Organisations strive for business growth, which brings numerous benefits. However, growth also poses challenges, particularly in managing data. The rise of digital transformation and the Internet of Things (IoT) has led to an exponential increase in data, projected to reach 180 zettabytes (ZB) by 2025. This growth requires additional data centre space and bandwidth, resulting in service delays and impacting business operations.
To address these challenges, businesses require flexible space and connectivity solutions to store, manage, and analyse data while maintaining security and compliance. However, in-house data centre solutions may need to catch up with business growth. In addition, building larger data centres is costly, time-consuming, and requires expertise that many businesses need to gain.
An alternative solution is colocation, which allows businesses to scale their infrastructures as needed. A recent Vanson Bourne study found that 79% of large enterprises require third-party colocation services due to rapidly increasing digital strategies. Therefore, before building a new data centre or expanding an existing one, businesses should consider the benefits of colocation.
Reason #1: Controlled Costs
Building a data centre involves high upfront costs, including land, planning, construction, fibre connectivity, physical security, and operating systems. Ongoing maintenance and staffing costs also add to the expenses. Colocation allows businesses to lease existing space and reallocate resources, enabling internal IT teams to focus on revenue-generating initiatives. An outsourced model also allows enterprises to shift from capital expenditures (CapEx) to operating expenses (OpEx), providing a more consistent and predictable monthly payment structure. In addition, companies can control costs by paying only for the space, power, and connectivity they need, realising economies of scale and negotiating better deals as they increase their footprints.
Reason #2: Strategic Data Center Locations
Third-party data centres offer strategically located facilities to meet businesses' needs, such as deploying a production environment near a corporate headquarters to support low-latency connections and easy access to the facility. In addition, a portfolio of geographically diverse national data centres allows organisations to establish disaster recovery (DR) sites at a safe distance from the primary location. This strategy would be expensive to implement with two data centres.
Reason #3: Data Center Redundancy and Diverse Connectivity Options
Third-party data centres offer redundant infrastructure to ensure 100% uptime, including multiple UPSs, cooling units, generators, power grids, and power feeds. They also provide advanced interconnection and access to carriers and significant hyper-scale clouds, which on-premise data centres typically need to improve. In addition, this resilient environment ensures that another can take over if one critical element or connectivity path fails.
Reason #4: Rapid Scalability
Sizing an internal data centre is challenging, as building it too large wastes space, while building it too small risks capacity challenges. Partnering with an outsourced provider allows businesses to rent existing space to address capacity requirements quickly, without capital outlay. Businesses can easily scale back down if they do not sustain growth. This elasticity extends beyond space and power, allowing companies to quickly expand bandwidth to accommodate traffic spikes that can cause performance issues and outages.
Reason #5: x365 Onsite Expertise
Operating a data centre is time-consuming and requires expertise many businesses may not possess internally. In addition, managing the data centre diverts valuable IT resources from core business-critical IT initiatives. Colocation provides a skilled team of professionals available 24x7x365 to oversee the facility, address concerns, and ensure optimal performance. Data centre migration is a solution that combines the savings of colocation with the flexibility of an outsourced model that provides the specific expertise businesses need; when they need it, without the expense of hiring a skill set, they may not need long-term. This on-demand expertise enriches the customer experience and delivers peace of mind.
Reason #6: Data Center Security and Compliance
In today's business landscape, safeguarding data is crucial. Colocation provides robust physical security measures, including perimeter fencing, 24/7 guard patrols, visitor screenings, video surveillance, card readers, and biometric access controls. These measures ensure that only authorised personnel can access the facility. Moreover, colocation facilities adhere to various compliance certifications and standards such as ISO 27001, Security Essentials, and PCI DSS. These policies and controls assist in meeting compliance requirements, thereby ensuring data protection and compliance.
Reason #7: Ongoing Innovation
Colocation providers regularly invest in new, innovative technologies, which on-premise data centres may need more resources to implement. These technologies can simplify processes, enhance performance, reduce costs, and improve time management. With colocation, businesses entrust their data to data centre professionals with suitable staffing, protocols, and operational environment. Ensuring that the data centre environment can accommodate changing requirements is critical as companies expand. Colocation enables data centre environments to scale with evolving business needs, providing the connectivity, security, resiliency, and support necessary to thrive in today's fast-paced digital landscape.