What is Data Centre Colocation

What Is Data Centre Colocation?

The important decision to expand, consolidate or move your data centre is one that must be weighed in the context of cost, operational reliability and security. With all these important factors in mind, more companies are finding that colocation offers the solution they need without the hassle of managing their own data centre. Known simply as a Colo, data centre colocation refers to a service provided by a company that offers a shared, secure space for businesses to store hardware related to data storage, data and other equipment. 

The customer engages with the colo company in a way like a rental agreement with a property manager whereby a customer rents space in the facility whether its hardware or data.

Typically, colocation is deployed within a data centre colocation facility. Such facility is like a standard data centre but with unused floor space available to rent. Data centre colocation primarily enables organisations to deploy a data centre without the need to buy or manage it.

The customer will usually supply the equipment: servers and other necessary hardware for daily operations. The colo company stores and secures this equipment in a cool, monitored environment that is ideal for servers while ensuring the bandwidth is to the standard needed. The data centre offers various tiers of service that will guarantee a certain percentage of up time. 

  • Tier 1 DCs have a 99.671% up time percentage per year. Maximum total yearly downtime = 1729.2 minutes or 28.817 hours each year
  • Tier 2 DCs have a 99.741% up time percentage per year. Maximum total yearly downtime = 1361.3 minutes or 22.688 hours
  • Tier 3 DCs have a 99.982% up time percentage per year. Maximum total yearly downtime = 94.6 minutes or 1.5768 hours
  • Tier 4 DCs have a 99.995% up time percentage per year. Maximum total yearly downtime = 26.3 minutes or 0.4 hours

The biggest push in the data centre industry comes from cloud services like Google Drive and Drop Box who use colo to meet their hefty equipment storage needs. At the same time, the industry has been and will continue to remain fluid as the laws change on data protection and legal storage requirements. Whilst there is soaring demands from cloud service providers, data centre colocations are needed more and more with developing technology that offers rack storage density options that allow colo facilities to mitigate the demand for hardware space. As the demand for colo increases, so too with the need for both virtual and physical security.

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