Many businesses have turned to colocation as a way of enabling faster speeds without overburdening IT budgets or staff. Organizations have also leveraged colocation services for effective disaster recovery. According to Network World columnist Andy Gottlieb, the colocation center is also the enabler for the future of enterprise networks.
What is colocation?
Colocation services allow companies to store their IT hardware in a service provider's rack space, shifting some of the burden of maintaining a data center without giving up ownership. The business pays the provider a fee to store the equipment, but, in many cases, the provider can offer faster speeds than the company's own network allows.
But according to Gottlieb, the advantages extend far beyond higher bandwidth.
"So colocation facilities offer inexpensive bandwidth," Gottlieb wrote. "That's good, but by itself, not enough. They are also close to the core of the Internet, which means that it's possible to connect to other locations - say, other colo facilities around the world - very inexpensively, very reliably (the core of the Internet being highly reliable, even if sometimes the edge is not) and at fairly low latency."
Colocation offers an alternative for businesses that are concerned with the reliability and security of cloud computing solutions. As Gottlieb pointed out, some businesses have achieved success with software as a service, but the majority of enterprises require much more reliability than SaaS can offer.
It is also important to remember that not all colocation providers offer the same level of service. The geographic location of the data center can make a significant difference in performance and some web hosts offer additional value in the form of vulnerability testing and other managed services.