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Next Level Technology has been serving the Hunt Valley area since 1997, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

What is Colocation? A SMB's Guide

Fotolia 18936787 SColocation; you may have heard the term used before, but do you actually know what it means for your organization? We’ll discuss in detail what colocation is and what benefits it offers organizations of all shapes and sizes.

Defining Colocation
Colocation is, generally speaking, when an organization “rents space,” in a colocation center. This space is generally used to store physical infrastructure systems like servers, network components, data storage, and other hardware. The idea behind colocation is that you purchase all of the hardware, but you don’t have the space to store it on-premise. Instead of placing it in an environment that isn’t conducive to your business getting the most return on investment from it, like storing servers in a closet that isn’t air-conditioned or in a place where it takes up too much space, the colocation center handles the management of it.

These colocation data centers make it much easier to function as a business without worrying about the upkeep of your technology. Since you access your assets virtually through the cloud, you are given the ability to communicate with your infrastructure anytime, anywhere, from any compatible device. It offers an excellent alternative to managing your own hardware when it’s not feasible to do so.

What to Expect from Colocation Centers
Colocation centers are very similar to data centers in a sense. For one, you have large buildings that need lots of dedicated hardware to keep everything running smoothly. In particular, you’ll notice that colocation centers spend heavily on cooling, as a center that hosts many servers will undoubtedly need to be cooled down to keep from overheating. Servers and other components are often stored in dedicated racks or cabinets that are in controlled environments so as to minimize the chances of hardware failure. Furthermore, these colocation centers will also have power failsafe protocol, so if the power goes out there are backup measures taken to ensure that data loss is kept to a minimum, if at all.

Another major aspect to consider for colocation centers is security. Your office might have physical security measures put into place like security cameras, but most colocation centers will also have guards and other staff that are monitoring the site at all times. Furthermore, solutions like biometrics or card key systems are often seen, providing an additional layer of security that many organizations cannot afford on a grand scale.

In most cases, the actual room available within the building isn’t what limits the capacity of the colocation center, but rather the amount of cooling that’s available for the facility.

What It Offers SMBs
Colocation is great for organizations that either don’t have the in-house space to run an intensive infrastructure, or for organizations that don’t necessarily have the workforce to facilitate the management and maintenance of sensitive IT assets. More often than not, both of these will apply, as physical space is limited and budgets are tight. Colocation allows you to get the most return on investment for your critical technology.

Is colocation right for your organization’s IT assets? To find out, reach out to us at 410-616-2070.

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