Colocation is (still!) on the rise. AI, IoT, security threats, sustainability—these are just a few of the trends that fuel the increased demand for colocation.
While businesses of all sizes move from a cloud-first approach to a colocation-centric one, this doesn’t mean that colocation is the fix-all solution for everyone. Oftentimes, the choice doesn’t depend on company size as much as it depends on the industry, and, most of all, on how you use your data.
For enterprises, hybrid approaches are the most popular ones. They help cover all your bases: with data stored on-premise, in the cloud, and in a colocation facility, you can enjoy diverse benefits from multiple solutions.
But should you add colocation to the cloud/on-prem mix? Is it the right approach for you? Let’s find out!
Colocation for Enterprises: Will it Work for You?
At Heartland Technology Data Center (HTDC), our core service is colocation, so it would make perfect sense for us to cut this article short by telling you that it’s the one missing piece in your IT infrastructure puzzle.
But the truth is colocation may not be right for your enterprise. At least not right now.
Here are five questions to answer and find out if colocation is the right move.
1. Are You Struggling With CapEx?
This is one of the most common reasons why enterprises migrate to colocation, especially from on-premise hosting. While the latter option gives you complete control over your data and your infrastructure, it also comes with a hefty price tag—even for enterprises that are accustomed to large investments and significant expenses.
When you have to finance everything yourself, from hardware to power and from real estate to the IT team, things get very expensive very fast. And since 2023 seems to be dominated by economic uncertainty, this may be the right time to consider switching to a colocation facility.
2. How Sensitive Is Your Data?
HIPAA, GDPR, and CCPA are just three of the compliance regulations your company may need to adhere to. Medical and financial industries are the most susceptible to having their data breached and to being fined for lack of compliance.
The way you store your data can make or break your compliance. For instance, cloud storage makes it extra-vulnerable, while on-premise storage is the safest option (in most regulators’ view).
The middle ground is colocation. Working with a SOC2-certified colocation facility can help you leverage all the benefits of secure storage without the massive expenses of on-premise storage.
Read more about data security in colocation centers.
3. How Often Do You Need to Access Your Data?
When choosing a colocation facility, it’s important to make sure that it is within easy reach, usually within driving distance. Colocation facilities can safeguard your data even when natural or man-made disasters hit, so you can easily access it and use it even as your competitors are completely offline.
Do you have such safeguards in place at your headquarters? Can you be sure that you can bring everything online fast enough to guarantee minimal business disruption during a disaster?
If so, on-premise storage for your most sensitive data makes more sense than colocation. Nothing grants you faster access to data and hardware than having it in your own “backyard.” But no one knows when or where disaster will strike.
4. Are Your Back-Ups Safe?
What happens if you move one of your offices? How often will everyone return online and with full access to their data?
Good infrastructure practices require you to keep an off-site data backup that you can easily restore when your office moves or when a disaster hits. Best infrastructure practices require that off-site location be a secure and safe facility.
Even if colocation is not how you store the majority of your data, you can consider it a safe, secure, and easy-to-reach backup site.
5. Did You Experience Redundancy Issues with Your Cloud Storage Provider?
Cloud storage isn’t without its hiccups. Redundancy issues are one of the main reasons why more and more businesses leave the cloud in favor of colocation.
Redundancy is where colocation facilities really shine. Even if you prefer to keep most of your data in the cloud, you can consider colocation the safeguard of your critical data.
Colocation often fits enterprise hybrid cloud approaches very well. It can be that missing link that helps you mitigate risk by ensuring a safe and secure storage environment for your critical data—all without a massive upfront investment or a large maintenance data.
But the only way to be sure that colocation is right for you is to talk to a dedicated consultant. At HTDC, it’s our mission to make sure that you get the right infrastructure approach for your needs and your budget—whether that’s colocation or not.
Get in touch with our consultants to learn more about colocation, our facility in Iowa, and to find out whether it’s the right choice for you.