Choosing where to house your data is a critical decision for your business. Often, it means the difference between the lights always on or regular downtime. According to Tech Radar, 25% of SMBs said the per-hour cost of downtime for their business was between $20,000 and $40,000.
We want to help you avoid that by giving you the answers you need to decide which route makes more sense for your business: an on-site data center or colocation.
Why Consider Colocation
Colocation is a big decision that will re-define a company’s IT operations. At the crossroads of colocation, IT managers must decide if it is worth the effort to move their infrastructure into an off-site data center or to keep it on the premises. Here’s why you may want to consider the former.
Colocation provides businesses with climate-controlled, fully configured physical rack space solutions within a secure, monitored and redundant facility to power connectivity and network density. This route is ideal if you want:
- To save on cooling costs and electricity
- To ensure connectivity at all times
- Enterprise-class firewall and network infrastructure
- 24/7/365 NOC monitoring and support
- Physical security to protect your data
- Environmental control and fire protection
- Carrier-grade power to support complex IT infrastructure
- To automatically meet strict compliance regulations
Read more: Everything You Need to Know About IT Colocation White Paper
Understanding On-Site Data Centers
Some businesses value their onsite data centers for the ease of access, the comfort of having infrastructure in-house, and the convenience of not having to move infrastructure. However, there are some often overlooked risks involved with on-site data centers to consider:
- Multi-tenant hazards: crowded office buildings are some of the worst places for data centers.
- Utilities infrastructure: often, what is going on outside an onsite data center is more dangerous than what is inside.
- Security threats: standard office buildings are not built for commercial-grade data security.
- Limited scalability: although not an immediate threat to data centers, space and equipment constraints are roadblocks to growth.
The bottom line: when servers go down, production stops, customers cannot buy, and systems must be reset, all of which incur an expense. Unfortunately, these are the main risks associated with a commercial-grade data center. The features needed to avoid those risks cost exponentially more to add on separately to an on-site facility.
Costly Pros and Cons
We’ve already touched on the cost of downtime, which can be more common with on-site data centers, but let’s talk about a few other costs.
Meeting regulations and undergoing inspections is an expensive but necessary process. In a colocation model, these costs are absorbed by the provider (us). That includes audit fees (easily $100,000 per year) and annual fees ($70 per square foot, according to tech research firm Forrester). You don’t have to worry about these when you store or host your data off-site with a reliable provider.
Data centers use a lot of energy resources. For commercial data centers and their customers, however, utility costs are often less expensive. The massive consumption of electricity by commercial data centers gives them bargaining power over suppliers, which drives down costs to colocation clients.
Servers can take up a lot of room, and real estate is expensive. Under a colocation model, businesses can stop paying rent on this space or can repurpose the old IT closet into something useful.
Infrastructure Maintenance and Management
In-house data center capital is expensive to manage, and maintenance fees can add up to more than 50% of the annual operating budget. Since these assets are easier to maintain at scale, data centers can offer a cost-benefit to colocation customers.
As for management, salaries are one of the highest operational costs of data center facilities, but that cost is greatly reduced under a colocation model.
The Most Important Part of Colocation: Disaster Recovery
Disaster is unpredictable. And while we can’t tell you when a natural disaster will hit, we can say that with an off-site commercial data center hosting and storing your data, you can rest knowing you’re protected no matter what.
Plus, your employees are still able to access your data and work remotely after a disaster strikes. To us, that’s the true meaning of business continuity. When employees can still work and get paid, the business moves forward — despite flood, fire, or hurricane.
Read more: Data Protection and Disaster Recovery White Paper
What to Look for in a Colocation Provider
There are many decisions to make when exploring colocation options, especially when it comes to selecting the right colocation provider. When shopping for data centers, consider the following:
- Physical location. What is the travel time to the data center? Is it above sea level?
- Service quality. What is the provider’s philosophy on service? How does it guarantee that quality?
- Financial strength. Will the provider grow along with your business? Does it have strong brand recognition?
- High availability. How many carriers are providing connectivity into the backbone? Is the data center part of a network?
At VENYU, we have colocation solutions that will give you complete confidence in your disaster recovery. Our hurricane-proof facilities get you back to business before the damage is done. Get your data into the area’s most secure and reliable facility.
We’ll make sure you’re protected.