Colocation services are CAPS’ bread and butter. Here in Connecticut, we have offered a secure and reliable data center in Shelton for clients to locate their servers, data storage, and communications systems since 1995. Colocation may be used to host production systems or backup systems; but which is most popular?
In our experience, most clients start by collocating their backup systems. They may have had these systems in place at one of their offices. Then a decision is made to move the backup system to a colocation data center. This is typically done to improve security and availability but there may also be a need to fulfill compliance requirements.
For increased reliability, backup systems should be located at a different place from production systems. Though some organizations will use a Public Cloud (AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud) for backup, others prefer to host their backup systems at a local colocation facility. Advantages of having a colocation facility that is within an hour’s drive of the organization’s headquarters include reduced latency and easier access to equipment when required. In many cases, local colocation facilities may offer better security too. The cost also may be lower at a local colocation data center since Public Cloud data egress fees can add up quickly as many have unfortunately discovered. Finally, a local colocation data center offers more personalized and tailored services.
Though most organizations first employ colocation for backup functions, they may ultimately decide to move their production systems to the colocation facility while repositioning backup systems to their office. After gaining some experience with colocation, clients frequently choose to swap the location of their backup and production systems. IT managers are understandably wary about trusting their production systems to a colocation provider initially. After they gain experience with colocation, they come to realize it may make more sense for their production systems to reside in the more secure and reliable facility.
The recent trend to Work From Home resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic will shift more production workloads to colocation data centers. Companies that abandon their offices completely often have residual IT infrastructure that needs to find a suitable new home. Proprietary production applications that are not suitable for the Cloud can be hosted at a local colocation facility with backup elsewhere. Even if a company decides to keep its office, it may start having employees work a few days a week from home and a few days at the office. Offices may be reduced in size and they may be reconfigured to provide for greater social distancing. Regardless, there will be growing interest in moving IT systems out of the office to free up space for employees. Adapting to the new Work From Home world will likely drive more production systems to colocation facilities.
Whether for production or backup workloads, colocation facilities provide a cost-effective service to both improve availability and security. For those organizations in Connecticut and metropolitan New York, CAPS provides outstanding colocation services and is proud that our clients have not experienced an unscheduled power outage in over 20 years.