Data Centers 101: What Is Colocation?


Today, a wide range of businesses runs on the availability, reliability, and speed of their data centers. Both your customers and employees expect an “anywhere, anytime, and always-on” access to a broad range of critical applications. Besides that, it’s important to note that a small window of downtime can wreak havoc on a company’s bottom line. To ensure your company stays competitive, it is pertinent that you consider giving colocation services a shot.

What is Colocation?

Also known as ‘colo’ or ‘co-location’, this is the process of housing your servers and networking equipment in a third party data center. You are essentially renting X amount of space in a colocation center and no longer keep your servers in-house, i.e. your own private data center or office. Remember, this practice should not be confused with renting space on a server that’s owned by another hosting provider. Reminder: You already own the server. You are renting the necessary physical space to get it housed properly.

How does Colocation Work?

Colocation providers rent out space in their data center, whilst providing the required cooling systems, IP addresses, bandwidth, and power for customers to install their equipment and deploy their servers. In most cases, space is rented out in terms of cabinets and racks. In addition, racks are usually frames used for mounting horizontal hardware. Equipment that’s slated to be mounted in a rack is measured in rack units, or U. 1 U = 1.75 inches. With that in mind, the price of such services can be calculated from the no. of units required by the customer. Also, you can choose to rent partial, half, or full cabinets. If you opt for the last option, that will be 47U.

Understanding the Benefits of Colocation

  • Offers scalable solutions

Some companies may face issues such as maxing out their physical data center space, which leaves them unable to grow and adapt as their business needs change. What’s more, these services allow customers to benefit from a wide range of economies of scale, i.e. adding capacity quickly on request.

  • Limits the chances of downtime

Modern colocation providers are required to adhere to stringent service-level agreements. That’s why you can rest assured that these facilities are always well-staffed and managed. With the availability of back up emergency generators, redundant services, etc., downtime can become an oxymoron. What’s more, reputable service providers have staff members working round the clock to deal with potential issues.

  • Provides strong security expertise

From 24/7 onsite security teams, biometric access controls, dual authentication security access, video surveillance systems, etc., modern colocation facilities provide unmatched security expertise and practices. Knowing your sensitive customer and employee data are stored and managed behind reinforced physical structures along with stellar security features provide complete peace of mind.

  • Gets the job done with minimal overhead

Building in-house data centers can require huge investments from its potential owners. You need to consider factors such as security, space, cooling, power, and more. With colocation services, you can reap similar benefits at a lower cost because all colocation resources are shared.

Does Colocation Suit You?

Whether your business runs online or operates out of multiple branches around the world, or a single office, it’s pertinent that your data remains accessible, secure, and safe every hour of every day throughout every year. Wondering whether colocation suits your needs? There has never been a better time to consult a colocation provider to sort out your needs!