Tag Archives: colocation services

cloud-to-colocation

Steps You Must Take to Move to the Cloud from a Colocation Environment

There is no denying the fact that large numbers of businesses which own infrastructure for hosting purposes are making a move to the cloud. They are eager to choose a cloud solution in exchange for a monthly fee. The key reasons behind this move from on-site or colocation hosting settings to the cloud seem to be legal, performance-related or security factors. So, the basic idea is to cut down on the operational costs and also get more time for focusing on core business activities.   Businesses which are moving to the cloud typically retain racks in their offices or have their infrastructures in data centers where they lease rack spaces. However, in both these types of situations, one can move the infrastructure to the cloud even if it must be shifted from a data center or an office to a new data center.

What are the things you need for a successful transition from colocation hosting to a cloud?

To start with, you will need to have a really strong case to justify this migration to the cloud. It is not enough to only take into consideration the capital costs, colocation hosting costs or data traffic costs. To have a comprehensive business plan, you must consider multiple aspects:

• You need to take into account the total costs for buying the hardware and equipments.

• You must also consider the support costs for the technical support your hardware vendor will give you.

• You will also need to spend for maintaining spare equipments which mean you must have extra equipment for all networking hardware. Else, you should sign up for a costly contract with your hardware vendors to ensure rapid replacement for any malfunctioning components.

• You must also consider license costs for software.

• Finally, you have to consider the expenses of maintaining staff that will monitor and look after the equipments. In case you manage the platform by yourself, you must have a round-the-clock team which is ready to assist you whenever there is an emergency. You will also have to include the costs of training such staff about different hosting technologies.

When you have all these different costs in hand you must compare these to monthly cloud hosting fees. You should typically consider a three-year period because a longer write-off period means you are actually trying to use outdated hardware to get maximum security and reliability. You can then compare these aforementioned costs with monthly fees which take into account all such costs and even extra one-time fees. The additional fees can be customer-specific like changing ERP systems to make them compatible in private clouds or buying new monitoring tools etc. It may also include migration costs to the new private cloud. Understanding these costs is more of a challenging task.

When you need to move specific services to other data centers you will have to consider two different ways to do it:

– You may virtualize all the servers and then move these one by one to a private cloud. You may have to change the IP addresses and this may turn out to be problematic. The problem here is that the write-off period for the current hardware may not expire simultaneously. So, you will need to either extend the support agreements which you have on some outdated hardware or write-off some other hardware faster.

– Another alternative that can help you eliminate this problem is to shift the complete infrastructure to a new data center. This is a huge change and you may get it done within a couple of days. Some data centers will even let you connect the existing colocation racks to the new private clouds. So, here the transition from the colocation environment to a cloud environment is not rushed and you may even get to retain the existing IP address.

These considerations reveal that any successful shift from one infrastructure to another is not going to take place hurriedly. The process should involve elaborate planning and preparation. It has become quite clear that the cloud solution is here to stay and that is has “won”. Cloud hosting is affordable and scalable; it lets businesses look after their business matters instead of focusing on maintaining their IT infrastructure. Colocation is at best an interim solution for businesses. it lets you rent spaces which is less than handling an entire data center but which will still give you access control and you get to keep your own hardware. When you are not obsesses about outfitting your data center you can choose the private cloud. Here, the host gives the hardware. So, it offers the best features of both worlds, between locked-down access to resources and dedicated resources, between colocation and multi-tenant cloud solutions.

Colocation Service Providers

The Opportunities And Threats Faced By Colocation Service Providers

Colocation providers are having a great time with the hosting environment rapidly becoming a harvesting zone for them. Of course, with increasing opportunities, there are greater challenges too as customers are becoming more demanding and there is greater pressure on delivering with greater efficiency. The top providers are busy finding ways to turn the situation to their advantage by assessing new types of architectures and experimenting with new tools so that better quality services can be delivered in a cost-effective manner.

In the past, colocation providers had to deal mostly with facilities professionals and procurement businesses. Today, their clients include IT managers, business executives, digital officers and other key decision makers of growing business establishments. The entrepreneurs are finding it necessary to improve their knowledge and skills so they communicate logically with their new clients and show that they mean business.

The Transition Phase And Challenges

Not surprisingly, colocation companies are also in a transition phase. With new opportunities available to them in different business segments, they now have to reinvent themselves and create a whole new approach to business management. Many companies have used the merger and acquisition route to improve their quality of service, technologies and geographical reach.

Colocation service providers are also aware of the tremendous business opportunities that are now available to them, thanks to newer developments such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data. These developments have opened up a need for edge computing which leads to requirements such as data acquisition, storage resources, compute and others.

How To Convert Threat Into Opportunities

Some debate is happening on whether cloud computing is indeed a business opportunity for colocation providers or acts as a subtle threat to their business. The elastic nature of the cloud makes its handling easy and it can also adapt to variations effortlessly. Colocation providers can convert the cloud threat into a business opportunity by adding cloud services to their list of offerings or by partnering with a cloud provider.

Many top colocation providers already have the capabilities and the infrastructure to serve the needs of top internet organizations. They can expand their services to newer markets where data centers are not yet available. They can also explore business opportunities by reselling the cloud services of internet majors to their own customers. Other possible ways of improving their business output and profitability can include:

• Using cloud providers as tenants
• Partnering with companies offering private and public cloud services
• Adding cloud services, and software as a service to their offerings

To scale greater heights of success, colocation companies must first understand the problems of their customers and device ways of resolving them quickly and with greater efficiency.

New And Path-Breaking DCIM

Greater business opportunities await colocation services that dare to be different. Many service providers are investing in data center infrastructure management software or DCIM which makes data center management easy. Colocation companies can use DCIM to deliver additional, value-added services to their clients.

