There are many advantages and disadvantages associated with colocation. Businesses should be carefully evaluating the pros and the cons before they make a commitment to colocation. In addition to beneficial issues of performance, services, cost, compliance, and performance, there are many other colocation advantages to keep in mind:
Costs are Mainly Inclusive
Colocation costs are mainly operating expenses that recur, covering the provider’s profit and costs. The cooling, power distribution, connectivity, maintenance, security, any other cost involved to run the colocation will all be included within the fee that the business pays every month. Additional fees or costs may incur during the initial setup or through updates, changes, or any added connectivity options.
Useful Services Maybe Available
Colocation providers can have many (thousands) of clients that are present in multiple interconnected-colocation data center venues across the globe. Many clients provide useful services that include microservices or SaaS, and these services are often contracted and then used at data-center speeds. These businesses then essentially operate in the same networks of “high-speed data centers”. Try this analytics as a service platform by Beeks Group.
Scalability is Often Negotiable
Traditional data centers are fixed assets, but the computing needs of an organization usually go through changes over time. This can leave traditional data centers either pushed beyond capacity or underutilized. Colocation can ease these issues, while contracts can be changed to remove or add gear and space as the needs of the organization change. Businesses can now engage with colocation providers for their current requirements as well as change those requirements over time.
Colocation is Often More Resilient
Resiliency and availability are vital factors for the colocations providers that serve many clients from one facility while cooling or power failures will be disastrous for the business of the colocation provider. For this reason, it is common for the colocation venues to invest significantly in infrastructure that is robust and resilient so that it benefits the clients of the provider.
Even though there are many attractive advantages to colocation, it is important to know about the drawbacks which may affect the businesses of clients and their abilities to successfully work with colocation providers. The main drawbacks include:
Colocation facilities are separate businesses with strict limitations when it comes to access. Even though equipment monitoring and management can typically be performed remotely, any physical access that includes reconfiguring, repairing, or removing gear is stringently controlled. When a colocation provider provides and owns the equipment, the businesses of the clients may not be provided with access.
Travel can be Expensive
Sending a technician to a remote colocation site to provide services for client-owned gear could turn into a costly proposition. Remote-hands services provided by most colocation providers may assist with alleviating travel and time costs, yet these services often carry an additional cost.
Cost Factors Often Differ
Even though most colocation will carry a recurring cost, factors that decide these costs often differ from one provider to the next. Providers may use different types of formulas which involve the space rented, the power used, and many other variables to work out the fees. These variables can make it a complex task to directly compare different colocation-provider costs.
Contracts can be Constrained
Colocation typically involves a long-term contract that locks a business into a provider over a number of years. This could turn into a problem when costs fall, or when the business undergoes changes, or when some of the terms are no longer suitable for the business of the client. The contract terms could also curtail re-negotiation, which means the contract should always be evaluated and examined carefully.
SLAs can be Difficult to Verify
The basis of all colocation agreements is its service-level agreement. But enforcing and monitoring SLAs is accompanied by many problems. The client must investigate reporting and monitoring, validate interoperability that occurs between provider tools and client systems, and a way to verify and measure remediation targets including the time-frame to remediate outages. Otherwise, there are no valid ways to enforce an SLA.