Colocation hosting is a golden mean between managing and maintaining on-premise data center facilities and leasing external servers from hosting service providers. In colocation hosting, businesses are allowed to position their servers and supporting equipments in professional server rooms inside host’s well-equipped data center facilities. The facilities are secured, managed and operated by colocation providers.
With availability of a multitude of colocation service providers, prospective clients of such services must exercise extreme care while choosing the right host. Every service provider differs from other in terms of service offerings and features. There are several fly-by-night operators as well.
In order to help you narrow down your choice from a plethora of available options of colocation providers, we are providing six vital criteria for evaluation of a service provider.
Even a short interruption in connectivity can lead to exponential revenue loss. Since uninterrupted server accessibility is crucial for availability of seamless functioning of projects as well as websites, a service provider must offer guarantee of not less than 99.99 percent uptime, backed by Service Level Agreement.
Physical damage to connections or higher network traffic can seriously impact availability of network connectivity. Trusted hosting service providers make sure that customers are supported with reliable network connections by implementation of several WAN connections and use of multiple ISPs.
Another factor that can cause downtime is change in software and therefore hosts ensure regular modifications of server configuration and installation of security patches and software upgrades. This can also guarantee seamless performance of system with no threat of downtime. All these tasks are performed by expert technical teams that are well-versed with efficient maintenance of network software.
Efficient power management
It is a bitter truth that data center facilities heavily bank on utility service provider companies. There have been multiple instances of data corruption and downtimes due to frequent blackouts or brownouts leading to server shutdown. Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) Systems are only useful for execution of clean shutdown and cannot be relied upon for continuous server operation in the event of outages.
In-house data centers have limited financial resources to install power generators for dealing with issues related to power failure. However, colocation data centers are backed by N+1 redundancy as far as power supply is concerned and provide assurance of multiple generators to face challenges of power outage.
It would be a costly proposition to install sophisticated network security measures in on-site IT facilities. However, large colocation hosting service providers can afford to provide sophisticated security solutions to their clients due to economies of scale. This also involves use of state of the art software as well as hardware tools that provide reliable security to the systems from hacking attempts or malware threats.
Physical security also assumes great importance in server hosting environment in addition to network security. This involves intrusion protection and safety of equipment from malicious individuals. Unfortunately, importance of physical security is usually underestimated.
Reputed colocation hosting centers employ security guards and install surveillance cameras for round the clock security monitoring. This further backed by mantraps and biometric access control measures to prevent unauthorized personnel from entering into high security server rooms. It is obvious that in-house facilities cannot provide such extreme level security.
Assured protection from natural events
The most dreaded disaster in data center facility is that of a fire mishap. Fire can inflict irreparable damage to physical equipment as well as mission critical data. In view of this data canter architecture lays a great emphasis to ensure protection from fire mishaps.
It is a known fact that regular fire protection devices are of no use when it comes to protect electronic data storage equipment or servers from fire. Routinely used fire extinguishers are known to inflict more damage to these equipments than fire itself. Sensitive hard drives are damaged by the time fire alarms are activated.
In order to ensure effective fire protection, colocation data center providers use sophisticated fire suppression solutions and install high end smoke detection systems. Location of data center is usually selected in regions with low seismic potential and no past history other natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods and snow storms.
It must be noted that mere insurance protection of physical equipment cannot make up for lost business. Therefore colocation hosting providers leave no stone unturned to make sure that clients’ data and physical equipment is secured from a multitude of natural disasters.
Energy efficient data centers
Data centers are power guzzling facilities that consume a whopping eight percent of total power generated and major part of this energy is required for maintaining cooling.
One of the significant reasons for such huge energy requirement is that most of the facilities are made to accommodate into buildings that are not basically aimed at housing servers. There is use of improper supplementary cooling to maintain equipment within prescribed operating temperature.
This brings us to colocation centers that are designed to produce maximum cooling by consuming minimum power. This is termed as low cost cooling that maintains server equipment running at optimum temperature without wasting energy for cooling portions of data centers that are not required to be cooled.
Adroit and professional IT staff
No data center can dream to operate without an efficient and dedicated IT staff. Users of colocation hosting are relieved from employing in-house staff for round the clock monitoring of server performance and networking. It would be next to impossible to access highly proficient IT teams for small enterprises.
Managing in-house data center infrastructure is rapidly becoming an obsolete practice with efficient and affordable option of colocation hosting. Look for these key attributes before finalizing colocation host.