DCIM is a path-breaking technology and being increasingly used for improved data center management as it brings in better consistency and control to operations. With DCIM, you can easily convert data into logical figures and provide managers a more correct and accurate performance insight across all your IT and facilities. This can put you in full control of functions across the whole data center system and thus drive up efficiency and reliability. As an offshoot, it can also bring down operational costs significantly.

Ways Of Handling Current And Future Problems

The need for a flexible and resilient data center design has never been felt more than now as users grapple with the challenges of keeping pace with the changing technologies and trends. Flexibility is fast-becoming a critical need for data centers. By using the latest available technologies, colocation companies can address all the needs and applications of customers in a cost-effective and efficient manner. They can also use the improved level of service and technology to attract new customers and easily retain the existing ones.

Data center management experts recommend that colocation service providers consider the issue of data center density seriously and remain prepared for the challenges, not only at the time of commissioning but at every stage. For this, they can consider using modular data center architecture that is designed to improve performance and tackle challenges efficiently.

With the size of data centers increasing and size of operations reaching higher densities, the issue of safety of data takes center stage as a critical area of concern. Colocation services can deal with this by training staff members regularly and using advanced tools to ensure that proper procedures are followed. Regular audits must also be conducted to verify that data center procedures are in line with regulations and demands of the industry.

In conclusion, it can be stated that in the current ever-changing business landscape, colocation providers face the challenge of building data centers that are highly resilient and can be operated in a cost-effective manner. They can easily overcome the problems by leveraging the benefits of IoT and Big Data and of course the cloud.

Interesting Topic:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Colocation Hosting Servers

What Is Colocation Data Center?

Leverage Robust Physical And Procedural Security Measures With Colocation Hosting

Multinational enterprises are increasingly opting for third-party data centers to locate their critical hardware and software. By this measure, they want to reap the benefits of higher physical- and procedural-security measures provided by such vendors.

Generally, security procedures comprise of physical access to servers as well as associated hardware. This access can be both local and remote to ensure that data and applications are getting stored on the hardware. In the end, the data is protected from power outages, fire, flood and other environmental disasters. As and when time lapses, the concomitant risk factors responsible for security threats change significantly.

Colocation hosting facilities and changing security risks

According to industry experts, customers must monitor the security measures at colocation centres in the following manner.

Power: Data centers are synonymous with power fluctuations and outages. That is why the SLAs backing colocation services include a clause that specifies how a facility can provide backup power supplies. As a result, two or more alternative power sources has become an industry standard. This is to ensure that client’s data stays protected from power related problems. Additionally power-conditioning equipment ensures a steady voltage and frequency to customer data at all times.

Temperature Control: Commercial air-conditioning systems are not sufficient for the maintenance of appropriate operating temperatures generated by rack density and processor heat. Sophisticated cooling system facilities promote efficient airflow across all racks. Mostly air-powered and liquid driven cooling systems are used because they render point-specific cooling from a rack’s top to the bottom as well as supply very high levels of cooling across all hot areas.

Building Access: First-generation security measures like keys and magnetic strip access-control cards are not sufficient to monitor and control physical access of colocation building facility. Rather keyless access-control systems, numeric code unlock systems and biometric-access systems are best to verify authorized personnel. Some high-end facilities are also turning to surgical insertion of RFID (radio-frequency identification) chips under their skin.

Attack Prevention: Physical barriers such as thick walls reinforced with bullet-resistant material ( Kevlar ) prevent penetration by snipers. Gated entries and fences topped with barbed or razor wire are generally installed in colocation facilities to ward off physical assaults/attacks. Other prevention measures include less number of doors and windows for minimal entry points.

Fire Control: Water, flame and smoke damage jeopardise the security of a colocation-facility. That is why advanced smoke- and fire-detection devices and control systems are installed here. Such fire extinguishing systems can detect individual particles of smoke and tiny quantities of combustion gases. Besides, tobacco smoking is banned within a colocation facility.

Network Access Control: Remote intrusion is ensured with the help of firewalls and 24/7 intrusion-detection systems backed by alarms. Moreover, cross-connects are forbidden.

Therefore, with a colocation hosting service facility powered by these advanced security and protection measures, your company can leverage a higher level of physical and procedural security.

How to Amplify Service levels with Colocation Hosting Services

Colocation hosting is suitable for SMEs wanting to leverage large IT departments at less associated costs. While big corporations make use of Internet infrastructure for hosting their web servers and employ an in-house team of IT professionals to manage the same, small companies and individual users cannot afford the same.

For such clients (small companies & individuals), vendors render an array of options such as simple hosting, running web servers via a dedicated Internet connection etc. Colocation is also one such service. Here are a few reasons why your business must choose colocation services on top of every other hosting service.

  • With colocation hosting, you can place your server hardware in some other company’s rack and then share the bandwidth
  • While the process is costlier than regular web hosting, even then it renders a steady amplification to your business functions

The hardware set up can be transferred to the colocation provider’s center. You can also rent a server machine from the provider’s rack. Then you will get an IP, bandwidth and power supply for your server. Now that the server is active, it can be accessed like a web site on a hosting provider. It is just that here, you own the hardware.

How can businesses benefit from colocation?

  • The primary benefit of colocation is the cost for bandwidth
  • Colocation setups from providers have a better DR strategy in place. That is why the outrage protection scale is better in these places
  • Your business is the sole owner of the server hardware. So the machinery can be upgraded as per the needs
  • Instead of relying on the server software rendered by hosting providers, you get to own and install software of your choice
  • The server that you own is maintained in a better and secured environmen0074
  • Some providers also manage your servers at an additional cost

Thus small businesses eyeing a decently large web presence and deal with complicated network connections can benefit hugely from colocation hosting services.