When a company considers colocating assets with a third-party data center, it often doesn’t think beyond its basic space, power, and cooling needs. Today’s data center solutions, however, are light years ahead of where the colocation industry was at the turn of the century. As meeting the networking needs of their customers has become a critical differentiator for colocation facilities, a data center-as-a-service (DCaaS) model that combines cutting edge data center services with a customer-oriented service philosophy has become more vital than ever.
Traditional colocation services focus heavily on the benefits of a robust data center infrastructure. Customers pay for rack space to place their equipment in the colocation facility in order to save on power and cooling costs. Since colocation data centers are usually more energy efficient than the typical on-premises data solution, customers can realize significant savings over time. Colocating with a third-party provider also allows them to avoid the sizable capital expense of building out their own data solution. By shifting their data center strategy to focus on operating expenses instead of capital expenses, organizations can focus their resources on expanding their capacity to innovate and deliver new services to their customers.
But today’s colocation data centers offer far more than just space, power, and cooling. Rather than a mere server warehouse, a modern colocation facility provides a wide range of data center solutions that can help customers take their business to a whole new level. The data center technologies at their disposal give even small startups the ability to build and deploy network services that were once offered by large, established companies
Perhaps the greatest advantage of colocating with a carrier-neutral data center is having access to a wide variety of internet service providers (ISPs) and cloud platforms. As hubs of connectivity, these facilities provide a competitive marketplace that allows their customers to select the providers that best meet their needs and their budget. The variety of carrier options help to prevent the problems associated with vendor lock-in and make it easier to build a “best of breed” data center network solution.
Multi-tenant data centers also provide a number of business opportunities to colocation customers. If two organizations decide to form a relationship to share resources and data, they can provision a cross-connection between their servers that allows them to do so quickly and efficiently. For customers who want low-latency access to services, cross-connect cabling can facilitate those needs with minimal difficulty.
The ability to connect directly to cloud service providers and to access software defined network services (such as Megaport) gives colocation customers a direct on-ramp to the cloud. For an organization looking to build a high-performance hybrid cloud or multi-cloud environment, these connections are essential to their network architecture. Connecting to these services through a data center network not only ensures better performance, but also provides better security and visibility. Since direct cross-connections bypass the public internet, there is less chance that data will be compromised by a cyberattack. Many colocation facilities also partner with select managed service providers (MSPs) who offer bundled services within the data center infrastructure. This helps customers to build the complex network and cloud systems they need to better deliver the innovative services that will grow their business.
Placing assets in a data center environment can be a frightening moment for many customers because they worry about losing visibility and control. This is especially true for companies migrating assets from an on-premises solution where they had constant access to their equipment. Fortunately, innovations in data center technology have made it possible to monitor colocated assets as if they were in the next room. Intelligent monitoring DCIM platforms like vXchnge’s award-winning in\site allow colocation customers to monitor power and cooling performance as well as network traffic in real-time. Thanks to RFID technology, they can also locate their assets instantly and receive notifications whenever someone accesses them. These same software tools also allow them to manage access lists and issue IT support tickets when they need to resolve an issue.
Of course, being able to monitor equipment is only one part of the equation. If customers can’t easily access their servers when something goes wrong, they could still end up losing money due to system downtime. Fortunately, colocation data centers often provide remote hands services to enhance their customers’ IT flexibility. With a qualified team of remote hands technicians on-site 24x7x365, colocation customers can get rapid-response data center services to keep their mission-critical systems up and running. Whether it’s rebooting a server in the middle of the night or performing routine maintenance, a good remote hands team can function as an extension of a customer’s own IT department, which both provides peace of mind and frees up valuable capacity that can be directed elsewhere.
Maintaining consistent levels of system uptime is vital for today’s organizations. Even a few moments of server downtime can translate into significant revenue loss, not to mention the cost of missed opportunities and brand damage. The consequences of a data breach are even more severe, with the potential to ruin a company altogether. Colocation data centers provide substantial disaster mitigation services thanks to their extensive security measures and compliance standards. With multiple layers of physical security backed up by multifactor authentication systems, these facilities create a “zero trust” environment in which no one can gain access to colocated assets without first verifying their identity. When it comes to compliance, a good colocation facility can provide the appropriate certifications and attestations to demonstrate that they have the controls in place to manage risk and handle sensitive data appropriately. These disaster mitigation services provide substantial reassurances to colocation customers who take their data availability and security seriously.
Today’s colocation data centers are more than just a place to house servers. They offer data center solutions that go far beyond the baseline requirements of space, power, and cooling. By combining these innovative services with a high-touch customer service model that empowers colocation customers, the data center-as-a-service philosophy is fast becoming the new standard for quality colocation providers looking to stand out in a competitive marketplace.