How to Choose a Data Center Colocation Provider

The data center is as essential for a modern enterprise as the heart is in the human body. The everyday enterprise needs are diverse and demanding. Only data centers can provide enough computing, storage, and network resources.   

Companies have been building and maintaining their personal data centers to host their websites for decades. It is just like a tradition. But like many traditions, it is also facing challenges now. They are complex and expensive structures. Businesses with finite resources cannot afford them.   

So, many businesses are choosing colocation nowadays. First, they rent or lease some of the data center capacity that the colocation provider or a data center offers. Then, they access the colocation server through WAN. This article covers the factors to consider when selecting a colocation service provider. But, first, let us confirm we know what colocation means?

Introduction To Colocation

Colocation provides the data center level support to the customer's business. They give the client the access to the basic facilities, which include the following:

  • Power
  • Cooling
  • Physical Security
  • Telco Access for WAN Support

Clients shift their hardware (networking, storage, computing) in the place of a third-party data center. They pay some rent for it and save the expenses of building and operating the data center. The client is primarily responsible for operating the IT equipment. Colo providers will demand extra for this operation.  

Yes, they go further when they host these more resources:

  • Computing
  • Storage
  • Networking
  • Software Tools
  • Expertise Needed To Run Complete Data Center

Managed colocation is the best form of colocation. The provider is bound to provide complete data center facilities. They rent you the access to things like:

  • Provisioned Resources
  • Virtual Machines
  • Applications & Services
  • Backup Services 

In many cases, there is a huge distance between client business and colocation providers' data centers. As a result, businesses cannot afford to send their IT teams. As a result, they have to go for managed colocation services. 

There are many difficulties, for example, travel expenses can be too much. Also, there can be emergencies. Some issues need immediate attention. For this, colocation providers use their IT teams as remote hands. These teams move cables, change gear configurations, and install/remove gear. 

What to look for in a colocation provider

Behind every successful colocation initiative, you will find solid planning and extensive research. A usual contract typically lasts for more than five to fifteen years.

Be wise in colocation partner selection and sign the longer-term contract without worries. However, when the choice is inappropriate, even short-term contracts can be devastating. Perform your due diligence, identify your unique needs, and find the best partner.

Here are some of the common considerations:

Power density. You should know the amount of power in kilowatts or megawatts. Have open communication about it. Ask how much they can deliver and declare your power and cooling requirements. No disaster is more significant than a provider designed for 5kW per rack trying to support 10 kW per rack. 

Limitations can lead to large power surcharges. It would be enough to exclude the candidate from the list. 

Floor space. What about floor costs? What about rack consolidation? You have to spend time thinking about them. You should know that renting more space on the colo has no positive impact on resilience or performance. So try to reduce the requirements as it will help you cut down on the costs. 

Some businesses space out the servers of other gears to manage rack power density. For instance, let us suppose the supplier can handle the increased power and density of complete racks. In that case, the client can fit more gear into a smaller data center footprint. 

WAN redundancy. Here is another thing you must check is if the colocation provider is carrier neutral. Connectivity is critical. Find the provider with connectivity to network carriers at the facility. Network connectivity is something they charge for separately. So, make sure things are worth paying. Usually, telco costs are a provider's headache.   

Do they claim to provide diverse network carriers? If so, do they back this offer? There should be competitive WAN pricing and redundant client connectivity? 

Contract and SLA flexibility. Ask them to provide you with the primary service agreement and SLA. Your IT teams and other concerning departments should read and review it. The business and legal teams should also beware of things written there. They should carefully address the mission-critical items. It may include response times, scalability, and availability.

Get on them with table talk. Do they show flexibility required to adapt to your requirements? 

Location. Before talking to the provider, brainstorm and agree on one place for the colocation site. You should also know why you have chosen that location. For instance, let us say that your website is strictly for DR. In that case, it should not be more than 100 miles from your head office. However, it should also be far enough to protect in emergencies. There are always chances of fire, hurricanes, floods, or other accidents. These threats are the primary reason we need DR  sites.

It is also possible that your goal is improving your global presence. Keep the target market in your mind and find providers who can address that market well. IT teams cannot reach everywhere since the location directly affects the accessibility. 

Compliance. It should go without saying. Does your provider not comply with certifications? Does that company not meet the industry-recognized data center tier levels? Even if they claim to meet or comply, can they prove it? Feel free to reject if any of the answers are no. 

Security. Yes, all colocation providers ensure good safety. But it is still better to double-check things. Read their security measures. Ask your IT teams to go through them and confirm that these measures are suitable. Also, try to discuss what more you can do to strengthen the security further. For example, you may like to add client cameras. 

Colocation FAQs

About Server Colocation UK

Our servers are located in our own data center which is located in Derby, United Kingdom.

Our data center is located next to Mansfield Road, Derby, UK. We are very accessible.
Our address is: Suite 18, Parker House, Mansfield Road, Derby, DE21 4SZ

Tour of our data center facilities is reserved for customers who are looking for colocation services with Data center plus.
If you would like to visit the data center, we must receive at least 24 hours notice.
You will also require to bring a form of ID in the form of a passport or driving license. We cannot allow anyone into the data center failing these requirements.

If you would like to place an order please contact us directly.
You can contact our sales team directly on 0808 169 7866 or emailing info@servercolocation.uk.
If you are an existing customer, log in to the site and simply check out after selecting your new service and proceed to payment options. The details of your new service will be added to your account portal.
If you are placing an order that is an upgrade to your existing one, get in touch with your account manager or raise a support ticket at info@servercolocation.uk.

Support

Follow these steps in case of any server issue: Firstly, get yourself a support ticket. For this, please navigate to our support page and enter all the relevant information. Our support team will generate a ticket for you. Otherwise, send your complaint and relevant information at info@servercolocation.ukIn case, you think the issue is critical and time-sensitive call us immediately at +44 133-230-0935 and simply choose the complaint number. Our SLA response of time is only 30 minutes of each ticket

With remote hand services, you can rapidly respond to disasters.
Our remote hand's services cover different tasks, including:
– Rebooting server
– Connecting and disconnecting cables
– Check and report on indicators
– Checking and relying on diagnostic data back to the clients
In case you need other services such as software installation, we will also serve them to you as an additional service. You may require to pay extra amount for that service. For more information, contact our help centre.

Support for hardware failure is 24/7/365 on our Managed Servers.
Most failed hardware components can be replaced within 1 hour (during office hours and subject to parts being in stock.
Office Hours: 08:30 – 18:00

Emergency support work