The availability of IT systems is crucial for the continuity of your business. Unavailable systems do not only cause financial damages, but can also lead to reputational damage or worse. Keeping the maintenance of all these systems in your own hands, costs a lot of time, money and energy, even at the expense of adding value from the IT to your business objectives. That is why more and more businesses choose colocation. In this blog, I list seven of the most important reasons for colocation.
The failure of a server, even if only for a few minutes, can have enormous consequences for your business. A data center assures you of an internet connection, whether you are at the office, at home or working anywhere else. Data centers have a redundant setup for their servers as well as for their power supply (all the way to your rack), guaranteeing you of power as well as availability. It is important to keep your IT infrastructure in an environment with climate-control. This means that there is constant, not too high temperature and a limited humidity in the space. This is often not possible to realise in your own office, because more computer activity means more heat, so that requires specialised, scalable and reliable temperature management. Insufficient cooling of your systems can cause costly interruptions.
A data center is specifically designed with security in mind to protect data and applications against all possible threats. Especially with the new strict laws and regulations on data protection. The following three types of security are guaranteed.
With information security, people often only think about protecting the information against people who are not supposed to have access to it: the confidentiality aspect. However, there are two aspects of information security that are equally important: availability (is the information available when it is needed?) and integrity (is the information reliable and complete?). Colocation assures you of this information security.
A data center only allows access to authorised personnel or clients with independent access. In addition, a data center is equipped with security cameras, access gates, biometric verification and a burglary security system, among other things.
Fire protectionUnlike a commercial building, a data center does not extinguish fires with water, but with gas. In case of a fire, the oxygen concentration in the room is reduced by gas extinguishers so the fire is put out quickly. The gas mixture consists of Argon and nitrogen (Argonite). This way, putting out the fire does not lead to (water) damage in the IT equipment or the buildings.
Connectivity affects your business in a number of ways. For example, connectivity determines the speed and execution of business processes. When an internet connection is unavailable, an employee cannot reach the necessary data to do his job. A department that cannot do its job will cost you more than outsourcing your IT. The quality of your internet access is strongly dependent from the way in which an ISP connects to the world outside of its own network. When a data center is carrier-neutral, an organisation can design its network according to their own needs and wants. Also, switching network providers can be easy and quick if the situation requires it. A construction with a choice for multiple carriers also ensures redundancy and flexibility.
It is virtually impossible to comply with all laws and regulations when you maintain all of your own systems. Strict legislation requires strict security measures from businesses with regard to data storage and retention. Implementing the newest security technologies yourself requires a huge investment. Data centers have access to all these technologies and are ISO/IEC 27001 and NEN 7510 certified. This means that data centers are in compliance with the international standard for information security. After all, information security is in their DNA.
Perhaps a lack of space in your own office is the most important reason to choose colocation. It is often architecturally impossible to meet all conditions to create an environment suitable for hosting servers and other business critical equipment. Besides the fact that building your own data center within the walls of your organisation is a costly endeavour, it is also important to be able to upscale or downsize easily when market conditions require it. It is a waste to pay for space and capacity that is not being used. But even more important: you have to be able to switch quickly when the need arises.
One of the most important factors in a data center are the people. They have the proper technical knowledge, skill and experience. They also have the right resources and tooling to put that knowledge to use on a daily basis. For example, think about a monitoring system that provides you with 24/7 specialist supervision of your equipment. The technology should be applied with understanding, in a coherent way and in line with what users need.
Finally, keeping the focus on your business is a reason for choosing colocation. Why would you focus on activities that are not your specialty? It is important that you can put all of your attention towards your business objectives and are not unnecessarily distracted by interruptions in your IT. That would only cost you time, money and energy and cause you a lot of frustration.
By: Walter Jansen