Data center colocation services are all about the facility. Vendors built advanced data centers and robust network systems and open the doors for clients to lease raised floor space and offices at the location. this sounds simple enough, and in a way it is genuinely easy. Companies look at how much data center space they need, they figure out the location where they need that room and they rent out part of the facility. It isn't all that different than renting an apartment. At least, that's how things worked in the past. The colocation industry is changing, and while this shift may lead to more complexity, it also creates opportunities for value creation.
Emerging colocation models are about more than just providing a data center where companies can house servers. They are about providing the kind of sophisticated and well-designed facility resources that businesses need to foster IT innovation. This is incredibly important as a variety of technology trends put pressure on IT leaders to find better ways to get the job done. Three especially noteworthy ways in which the facility-related benefits of colocation can lead to IT gains for clients include:
Energy efficiency is a major stumbling block for legacy IT systems, but investing in sustainability can also be too expensive to fit into technology budgets that are focused on minimizing costs and maximizing ROI. On top of all this, companies are facing mounting pressure in the form of regulatory standards and social responsibility concerns from the public that are pushing them to operate more efficiently.
Sustainability problems can be a major roadblock to innovation. You aren't going to be able to buy more servers if your chillers are already pushing power demands beyond fiscally and environmentally sustainable barriers. It can also be difficult to free capital for efficiency-focused benefits when you are constantly spending excessively on operational costs created by high power consumption.
A colocation provider will usually build its facilities to incredibly high standards for sustainability. The degree of emphasis on efficiency will vary from one provider to the next, but their ability to cost-efficiently host equipment has a huge impact on their bottom line. As such, moving infrastructure into a colocation facility can often end up creating the cost savings and efficiency benefits needed to remove barriers to innovation.
Data center availability is absolutely critical for businesses and having to spending heavily on redundant power, network and system architectures can take key funds away from innovation-focused projects. Furthermore, businesses in areas that are exposed to frequent natural disasters need especially resilient systems to protect technology assets.
Any lapse in data center availability can lead to significant losses in terms of productivity and reputation damages (if the outage impacts customers). Furthermore, it is easy to incur technical debt when responding to an outage. Technical debt is IT maintenance or management tasks that will need to be performed later because organizations took shortcuts when dealing with an immediate issue. For example, quickly getting a server up with a key application can help restore stability during an outage, but in that rush, it is easy to skip key secondary configuration processes that will need to be handled later. This type of technical debt can become crippling as IT teams can get busy fast.
All of these problems can be avoided with the help of colocation facilities. The core business model behind colocation mandates that service providers maintain as close to constant availability as possible, and all of the companies leasing space in the third-party data center share the costs of redundancy and resiliency. The end result is a situation in which IT teams can spend less time and fewer resources creating a reliable environment and devote that energy to innovative projects.
Sometimes, the biggest problem an IT team will face is a lack of space on the data center floor. Running into the walls of the data center can be a major limiting factor as finding the resources to consolidate legacy infrastructure can be tricky and, in some cases, the architecture is as efficient as is reasonable, it just keeps expanding. These issues, whether they are created by a problem like data center sprawl or just rising IT demands, can be dealt with by leasing space in a colocation facility.
Organizations that implement a colocation plan can either move stable configurations into the facility or use it to house new projects. Furthermore, colocation providers are often able to adjust lease agreements over time to offer more capacity to clients as their demands change. This scalability can prove invaluable as technology teams face pressure to adapt to a variety of industry trends.
Many businesses are facing major barriers to technological innovation, but need to upgrade systems to meet customer requirements. Data center colocation services can give IT teams the flexibility and adaptability they need to respond to these demands and get ahead of competitors.