A colocation (colo) data centre is a facility in which a business can rent space for their servers and other computing hardware. The data centre building with cooling, power, bandwidth, IP addresses and security is supplied by the data centre operator. The customer sets up and manages his own equipment.

Colo data centres create an environment to build an interconnected community through connections with cloud providers and other businesses.

Business Leaders and IT Professionals understand that data is a critical asset. Storing and connecting data in a secure environment with the ability to scale quickly is essential for a competitive advantage. To realise these benefits, businesses are outsourcing this part of their business to a professional data centre provider.

Why Colocation?

Colocation enables businesses to scale within a safe, secure environment at a manageable cost.

The ability to access connections with cloud and other service providers gives faster access and delivery of data even if data demands spike. The interconnected community can also provide fast connections to other related organisations to your business.

Data centres are commonly used to set up internet exchange points. This is where telecom providers and other entities, such as content delivery networks, set up links between their networks to provide access and reduced latency and transit costs.

Look at your financials

Typical scenarios which make colocation cost effective are:

  • It is cheaper to buy, manage and maintain your own hardware than to have all your data with a cloud service provider.
  • It is the cheapest way to gain access to higher resilience or bandwidth.
  • Your existing data centre is at full capacity and it is more cost efficient to rent space in a colocation data centre.
  • You have a very specific speed or location requirement.

Ensure disaster recovery / resilience

Organisations want their computing infrastructure to be geographically spread to ensure there is maximum uptime. There may also be a regulatory requirement to hold data in more than one place.

Colocation Services

A colocation data centre will have extremely stringent security. This will include security guards and may include devices such as biometric access control. The building will also have multiple levels of redundancy and resilience to ensure cooling, power and bandwidth are protected. Generators and battery backup to prevent power outages are standard.

Once inside the building you should expect:

Secure access to the data hall with a range of cage and cabinet options.

Cages. These may be standard or custom designed with an area ready for power and service connections.

Suites. These are bespoke areas. Turnkey services are provided to build the walls and install power and service connections.

Cabinets / Sub-Cabinets. These are lockable cabinets within the shared colocation area with power and service connections.

Power options from 110 Volt AC to 208 Volt AC three-phase A and B feeds.

N +1 network redundancy.

Remote hands and smart hands support.



Pricing varies by data centre provider, but is usually based on:

  1. Power consumption – this is the method used by Digital Realty.
  2. Space – by the rack, cabinet, cage or room.
  3. Variable rate data – based on bandwidth supplied and data transfer.
  4. Fixed rate data – based on bandwidth supplied regardless of data transfer.

Technical resource is normally chargeable. Backup power systems and security services are usually included in the standard pricing and support contracts.

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