Colocation providers may seem like they’re quickly becoming a commodity business but what may seem like small difference can actually have a major impact on the performance of that colocation provider’s ability to provide effective service to your business. By now there’s no question that all aspects of your infrastructure need to be carefully scrutinized and the company who’s providing the colocation services for your insfrastructure is no different.
From location to integration and building facilities, there are a number of important considerations when choosing a colocation service provider. We’ve identified some of the primary considerations that you should monitor to make sure that the colocation company that you’ll be working with is the best fit for your businesses infrastructure.
Depth and Breadth of Capabilities
For most businesses, your colocation provider is only one piece of the infrastructure puzzle so don’t isolate it from the expectations that you set for the rest of your infrastructure. Whoever you choose for your colocation services should meet the same requirements of scalability and “future readiness” you would expect from your own IT team. If you need capabilities like managed hosting or cloud services, working with a provider who can offer these services can lead to a higher performing infrastructure. Colocation providers can be best utilized as an augmentation of your infrastructure and the skills that your team needs to manage it. Make sure that you know your infrastructure requirements and the holes that you need to fill so you can properly identify your colocation needs.
Location, Location, Location
Most companies who choose to work with a colocation service provider look for one that’s close to the physical location of their offices. That provides the obvious benefit of easy accessibility but, in reality, might not be the most important consideration. If you’re in Southern California and colocation pricing is one of your primary concerns, working with a colocation company in San Diego or LA might not be your best option – colocation requires real estate and real estate costs are a factor in the cost of colocation pricing. You’ll have to make the decision on what’s more important to you but location must be a factor you consider when choosing your colocation provider.
Connectivity Between Their Site and Yours
Your colocation provider will effectively be becoming a very large part of your IT infrastructure backbone. With that, knowing how you’ll be connecting with the colocation company becomes incredibly important. Will there be enough bandwidth for your traffic or will you have to deal with certain bottlenecking issues? Will your traffic be routed over the open Internet or be sent over a secure private network connection? The open Internet could be fine for some business uses while more secure, compliance focused businesses will definitely need the added security or a private network.
These are just a few of the considerations that you must take into account when selecting a colocation provider. We’ll be writing more on the topic and diving a bit deeper into these and other considerations in future articles as well so keep an eye on our blog for more.