What is a colocation data centre? - Neos Networks

What is a colocation data centre?

What is a colocation data centre?

A colocation data centre, or colo, is a purpose-built data facility designed to provide the optimal environment for servers. The difference between a colocation data centre and a typical data centre is that a colo leases its rack space to third parties, providing businesses with a suitable location for their servers or other network equipment.

This is a popular service for UK businesses that don’t have the necessary on-premise resources to maintain their own data centre, or have outgrown the capacity of their in-house server room. However, it isn’t always a question of whether a business has enough space. It could be that power or cooling demands, or the desire for a more secure solution, are determining factors behind exploring the possibilities of colocation data centres.

In this article, we’ll outline the colocation options available to you, and help you make the right decision for your business.

What is colocation?

Colocation itself is a little different to a colocation data centre as colocation is the actual service provided. It’s the process of having your IT hardware hosted in a commercial data centre, and taking advantage of the infrastructure it provides.

The easiest way to differentiate them is to think of colocation as the service, and a colocation data centre as the place.

Colocation can also be interpreted in different ways. As well as referring to servers and other equipment from multiple companies all being housed together in one data centre, it can also describe one company that has its equipment located in multiple places. This is a key consideration for any business that have their operations dispersed across a wide geographical area as they may wish to locate their computing infrastructure close to a number of their physical offices.

What are the benefits of data centre colocation?

Colocation presents a viable option for any UK business with an expanding infrastructure. As a relatively small server room becomes overcrowded, there’s a greater demand for power and cooling. Particularly if servers begin to encroach upon each other’s airflow space, this creates potential safety risks.

In contrast, commercial data centres benefit from economies of scale that make colocation data centre pricing a far more affordable option. And when your computing requirements expand, there’s plenty of space to accommodate the extra hardware. As well as paying less to operate your servers, your business will also be far more energy efficient, aligning with sustainability goals.

You’ll be able to rest easy, too, with experienced professionals dedicated to managing your infrastructure. Plus, choosing a colocation solution significantly reduces the danger of fire, flood or theft, with sophisticated risk detection systems in place and around-the-clock data centre security.

Many commercial data centres also provide additional services to make colocation an even more attractive prospect. Add-ons include having a resource on site to carry out small maintenance jobs and troubleshooting, as well as cyber security and cloud infrastructure packages.

What types of colocation facilities are available?

The three main types of colocation data centre facility are retail, wholesale and hybrid cloud-based colocation.

Retail colocation is when multiple customers lease a set amount of space within a multi-tenanted data centre. This tends to be either space within a rack, a full rack, or a caged-off area.

Wholesale colocation is when a customer leases an entire data centre location. This generally commands a cheaper rate than retail colocation.

While retail colocation and wholesale colocation are long-standing, relatively traditional solutions, hybrid cloud-based colocation facilities are a newer, more flexible option. This offers a mix of in-house and outsourced data centre services, delivered on a hybrid cloud platform.

Is colocation right for your business and why?

Colocation may not be right for everyone. However, it delivers a predictable, robust expenditure model with the flexibility and scalability that usually appeals to larger UK businesses with substantial and complex hosting requirements.

The resiliency and uptime that can be achieved with best-in-class tools also makes colocation a good choice for many, particularly for hosting non-critical data where network bandwidth and performance are crucial factors.

Why should you choose Neos Networks for colocation services?

Neos Networks is the ideal home for your data replication, data archive, data backup, network access, network aggregation, switching and routing systems. We can help you reduce costs, improve connectivity and network security, with an extensive national colocation network that offers exceptional scalability.

Our 15 colocation facilities are purpose-built, designed and owned by us, and all located close to major UK towns and cities. Combined with a tailor-made service to suit every customer’s budgetary and business needs, and supported by our dedicated team of specialists, it’s likely that we’ll have exactly what you’re looking for. Take a closer look at our colocation services, or contact one of our experts today.

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