Colocation or co location is a service rendered by a data center. If one asks what is a data center, there are multiple answers to it.
The simplest answer is that a data center is a building or a facility which offers high security, world class global server hosting environment, multiple network backbone connections and high-density power supply.
Sometimes, you may need to figure out the difference between a data center and colocation before you choose.
Let’s take a look at how to best use them.
What Is Co Location?
By dictionary co location or colocation means to be together.
In the world of web hosting, co location is a service where customers can house or host their own servers or other network equipment in a colocation data center and pay a rent for the space they occupy, the power they consume and the network services they use.
There are some colocation data center and enterprise data center service providers who also offer managed colocation services i.e. they provide server maintenance as an add-on service.
What is a Data Center?
A data center is a modern, hi-tech building which offers multiple services and features. These could be co location, disaster recovery services, business continuity, dedicated server hosting etc.
This means a data center is a larger feature within which co location is a service.
Now that we know the difference between what is a data center and co location as a service, let us understand more about the different types of co location services.
Colocation Data Center As a Service
At times, there are big enterprises who do not want to have their technical equipment related to servers, databases, storage and core network in their office.
This is when they could actually rent an entire data center for themselves. This is called a colocation data center as a service.
The other predominant type of co location service is the renting of server racks in a colocation data center.
A colocation data center builds out multiple racks within their premises to allow for several different kinds of equipment to be hosted. An example of a rack is as below.
SMEs, businesses have an option of buying just a handful of racks within a stack or buy an entire rack in a data floor depending on their needs.
Exabytes offers co location plans where a business can rent as less as 5 racks starting at RM599/month or hire a full rack of 42u space for just RM2799/month.
Options to buy a quarter rack (12U rack space) and half rack (20U rack space) are also available.
How Is a Co Location Data Center Useful?
There are seven distinct advantages of a co location data center, sometimes also interchangeably called as an enterprise data center.
1. Incomparable Reliability
A colocation data center is built to offer service redundancy on all elements including power and networks.
The Uptime Institute defines four different ratings for any data center facility – be it co location or enterprise data center.
A Rated 3 data center offers more than 1 path for power, cooling and network services.
The redundancy is built in such a way that repairs and maintenance can be carried out without bringing down the equipment.
2. Seamless scalability
A co location data center has the ability to provide additional rack space and the required infrastructure for it within a short span of time.
Doing this in-house in an office is impossible with the logistical constraints.
A good enterprise data center offering co location services can stand up a full rack within hours and bring online any equipment needed. It could also be closer to your existing setup.
3. Choice of geographical location
An enterprise data center service provider would have their setups located in different cities and regions.
This would be done keeping in mind the geographical proximity of the colocation data center or the co location service provider.
Exabytes provides co location service in multiple data centers to enable customers host their servers as close to their users as possible.
4. Expense Control
A co location service can be bought for long periods. Most enterprise data center providers, data colocation providers encourage multi-year contracts to be signed upfront.
This ensures that the expenses incurred on a co location service are consistent and predictable. There are no surprises in it.
5. Lower Cost of Ownership
Be it data colocation, server co location – an enterprise data center provider would be able to offer services at a much cheaper cost when compared to building a data center and racks in house.
The cost of hiring staff to perform co location maintenance work like cabling, power and cooling management is also saved as the co location service provider takes care of all this.
6. Diversified network connectivity
A co location service provider would have multiple network backbone connections available within their data center premises.
A network backbone is what brings together different high speed network connections together.
A carrier neutral co location data center or a network neutral enterprise data center allows interconnections between several different network providers which makes it one of the most attractive features.
It becomes easy for data colocation as there is an assurance that the website or application will always be up.
7. Transfer of Risk
Today’s world is an internet driven, ecommerce powered and electronically powered. However, natural disasters, force majeure, an act of god are still a very real challenges.
A data colocation or an enterprise data center offers protection from these and also cyber security problems like data breach, backup failures etc.
When a business purchases a co location service – be it data colocation or server colocation from an enterprise data center, they also get peace of mind along with it.
This is because, as a co location service provider, enterprise data center owners are responsible to ensure natural calamities cause as less a damage as possible to the equipment housed in their facilities.
8. Signed Service Level Agreements (SLA)
A co location service is always supported by a signed Signed Service Level Agreements (SLA) between the provider and the consumer.
This SLA lists the response time and resolution time for all possible technical issues that might be encountered.
Be it data colocation, server colocation or co location of any other equipment – an enterprise data center is bound by their SLAs, which are generally very stringent.
Exabytes is a one of the leading data colocation and server colocation service provider in South East Asia. With plans starting as low as RM599/month, customers can choose from a wide range of offerings.