Colocation is on the rise. Organizations are moving servers and other IT infrastructure to data centers to free up resources for Digital Transformation initiatives. In Connecticut there are more than a dozen different companies that provide colocation services ranging in size from large global corporations to small local operations.
It is useful to segment the market by size. Each size class offers a unique mix of services.
Large Colocation Service Providers
There are several large companies in Connecticut that provide colocation services on a global basis. They have dozens of data centers located in many cities across the United States and overseas. These large companies target the wholesale market by selling services to companies like Apple, AWS, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. They also offer retail colocation services to larger enterprise clients.
Large colocation service providers offer a complete range of services but are often less flexible in terms of providing customized services and generally do not offer IT consulting services.
Mid-Sized Colocation Service Providers
Connecticut also is home to several mid-sized colocation data centers. These providers feature a complete range of services and offer customized solutions to satisfy specific client requirements. Mid-sized providers often operate several data centers in a particular region. They can leverage their data centers to provide unique, cost-effective solutions for their local clients.
Mid-sized colocation service providers rarely serve the wholesale market and usually do not offer IT consulting services beyond those directly associated with their core offerings.
Small Colocation Service Providers
Small colocation providers in Connecticut are frequently Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who have added a data center resource to supplement their IT consultancies. Some of these smaller colocation companies focus on select vertical markets such as manufacturing or healthcare. They provide services that are tailored to the unique requirements of a particular industry.
Small colocation service providers may not offer a full range of IT infrastructure services and may not be able to connect to other company owned data centers to provide cost effective data backup.
How to Choose a Colocation Service Provider?
Selecting a colocation service provider is an important decision. Here are the top three things to consider.
- Define Your Colocation Requirements
Make sure your colocation partner can deliver the specific services you need. Identify your absolute requirements and your “nice to haves” before starting the procurement process. You will need to determine your rack space, power, and internet bandwidth requirements plus other services needed such as Remote Hands.
- Establish Your Location Preference
The location of the colocation data center is probably the second most important consideration. The distance between your current facility and the data center is based on where you can adequately minimize risk while maintaining the accessibility your IT team requires. In many cases, the location of the homes of key employees with respect to the data center is most important.
- Determine Cost
Minimizing the Total Cost of Ownership is important too but make sure you are comparing apples with apples when you evaluate colocation service proposals from different vendors. For example, it is common for Large Colocation Service Providers to assess Monthly Recurring Charges for Cross Connects. Small and mid-sized colocation providers may not assess these monthly fees.
Connecticut has a variety of Colocation Service Providers ranging from small to mid-sized to large. Organizations interested in colocation should prioritize their requirements and then evaluate alternatives from those service providers that are best suited to fulfill their needs. Once you make your choice and move your servers you will be able to focus your IT resources on the challenges of Digital Transformation.