Dedicated hosting, operated using in-house infrastructure, continues to be a popular solution for many small-to-medium sized businesses. It’s been this way since the dawn of the internet. And while cloud computing has become a viable and reliable web hosting option, it hasn’t taken away from what in-house servers offer users, namely physical control over infrastructure and the ability to keep sensitive data private.
But as a business grows, so must its servers, which brings about a number of problems. Not only does the space needed to house servers become an issue, but the investment in infrastructure and support (expansion requires additional bandwidth, network speed, security, and manpower to ensure everything runs smoothly) can be extremely costly as well.
When growth begins to outpace in-house server capabilities, moving operations off-site is the most realistic solution. Colocation – the practice of housing privately-owned servers and networking equipment in a remote data centre – offers the perfect alternative, providing all the advantages of in-house hosting with the benefits of a data centre.
The list of reasons colocation is favourable to any business currently hosting operations onsite is a long one, but we have narrowed it down to five.
1. You own all the hardware and software
Colocation is a case of you moving your IT infrastructure from your building into a purpose-built location. The data centre provides you with space for your equipment while allowing you to maintain full control of all installation, monitoring, and updates. Your setup remains tailored to your exact requirements, but with the advantage of high-end cabinets, cooling, air filtration, power, and uplink ports for enhanced reliability.
This dedicated space and high-end infrastructure improves hardware performance and increases the longevity of equipment.
2. Top-tier security
Peace of mind isn’t lost when moving hosting to a new location. In most cases, it is improved. Data centres are multi-million-pound facilities built to house expensive equipment and protect data for thousands of businesses. Nothing is left to chance. Data centres are staffed 24/7/365 and fitted with high-end security cameras. Access control measures are also put in place, with biometric entry systems and restricted passcodes ensuring access is reserved for authorised personnel only.
Additionally, 24/7 support is also provided, giving you access to onsite help when staff within your business are unable to work on call.
Data centres are built with redundancy at the fore and designed to include infrastructure not achievable in most office locations. Power, cooling, networking, and bandwidth are all operated via multiple connections. In the rare event of power failure, systems are automatically switched to generators to avoid downtime and eliminate potential data loss. By opting for colocation, the fate of your hardware is no longer in the hands of your internet service provider (ISP).
4. Increased bandwidth
Colocation provides a better, more reliable service than what is typically achievable in-house. Where most office locations are limited by packages provided by ISPs, data centres operate with a wide range of connections to multiple service providers. This allows for unparalleled connectivity that can be scaled with your business to meet the needs of staff and clients, with speeds well in excess of 1 Gbps.
5. Risk Management
Hosting data at a secure off-site location allows businesses to implement effective disaster recovery in a way that is not possible when hardware and software are housed in the same building as business operations. In the event of an office disaster such as a flood or fire, or where human error results in compromised data, backups kept on data centre servers remain unaffected and can be easily accessed for recovery.
With 90% of the data in the world created in the last two years, the redundancies put in place by data centres are crucial to the long-term effectiveness of your business.
With the ability to access world-class infrastructure, without compromising your current level of server control, colocation represents the perfect solution for any business currently hosting servers in-house.