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Colocation: Just Another Day in Paradise for Your Servers

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September 2, 2014
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The notion of staycations has caught the imaginations of many cash-strapped Americans over the past few years. Worries over the economy, rising fuel and airline ticket costs, and our new-found appreciation for shedding heaps of debt have encouraged families to be tourists in their own cities and states.

These same reasons have had the opposite effect on many IT organizations. They’re sending their hardware and software off to “Resort Colo” where they can be patched and pampered 24/7, enjoy the best in climate control, soak up conditioned power, safe and secure in their racks night or day. And to think, this actually costs less than staying home in the data center.

Far-fetched? Sure, but not as far as you may think. The benefits of colocation are well appreciated. This sort of outsourcing has been providing considerable financial and operational relief to organizations of all sizes long before “cloud” entered the vernacular. It’s practically a no-brainer in many IT situations.

Why spend money on real estate, people and infrastructure when all you need is some place reliable to house your equipment? Let someone else worry about security, redundancy, network and telecomm provisioning, HVAC and power, not to mention continuous maintenance. It’s a marvel of cost averaging.

Making sure that Resort Colo is more like the Four Seasons and not the Bates Motel of Psycho fame can be a challenge, however. IT management often fail to take into account the people behind the scenes when scouting out potential colo facilities. All other things being equal, the professional caliber of the employees across a service provider’s organization will directly impact your success and satisfaction with that colo facility.

Does this sound familiar? A financial services company recently left its colocation services provider and moved to Peak 10 because it wanted more control over its outsourced environment, faster response times, greater visibility, and more choice and flexibility in infrastructure provisioning. The data it collects and handles was also extremely sensitive, requiring strict regulatory compliance. And, being in financial services, availability was a critical success factor.

The people and policies of the previous provider were a business detriment. The firm had to wait days to enact changes when, if allowed, IT staff could’ve made the changes themselves. Available services were not keeping pace with the company’s growth requirements. The previous provider wouldn’t share compliance practices, causing the customer’s regulation-laden clients concern over data integrity and security. The technicians were nice enough, but made it clear that this was nothing more than a job to them.

The company’s move to Peak 10 alleviated all of those issues. Availability is no concern and, as far a compliance practices go, the customer now uses its provider relationship as a competitive differentiator. Performance improved by 25 percent immediately after the move, scaling to 200 percent after code and infrastructure tuning.

What the client can do itself, it does. “If we need to tap Peak 10’s expertise to get something done, they’re right there for us, like an extension of our IT team,” this customer reported. “They wanted to understand our business and what we are trying to accomplish. They didn’t try to force-fit us into a box or tell us what to do. It was clear the Peak 10 really wanted to partner with us.”

People can mean the difference between a good colocation experience and a great one. There are other factors of course. Peak 10 has a guide that discusses all the considerations that go into choosing the right colocation services provider according to your individual needs.  Think of it as a Frommer’s Travel Guide to Colo for your servers.

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About Peak 10

"Our values are the foundation for everything we do at Peak 10, and are ultimately what enable us to earn our customers' business and their trust."
David H. Jones,
Board Member, Peak 10 + ViaWest