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Traditional vs. Managed Colocation: Weigh Your Data Center Options

Opened blus colored server racks
March 28, 2016

Most companies are not in the business of running their own data centers. It can be time-consuming, expensive and divert valuable IT resources away from tasks that can grow an organization’s business and contribute to its bottom line. Then there are the physical factors, such as the need to rapidly expand the business with new locations and changing technology requirements. For many businesses, colocation solves this problem.

When we consult with our customers and prospects on the topic of colocation, there are several considerations to go over. Among them: how many servers do you want to put in your cabinets, and how much power will be needed to support those servers? However, the discussion ultimately comes back to the business case for colocation. Why does it make sense for your company to outsource to a colocation provider?

Deciding to move forward with colocation is the first step, but you must also determine how you’re going to manage and run the colocated environment. The answer to that isn’t as simple as it may seem. It requires taking a hard look at your core strengths and weaknesses as an IT organization. Do you have the internal expertise and resources to manage and run all of the operations at a colocation facility? Some businesses have a large IT team that is perfectly able and willing to manage those operations. For those with a lean IT staff, managed colocation makes more sense.

To help define and uncover the need for managed colocation, we encourage our customers to think about who will physically go to the data center and rotate backups. Who will make sure sever alarm lights are not on? How often will the customer’s designated representatives visit the data center — once a year or once a quarter? Colocation needs to be thought of as managing another office. It just happens to be an office in a data center and, instead of humans and cubicles, there are servers and cabinets.

For organizations that prefer their IT teams to focus on more meaningful revenue-generating activities, like deploying new software, managed colocation can provide the best of both words and take the burden off of internal IT staff. With managed colocation, you can add services, such as media rotation and remote hands, which allow the data center provider’s staff to conduct hands-on tasks that someone from your company would typically be required to do.  By employing the managed services offered by the data center operator, you don’t need to send an employee to the data center each time a device needs to be checked or a cable moved.

At Peak 10, our managed services include server management and monitoring, managed security, application management and data protection — all designed to help ensure your IT assets are up and running as required and to free up your IT staff. In addition, each Peak 10 data center facility includes a Technical Assistance Center (TAC) that is manned around the clock, every day of the year, by experts to further ensure performance, uptime and security.

Managed colocation is all about optimizing your IT resources. A reliable colocation provider will give you the peace of mind that they are watching your IT environment so you can focus on more important activities — and generate the revenue that keeps your doors open.

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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