In simple words, a colocation facility or a colocation data center refers to a data center facility where the clients can deploy entire infrastructure elements including but not limited to storage hardware, servers, power and electricity network, and other infrastructure elements
While the customer owns the server and associated hardware the other services like power, bandwidth, etc. are available on rental bases and billed periodically as per the agreement and billing cycle chosen by the customer (bimonthly, quarterly half yearly, etc.).
Along with the professional expertise and monitoring of infrastructure resources the customers are benefited from the economically priced services as the services like power, bandwidth, etc are consumed on eh shared basis that significantly brings down the costs.
There are some important questions to ask yourself and the service provider in order to ensure that you get reliable and uninterrupted services.
What type of power do you need?
Power is more than just figures and stats, especially when we talk in the context of the colocation data center. Do high figures make a huge difference? Yes, definitely! But the buck doesn’t stop there….here’s what else you would need to know…
- Buy Metered power if you are running a huge (mean HUGE…) company and be ready to be charged a specific amount as fees.
- For others, there are options of kilowatt/kilovolt amp or circuited power. It would fine for most companies
How much power would you be allowed to consume?
Vendors have to strictly follow specific compliances and guidelines. One among them is not to allocate you the entire capacity of power- but just a fraction of it. It is in compliance with the building rules. So your gain is not the “available power” but the “consumable power”.
- The above holds true in the case of ethical providers. There are unethical vendors too who would skim off some (or a huge...) volume of your idle power and sell it to others.
- The issue arises when you experience a sudden fluctuation or influx of traffic and there isn’t enough power to support it! It can cost you customers, sales and business opportunities.
Does the colocation provider ensure economical use of energy?
Cooling costs and power fees are billed together but you need to ensure that the provider is using the energy in a responsible manner. Reckless use of energy might not have an immediate effect on the costing but in the due course of time, you would start experiencing the budgetary repercussions of the same. A reckless use of energy is harmful to your pocket as well as the environment.
- There is an easy way to assess the energy consumption by your provider. Just ask for PUE or power usage effectiveness that clearly reflects the way the energy is used by your colocation provider. The data is available in the simple comprehensible format of ratings.
What are the prime factors to be considered to ensure smooth operations?
Servers work extremely hard and generate heat in the corresponding proportions. Even some percentage of this heat can render the machines useless and that’s why the cooling is needed. But it is not only the consistent cooling. There are a number of other cautionary factors to take care of.
- Outages can take the site down; failsafe security against natural disaster is also a prime requirement.
- 24X7X365 security- both by technical and manual methods is also indispensable. Every element of the infrastructure is critically important for the health of your site. You need to consider all these things before you buy the services of colocation providers.
- The Ideal Colocation data center should also have a solid defense system to eliminate and minimize the impact of the worst condition
- So these are some factors that will make it easier for you to find the best colocation services.
How to ensure the genuineness of uptime guarantee (beyond numbers)?
Arguably speaking uptime is among the most crucial and ironically the most misused terms in the data entry industry.
- The 97.5% or 99.5 % uptime “guarantee” doesn’t always mean what the pure figures reflect. When you carefully review the fine print containing terms, conditions and ethical use policy you might be in for some surprise.
- There could be clauses citing fair use policy or other norms that may restrict you from enjoying the real benefit of advertised uptime availability. These things could be too technical or complicated to understand.
So, it is always better to ask for the SLA level guarantee from your colocation server hosting provider. The service level agreement makes the businesses answerable and ensures that they honor the advertised guarantee without fail (or excuses).
Colocation service providers help the businesses to enjoy the best data center services without having to incur huge running costs, going through complicated procedures (formalities, taking permissions, meeting compliances et.) or adding management hassles. This article mentions actionable tips to choose the best colocation service providers for your business needs. It will help you to save the costs, ensure high standards of services and steer clear from the unethical service providers.