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Colocation: When to Shut Down the Server Room and Open up the Cloud

What exactly are Colocation Services?

The common calling card of the Network Administrator of the past was to: “Keep your users close, keep your servers closer.” They would break into a sweat at the thought of hosting mission critical servers in another building, let alone another state or by another company entirely. However, except for the largest of corporations, the current trend is to move away from locally hosted servers and server farms to co-located data centers, also referred to as Managed Hosting Solutions. Many Network Administrators & Network Engineers feared that the advent of these remote hosting solutions would rule their jobs obsolete, but just the opposite is true as it has freed up their time to be more valuable to companies that move to the colocation solution.

When an organization should consider moving to a Managed Hosting solution.

Your server hardware is getting old and your hard drives are spinning and spinning, closer and closer to failure. Your server rooms and data centers are woefully lacking and in many cases are just closets and corner rooms that lack the required power and environmental conditioning needs. It is time to relocate to a Managed Hosting Solution. Turn those variable and expensive capital costs of buying and maintaining servers in your own environment to fixed operating costs of co-located servers in the proper environment.

It is common to fear losing control of servers if you handed them over to third-party solution. Not having the actual server itself, to push the power button or replace the hard drive; creates an illusion of total loss of control of your own hardware and software.

But now this could not be further from the truth. There are levels of Managed Hosting Solutions that will benefit the smallest to all but the largest of companies. If you aren’t Amazon, Google or Oracle it is likely that you should look into and embrace this solution.

A perfect example is email. For some companies, there may be no reason at all to host their own email server(s) in their own local environment. It requires onsite Administrators to keep up with hardware needs, network needs, backup requirements, software security upgrades and patches, and Virtual Private Network connectivity. In a small company all of this could fall to a single individual or be outsourced to a cloud based or colocated solution which will take care of all of the above requirements and free up an Administrator to take care of other important in house Information Technology requirements. Regardless of the company size, it is sometimes recommended to work with a bandwidth brokers who can offer expertise and provide competitive rates.

What should a company expect from a colocation service?

There are many providers that have expertise in colocation services. They have dedicated staff 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to fixed operating cost as your existing infrastructure ages and needs to be replaced. Service providers offer many options and expertise that eliminating the need for in-house specialists, allowing you to redirect those assets and augment the bottom line, instead of having those employees manage easily out placed servers and services. manage anything from your single web service to an entire server farm. Your organization can go from a variable Capital cost to a

It is longer necessarily to spend time and money worrying about internal data centers and their power needs or overhead, all of these issues are taken care of and managed by the Managed Hosting Solution.

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