Outsource vs. do it yourself is a constant question in nearly all business segments, and IT infrastructure is no different. Large data center users have been faced with the “build vs. buy” scenario for years, and “buy” is winning in most instances. Numerous large entities that formerly owned and operated their own data centers now lease from multi-tenant data centers. There are some users that still build their own data centers that they own and operate, usually for reasons of security and control. But a larger percentage are going the outsource route.
A different version of “build vs. buy” is now being presented in the media to IT infrastructure decision makers at smaller organizations. That choice is cloud vs. on-premise. Cloud is usually presented as the answer, with concerns about security, availability, and scalability all raising arguments that resonate with end users who are understandably concerned with all three issues.
But what is for many a very sensible option is ignored in the “cloud vs. host your own” option. That potential choice is colocation.
A colocation arrangement with a multi-tenant data center provider is a solution that deserves consideration, but it is one that is frequently ignored in debates in the business press and tech media. While larger users usually consider colocation as an option, those with lesser needs frequently don’t realize how small a footprint some data center providers require. Many multi-tenant data center firms will require a commitment of as little as a half-rack or even quarter-rack in a reasonably secure environment. This is an arrangement that allows you to scale upward if required.
In a colocation environment availability and uptime are enhanced by backup systems for power. A multi-tenant data center is frequently something of a priority for bandwidth providers and you’re likely to have more connectivity options in a colocation environment than you would in a dedicated area of your office.
In most instances the costs of a colocation relationship can be more accurately forecast than an arrangement with a cloud provider, so cost overruns are less likely.
While colocation isn’t “cool” in a lot of circles, it is an option that should be considered. If security, connectivity, scalability, and the ability to accurately forecast expenses are important to you, a multi-tenant data center solution could be the right decision for your organization.