The modern business environment is highly competitive. Success here depends on business continuity and smooth processing of all core functions. All this in turn depends on the ‘automated data handling systems.’ This means maintaining the uptime of the servers by carrying out a wide range of activities. For IT companies, this is a job that often comes under the umbrella of their core competencies. Non-IT firms suffer immensely on this front. For them, it makes better sense to outsource their storage and maintenance requirements to companies that can handle them professionally. This is where a service known as server colocation comes into play.
UK Server Colocation: Understanding what it means
Server colocation centres are specialist data centres where the servers owned by other organisations are hosted under the same roof. Each unit is separated from the other and is placed inside secure cabinets with advanced access and security systems and under constant CCTV surveillance. The job of the colocation administrators is to manage all the infrastructure (including power, data access and the aforementioned security services) and ensure their smooth functioning.
UK Server Colocation: Advantages
Here are the various advantages of relocating your company’s servers:
Lower Capital Cost: Colocation allows the client to buy an adequate size server and then store it at the service provider’s colocation centre. This eliminates the hassles of creating special accommodation for these servers, avoiding the need to “upgrade the broom cupboard”! Servers have cooling requirements and need unrestricted power supply and investments in terms of manpower and expenditure to keep them fully functioning. These expenditures can be limited by outsourcing them to the experts.
Operational Costs: High speed broadband is required for web servers. Compromises in this may result in the delayed transfer of information between a server and its clients – in other words your website visitors will find your site lagging and go elsewhere. Such a connection can strain the budget, as this not only requires a high capital investment to be set up, but also involves high usage bills. On the other hand, with colocated servers, billing may cover just the amount of data downloaded or uploaded.
Maintenance Costs: The electricity bill due to heavy cooling units, constant uptime of the machines and other related systems can be very high. Colocation vendors split these bills among all their clients, thus offering their services at very low prices.
Server Protection: At the colocation centres, the servers are protected from dangers such as fire, flood, theft and accidental shut downs. There is regular maintenance of the infrastructure systems. Software update sessions may also be carried out to make sure that the systems remain up-to-date.
Data Security: Colocation centres can provide managed security solutions like private networks, firewalls and anti-virus solutions. These keep the data of clients secure and allow them to focus on their core competencies.
Disaster Recovery: Another bolt-on from the colocation vendor. This service provides a wide range of strategies ranging from replacement machines to off-site backups and even real-time off-site replication, providing seamless continuity in the face of adversity. Considering a disaster recovery solution for your uk server colocation units is essential to ensure continuous service.
High Availability for a Colocation Managed Server
If the above mentioned advantages have not convinced you to shift to server colocation, then perhaps this will.
High availability is a feature that ensures continuous uptime of servers by taking on functions such as load balancing and content delivery networks. What this means is that your website and content will take less time to load and will be available even if your primary server crashes. This sort of redundancy is possible because a good provider has additional hardware as backup, and can even failover entirely to a second facility.
Kathryn Dawson writes articles for ConnetU, a UK server colocation space and rack space provider offering temperature and humidity regulation; power with backup generators and UPS; manned, CCTV and biometric security, over 10Gbps diverse routes as well as on-site and round-the-clock technical support for even the minimal 1U colocation space. ConnetU also offers full managed server support as well as powerful Dell hardware.