For organisations new to the idea of placing their IT infrastructure in a colocation data centre facility, the concept can be confusing - and it can be tricky to define what needs to be considered in order to obtain the maximum benefit.
As colocation services become an increasingly critical element in many organisations’ IT set up or within their developing digital transformation strategy, now is the time to gain a better understanding. As industry experts we live and breathe colocation, so we thought we’d shed some light by addressing some of the most commonly asked questions on the topic.
How does colocation work with cloud?
Colocation can form an integral part of a hybrid IT strategy when it is used alongside, and connected to, cloud to address the needs of different workloads. The result? The flexibility and accessibility of a cloud solution combined with the security and scalability of a data centre; in other words, the best of both worlds.
By adopting a hybrid IT strategy and utilising colocation, you’re still able to move all of your data off-premise. Your business-critical data will remain safe in a data centre, it just won’t be a facility that you have to manage. This in itself comes with great benefits; relieved maintenance burden, enhanced security, economies of scale in terms of power bills etc - assuming that you choose a reliable and accredited colocation partner. This partner should have referenceable clients who they’ve helped through digital transformation projects previously and should ideally also offer services to help with your transformation and data move.
Does the location of the data centre really matter?
Knowing that your IT kit is being placed outside your own premises can feel uncomfortable when you are new to colocation and the first reaction might be to opt for whichever facility is on the doorstep, regardless of its quality and the type of colocation on offer. Whilst ease of access is important (no-one wants their engineers spending five hours travelling to make key adjustments to the set up) it is also important to consider other factors such as: the availability of scheduled and emergency engineering services and remote hands to avoid the need for an engineer’s visit just to plug in a cable or change a tape, the range of supporting services on offer to assist from deploy to decommission, the proven levels of security and uptime, and the proactiveness and transparency of communications so that you know what is happening at all times.
All of this means that whilst location should be considered when moving your data, this doesn’t mean automatically choosing the data centre that’s right on your doorstep; it’s more important to choose the most appropriate provider.
Find out more about Datum and our location here.
I’m concerned about moving workloads. Can a supplier help?
Moving your kit doesn’t have to be a scary process. Though the thought of relocating your key infrastructure may be unappetising, a good colocation partner should make the process seamless.
One of the biggest deterrents for businesses looking to utilise colocation is the migration process. To mitigate this, Datum operates a concierge service which has proved invaluable in offering practical support, and/or project management and assistance when making your move to colocation.
Digital transformation projects or IT restructures can be made a lot less daunting if you work with a trusted colocation provider offering relevant supporting services.
Will my data be secure off-premise?
It’s a common misconception that moving your data ‘out of sight’ automatically equals risk in terms of security. If you choose the right partner with both trusted and proven security credentials, your data should become more secure than is generally possible in an on-premise data suite.
Datum’s location, Cody Technology Park, for example, is one of the few List X grade secure facilities in the UK. The park is highly controlled and regulated with advanced security-driven protocols in place, 24/7 security and a range of important clients who already place their trust in the site’s accredited status.
How can I gain a better understanding of the basics?
When you’re new to colocation, it can be hard to know what process to go follow (and in what order) to efficiently complete the project. We’ve written the Datum Connect series of guides that talk you through the process step by step, covering everything from investigating your options to budgeting and planning the move. There are some handy factsheets on elements like cooling and power, too.
Where can I find more information?
Alternatively, gain an unrivalled understanding of a colocation facility by booking a tour with our concierge team, who can show you around our List X facility in Farnborough and answer any questions in person.