E-Handbook: How to build a successful colocation strategy Article 1 of 3

Select the best data center for your colocation needs

When organizations decide to implement a colocation strategy, they just can't sign a contract and start moving hardware. Goals must be defined and an evaluation checklist crafted to avoid selecting a colocation service that is too expensive, difficult to access or has limited scalability.

To avoid a poor location contract, IT managers must talk with management to figure out why colocation is the best option for moving hardware off site, the proposed budget, what level of accessibility managers need and how much hardware they plan to use over the short- and long-term. Even with additional factors that are specific to the IT department, these basic points are the foundation of any colocation strategy.

A big factor in selecting a colocation provider is the data center's physical location. Where a colocation facility is geographically situated affects latency and hardware accessibility, so organizations should consider data centers that are close to where end users work if low latency is important. And although one benefit of colocation is that a third-party manages the data center facility, some organizations need access to hardware for security or specific management tasks. For those companies, choosing a provider that can meet those access needs is critical, but such a requirement may mean colocation isn't the right choice. The weather can also affect how a colocation provider runs its data center. Some providers price contracts differently and have different language about weather-related downtime in their service-level agreements.

With colocation, organizations use their own hardware, but they must put their trust in a service provider to keep everything operational and to maintain a well-kept facility. To that end, organizations must outline what they hope to accomplish through a colocation strategy. Taking the hardware selection and provider evaluation process seriously will ensure your colocation selection and strategy is an overall success.

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