Blog

23rd May 2022

The role of colo in the era of remote working

The pandemic brought about significant changes in all areas of our lives, not least a complete rethink of working practices. The sudden switch to home working (initially assumed to be short-lived) continued for much longer than expected and, over time, morphed into an overall change in perception; many who were eager to return to the workplace when the pandemic first hit actually adjusted well to hybrid working practices and, after two years, became less keen to return to the workplace full time.

The growth in remote working posed a new set of IT challenges for many organisations. Previously, when everything was managed centrally, IT departments could set up protocols allowing for some mobile working, when required. Now, with remote or hybrid working as the norm, things look very different. Whilst IT glitches and familial interruptions during online meetings were viewed with some amusement at the beginning of lockdown, there is now an expectation that things will go smoothly; a high proportion of workers rely on cloud resources and online meeting software and, as such, a correspondingly hybrid data centre architecture is essential to make this work.

Colo and the decentralised work environment

In the initial lockdown uncertainty, colocation data centres were a place to turn to for many organisations. With remote staff accessing networks remotely every day, it became more critical than ever to manage business-critical IT and systems, and ensure seamless connectivity, cloud storage and use of web-based applications. Colocation data centres became key to offering security and remote maintenance of IT real estate in the new decentralised system (particularly at the height of the pandemic when many on premise DC facilities weren’t accessible). Now, whilst the dust appears to be settling on the pandemic, off premise data centres such as ours continue to facilitate remote working:

A hybrid solution

It was tempting for many to make the leap to a total cloud-based solution to facilitate remote working when the pandemic hit, but this isn’t always the best approach, particularly for organisations working in high security environments. Colocation data centres like Datum offer the best of both worlds – a safe and fully managed location for IT infrastructure and critical applications, combined with connectivity to private and public cloud services.

Efficiency and environmental benefits

Nobody needs reminding of the spiralling energy costs, something that has added to the already growing focus on environmental efficiency. Our purpose-built facility was designed and built with environmental efficiency in mind, which makes our facility a very efficient and cost-effective choice. Partnering with us can dramatically reduce a company’s overall energy consumption compared to on premise facilities through our energy-efficient adiabatic cooling, redundant power, our ability to secure the best energy contracts (including full carbon offsetting and the use of renewables) and our participation in environmental ISO accreditations and EU codes of conduct, such as:

  • ISO 14001: 2015 (Environmental Management) - setting up an effective environmental management system
  • ISO 50001 (Energy Management) - improving energy use through the establishment, implementation and maintenance of an energy management system
  • EU Code of Conduct for Data Centres - we are signed up to this code of conduct, which sets out ambitious voluntary standards for reducing energy consumption

Resilience and reliability

Ensuring that systems, data and applications are always available is key, even more so with a remote workforce. Our 100% uptime SLA offers complete peace of mind that downtime won’t ever be an issue.

Security

Remote working has created the ideal environment for cybercriminals who have found it much easier to pick off individuals and capitalise on compromised security. Management of servers in a purpose-built colocation facility offers better security than most on premise facilities, and the data centre team is on hand 365 x 7 x 52 for remote monitoring and checks.

Cloud and connectivity

Remote working depends on reliable connectivity to cloud services for collaboration. Our colocation data centre provides a wide range of connectivity options and high-speed connections to cloud services.

Monitoring and maintenance

IT teams managing on premise data centre facilities can spend much of their time on day-to-day monitoring and maintenance rather than focusing on IT strategy. Housing IT infrastructure and workloads within our colocation facility takes the pressure of IT teams and our remote hands services are always available when clients can’t come on site.

Backup

Data centres have the capacity to provide vastly superior backup measures than on premise DC facilities. Whilst many clients are using cloud to back up infrastructure, a large number still rely on physical backup media, which need to be swapped out and stored. This is a service we can provide for our clients.

Compliance and accreditations

Most on prem data centre facilities are limited by capacity and budgets, which can compromise investment in facility upgrades. In contrast, we are legally obliged to comply with stringent industry requirements. Accreditation activities are performed as standard at our facility and all accreditations are actively refreshed, so our clients can be assured that their business-critical IT is in the safest hands.

Additional capacity

In a rapidly changing environment involving an increase in the use of digital technologies, many on prem data centre facilities have been constrained by space and capacity issues. Data centres like Datum can offer additional space/capacity whenever required (or a reduction in footprint to ensure that clients are only ever paying for the capacity they actually need).

Expert support and strategic guidance

Our dedicated and experienced DC team is on hand all day, every day, and can act as an extension of clients’ IT teams as well as providing strategic advice on IT transformation and optimisation. The dramatic shift in working practices has accelerated digital transformation plans for many organisations and several of our clients have benefited greatly from using our facility as a platform for their digital transformation activities.

We welcome the opportunity to show potential clients around our impressive colocation data centre in Farnborough. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss your requirements, or book a tour to see our colo in action.

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