastructure needed to support them. While, in colocation hosting, companies own their hardware, but are looking to supplement its functionality by renting/ leasing server space in this facility which provides benefits like improved internet bandwidth, server cooling systems, and reliable power. For a colocation hosting arrangement, the customer must have their physical server. They physically transport the server to the colocation hosting facility i.e. a data center that provides these services. The customer only rents/ leases the space within the site but maintains ownership and full control of all hardware and software settings of their server. By regular communication with the hosting facility, the customer can quickly upgrade or downgrade various features like RackSpace, bandwidth, etc. to fit the business needs.

10 Reasons Why Companies Choose Colocation Hosting
When the volume of business data outgrows its infrastructure limitations, it becomes important to establish an expansion strategy. Colocation offers them the benefits of having and controlling their servers, storage, and network so that they can manage costs and tune performance. Here are the top 10 reasons why companies choose colocation hosting-

  1. Security: Colocation facilities are designed to ensure that your systems are protected from all risk factors such as fires, burglars, and other things that may compromise the security of your information.
  2. Reliability: These infrastructures have redundant cooling and power, communication systems that ensure constant connection and strict access control, therefore are proved to be reliable.
  3. Accountability and access control: These state of art facilities guarantee service level agreement (SLA) for the uptime of your system, which helps you access the risk.
  4. Cost Savings: Colocation facilities ensure a clean room, redundant systems, and 24/7 monitoring ensuring your savings substantially as you need not spend on maintenance, power requirements, and additional cooling of your servers.
  5. Reduced Maintenance: High-level server support equipment is available at the colocation facilities. They also dedicated staff to make sure that systems are running at top performance. They monitor systems and service the equipment regularly, and also fortify immediate actions in case of failures.
  6. Freeing Up Space: An in-house data center requires a lot of space and putting all your servers in one room is not a sustainable solution. Colocation services free up your valuable spaces and provide the agility and robustness that your business needs for future.
  7. Scalability: Colocation hosting allows you the flexibility to scale up or scale down easily, while you pay only for space and power you need and only when you need it.
  8. Performance: Electronic equipment performs best in a constant cool and dust-free environment. This is ensured at a colocation facility which enhances the overall performance of your systems.
  9. Speed: These facilities offer cost-effective fast connections directly to multiple internet service providers to provide top performance in events of overload or interruption in connections.
  10. Competence: Colocation centers have on-site staff who have major experience in the field of technology. This offloads your IT staff as the maintenance and implementation of your servers is taken care of remotely by the remote smart hands.

Future Prospect
Colocation providers are not just physical space providers but also strategic partners that can help an enterprise fulfill its infrastructure needs. The data center market is highly driven by the cloud. As more companies move their infrastructure to the cloud, they are looking to have their hardware live off-site as well and for that, they are moving towards colocation facilities. It’s good to say that these services are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

The constant evolution of technology demands businesses to transform simultaneously. A company that is expanding ultimately needs a strategy for long-run to fulfill its growth purpose. The various factors such as costs, security, uptime, etc. play a major role while choosing such a strategy. Companies that choose colocation can deliver reliability and performance that meets their business goals and avoids costs associated with expanding in-house infrastructures. These benefits have proven that colocation hosting is definitely the strategy to remain future-ready.

How Colocation Data Centers use Modern Technology

In a typical situation, the colocation will provide the physical security, power, building, and cooling while the consumer provides the servers, and the storage. The space in a colocation facility is rented or leased by the room, cage, cabinet or rack. Several colocation facilities have also included in their services the ability for the business to purchase managed services for their servers and computer hardware.

Why Choose Colocation?

There are several explanations on why a business decides to use a colocation facility over constructing their own data center. The main reason is because of the cost that accompanies constructing a building, preserving and modernizing a huge computing facility. Historically, colocations were used by private businesses in order to minimize disaster recovery. In today’s world colocations are used more and more by cloud service providers.
So, the numerous advantages presented by the colocation facility are :
• Supplies the power
• Supplies the cooling systems
• Supplies the network connectivity and bandwidth
• Typically supplies managed services which gives 24 hour access to server administrators
• Typically supplies security protection such as firewalls and anti-virus protection
• Provides security for the physical access to the servers and other computing hardware

Making Use of Modern Technology

Cloud Resiliency

Colocation data centers need to prepare themselves for the challenges associated with the cloud. The cloud is far from perfect and has had many occasions of outages. Because of this colocation data centers are making use of:
• Creating and maintaining redundancy not only at the hardware level, but the software level, as well
• Ensuring that distributed data centers are logically connected
• Making sure that WAN operation and circulation is easier to regulate and manage
• Creating and maintaining data center load balancing and mirroring
• Utilizing innovative kinds of disaster recovery services designed specifically for the cloud

Colocation Data Center Operating System

Rack Colocation Servers
While colocation facilities are slightly different then the facility which does not provide colocation services, the statement that it is no longer only about managing a data center, it is also about the advanced data center infrastructure management or otherwise known as DCIM, and it is about the data center operating system. Data centers have been and continue to become the distributed entity in a business. When working with DCIM there are many key factors to consider which include:
•Not always the least expensive solutions
•Must include energy efficiency, asset visibility and capacity planning
•Proper planning and utilization of spacing and resources

Proficient Storage and Systems

While typically colocation consumers will provide for their own storage and systems, many facilities offer managed colocation services and as such must look at and deploy platforms and systems which are unified in order to provide increased efficiency, and thus reduce over-all costs. Using computing solutions which are high density they are able to offer more power within a smaller chassis.Going from the smaller chassis, server administrators are then able to put more consumers and higher workloads on a reduced amount of servers.Utilizing SSD and flash controllers’ server administrators have been able to cut the operating costs of storage. Using flash storage not only saves on costs but also aids in saving energy and space. This technology is still somewhat limited in deployment. The arrays are still a little pricey, and there has been some concern over using this technology for the long haul. Still SSD and flash are incredible technologies which are being utilized.

Go Green – Save Green

The idea of going to green technologies has often been thought to be expensive, however,as technology advances this thought process is changing. Data centers are beginning to see that if they go green they will actually save some green.

Some solutions which data centers including colocation data centers are using are:
• Low power servers – These servers typically use only 10 percent of the power and 10 percent of the space.
• Using low carbon, grid independent technology with onsite clean power generation
• Reducing capex by anywhere from 15% to 30% and slashing PUE by using chiller free data centers
• Helping to reduce power consumption and waste by using power proportional computing
• Supporting the creation of low energy yet powerful integrated devices by using Memristors.

As we move forward, it will become increasing important for colocation data center administrators to incessantly advance in the use of modern technology in order to stay in front of their competition.