Let’s ask a question: in your day-to-day business life, what is the most important expense you manage/care about? Whatever that expense, we can almost guarantee, unless you are a fellow colocation company, that IT isn’t your main expense or concern. Yet, even though IT isn’t a main concern, for your day-to-day company operations to steadily roll on, we are betting you utilize some form of colocation. Be it a single 1U server or a full colocation server rack, for your internal company exchange and telephony server to run properly, we bet you utilize colocation services.
For those companies who look at IT solutions as the cost of doing business, when investing in colocation solutions, a common mistake is made. That mistake: investing on colocation providers as opposed to data centers.
1. Colocation Providers Come and Go
Colocation is a long-term investment. Beyond any other web hosting service, colocation is simultaneously a long-term investment in the future growth of your company and the future growth of your colocation needs. Like any company, colocation web hosting firms come and go. As market forces require, certain colocation companies will survive and some will fail. This said, the one aspect of colocation hosting which will not fail is the infrastructure upon which those web hosting firms operate from: the data center.
2. Data Centers Are the Life Blood of Colocation
Whereas colocation firms are bound to come and go, data centers and data center providers are here for the long-term. In our ever-increasing mobile connected world, data centers provide companies of all sizes and varieties with the physical hardware they need to run their operations properly. Just like a public utility, the companies and consumers who utilize the utility might change yet the utility, due to its global need, remains. In our mobile connected world, data centers are the utilities that remain.
3. Invest in Data Center Hardware, Not Colocation Contracts
At the end of the day, your investment in colocation solutions is an investment in the physical hardware and the physical infrastructure wherein your services are housed. This means, your colocation hosting investment is more an investment in the physical servers, nodes, networking equipment, switches, power and cooling supplies of a data center than it is in the month-to-month price your IT web hosting company charges. For any company, investing in colocation needs to be about investing in data center hardware as opposed to investing in the colocation company which leases space in that data center.
4. Colocation Hosts Are Only As Good As Their Data Center
Like any industry, there are major brand names within colocation web hosting solutions. Some of those names, RackSpace, Hivelocity, MediaTempleetc. all provide clients with a gateway service. That is to say, companies like RackSpace serve the market as a middleman between consumer and data center technologies. By providing server management and on-site maintenance, companies like RackSpace and Hivelocity provide consumers with their colocation servers however; RackSpace and other are only as good as the data centers they operate out of.
This said, if a consumer or business is looking to invest in colocation services, they should go directly to the source. Instead of purchasing IT needs from a middleman company, it would be better to go direct to data center providers like Savvis, Verizon Terremark and Digital Realty Trust.
The data center remains while colocation companies come and go. Make your choice wisely.