How to Choose the Right Colocation Hosting Service for Your Business?

Colocation server hosting has emerged as a popular alternative to the traditional hosting service in India. In colocation, the client rents space in a third-party-owned data center for housing their servers and other computing infrastructure. Here, the client provides the servers and storage whereas the colocation service provider offers space, electricity, cooling power, bandwidth and security.

Colocation is called so because servers of many companies are ‘co-located’ in the same data center facility.

In many ways, colocation is similar to dedicated hosting services. Whereas in Dedicated Server Hosting services, everything including the computing hardware is owned by the host, in colocation, the client owns the hardware and rest of the facilities are offered by the service provider.

Colocation hosting service in India is an appropriate solution for businesses that have invested in computing hardware but lack the space and other amenities to house their equipment.

Colocation offers a range of benefits to businesses:

Lower Operating Costs: Companies that maintain servers on their own premises need to spend a great deal of their IT budget on hiring new staff, electricity, bandwidth, cooling and security. Outsourcing this work to a third-party through colocation makes more sense as it not only brings down the overall operating costs but also ensures the job gets done in a satisfactory manner.

Higher Uptime and Availability: Businesses that house servers on their premises face the risk of unscheduled downtime: power outage can occur, the equipment can get overheated or technician can be unavailable on account of any reason.

In contrast, a colocation facility is equipped with a wide range of amenities that keep the servers up and running round-the-clock. Colocation service providers have back-up generators to offer redundant power, advanced cooling systems to maintain optimal temperature and humidity and an array of foolproof security measures that allow the servers to run at optimal capacity. Plus, a team of dedicated technical professionals on the premises ensures all the glitches get resolved within the stipulated time frame.

Flexibility: Companies that are looking to expand their business often have flexible infrastructure requirements. With a flexible solution like colocation, companies can prepare for expansion in advance. Colocation hosting service in India allows businesses to switch to higher bandwidth with the utmost ease whenever there is a surge in demand.

Security: Colocation facilities deploy a range of physical security and cybersecurity measures to ensure the servers remain safe and secure. Most of the colocation data centers have biometric scanners, monitored alarms, fire extinguishers, CCTVs cameras at all strategic locations. Plus, they have armed personnel at all entry and exit points. Besides, only certain authorized personnel have access to the server area.

In addition to these physical security measures, there are robust cybersecurity protocols like premium quality firewalls and automated data backup that minimize the possibility of a breach.

Now that you are familiar with the benefits of colocation hosting service in India, you might be tempted to choose it for your business. However, you should not forget that colocation is expensive and calls for careful deliberation.

So, before you select a colocation hosting service, go through the following tips in order to ensure you get the best results.

1) Assess the Physical Location of the Facility

Location is of prime consideration in choosing a colocation facility. This is because in a colocation service, the client owns the hardware. So, whenever, there is a need to replace or upgrade the hardware, the client’s people have to drive down to the colocation facility to get the job done. Choosing a facility that is too far would incur additional expenses and higher downtime.

2) Choose a Carrier-Neutral Service Provider

Every colocation facility requires internet service providers (ISP) that connect the organization’s network to the internet. A carrier-neutral colocation host is one which is not restricted to a single internet service provider (ISP) but offers a range of connectivity options to its customers. In a carrier-neutral colocation center, the ISPs are incentivized to offer better services and that too at competitive rates.

A carrier-neutral facility not only creates provision for redundancy but also offers the flexibility to change the service provider should the need arise. In contrast, in a single-carrier colocation facility, the customers have no choice but to remain tied to a single ISP even if when the price and services offered are not up to the mark.

3) Analyze the Security Measures in Place

The colocation facility needs to have adequate physical security and cybersecurity measures in place. The service provider should have stringent guidelines regarding who can access the facility and when.

The colocation premises should be equipped with robust security measures such as biometric access, high definition CCTV cameras, monitored alarms, fire extinguishers and armed personnel. In addition to physical security, cybersecurity measures such as robust firewalls should be provided.

4) Find if they can accommodate your Growing Needs

Businesses that seek growth need a host that can cater to their growing computing needs. A colocation service provider should be able to accommodate your expanding needs in the most seamless manner. The expansion should be as simple as purchasing some additional space and power within the colocation facility. It is vital that you preplan your growing needs to ensure you don’t outgrow your colocation service provider soon.

5) Identify if they can build the Network Solutions you need

For many companies, a colocation data center goes far beyond a place for storing their servers. They demand colocation hosts to offer custom network solutions that can secure their data while letting them access public cloud networks. Companies need multi-cloud and hybrid cloud solutions that help them attain the best of both worlds. A colocation service provider should be able to offer the network solution tailored to the specific needs of your business.

6) Assess if they can help you Achieve Compliance

Companies often need to adhere to some regulatory guidelines in order to function smoothly and ward off legal and financial hassles. Businesses, especially those that deal with sensitive customer data, need to ensure the data centers that house their servers comply with guidelines that apply to their area of operation. A reliable colocation service provider should be able to produce certifications that prove they adhere to PCI DSS, HIPAA or other relevant guidelines.

7) Gauge the Level of Technical Support

It is important to evaluate the level of support a colocation provider offers. The host should be able to respond to and resolve issues quickly and efficiently. The colocation facility should offer round-the-clock monitoring and technical staff should be present 24*7 on the premises so that any issue any can be addressed on time. A reliable colocation provider maintains transparency in all dealings, allows customers to monitor the equipment and offers authorized access without delay.

8) Carefully read the Service Level Agreement

A service level agreement stipulates the services a colocation vendor is supposed to provide and the standards he is supposed to meet. You need to carefully go through the terms and conditions specified in the service level agreement and review them from time to time to find if your host has maintained the level of service specified in the SLA. Close attention needs to be paid to metrics such as server uptime and availability.

The Bottom Line   

Choosing a colocation services is one of the most important decisions you need to take for your business. So, it is important that you tread with caution and select a host only after careful consideration.

Choose as many options as possible and evaluate them on the above-mentioned criteria. Sign up with a service provider only if you are certain you have made the right choice.

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