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Concentrated experienced man working in a service cabinet and repairing wires for colocation services in a data center

If you want to optimize your business’s operations, it’s important to consider how and where you’re housing your servers. For large and small businesses alike, having server infrastructure that can handle the needs of your business is critical to keeping everything running smoothly, including eventually expanding your data center as your business grows.

While you can store your server equipment in your own server racks, there is another option that can offer your business several benefits: colocation hosting.

Colocation is a service where you place your own server equipment on a provider’s server rack instead of keeping it at your business. In other words, a provider maintains and monitors a huge data center for you, allowing you to offload data center requirements so you can easily store and scale your servers alongside your growing business.

At Lightbound, we help businesses with all of their colocation hosting needs. Is insourcing or outsourcing with colocation the right solution for your business? In this blog, we outline the pros and cons of using a colocation host.

IT Engineer installs enclosure with hard disk drive in the storage system in the rack in a datacenter for colocation services

Pros

  • You get greater bandwidth with a lower cost, enjoying the features of a large IT shop without the massive price tag.
  • You are still in control because you are still responsible for your hardware.
  • Colocation hosting is more efficient and secure compared to hosting your own server.
  • You are protected by the powerful generators and backup power of your colocation provider that will keep your servers safe in the event of an outage.
  • You own your server hardware and can upgrade anytime rather than being stuck with the initial facility plan in your own data center.
  • You can easily scale your infrastructure up or down thanks to the flexible tenancy your provider offers, rather than having to completely rebuild your own data center.
  • With the right provider, your servers are stored in ideal temperatures with redundant power and cooling.
  • With the right provider, you get  24/7 monitoring and assistance, providing extra manpower to your short-staffed IT department or assisting during major upgrades and activities.
  • You have the advantage of a reliable, large-scale data center that will maximize uptime thanks to redundancy, monitoring, and expert support.
  • The right colocation provider will adhere to strict industry standards so you know your data is in good hands.
  • Colocation centers have better security, allowing you to reap the benefits of cameras, individual cage locks, and substantial access logs.

Cons

  • Colocation hosting can be costly upfront because you have to provide your own hardware and software.
  • Moving to a colocation center is a labor-intensive process. Make sure you’re prepared time-wise to transition into a colocation hosting plan.
  • Because you’re using an outside source for your data center hosting, you are not the owner of the data center. This means you have to follow the rules and regulations of that colocation, which could restrict your access to certain days and times.
  • Some people make the mistake of investing in a colocation center far away, but you’ll want to make sure it’s close to you so you can visit if necessary.
IT Engineer installs enclosure with hard disk drive in the storage system in the rack in a datacenter for colocation services

For many business owners, total control can be hard to relinquish. However, unloading some of your burdens through colocation hosting can help make your life simpler and less stressful. Colocation centers provide a great way for you to manage and scale your servers more easily as your business grows.

When deciding whether or not colocation hosting will benefit you, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons in light of your business’s specific needs and make a plan for how you will make the transition to colocation a smooth one.

At Lightbound, we provide colocation data centers to Indianapolis businesses with redundant power, cooling, fire suppression, top-notch security, and 24/7/365 monitoring. Plus, you only pay for what you need, when you need it.

Want to ensure your IP foundation is strong, minimize downtime, and reduce your total cost of operation? Get in touch with us today to learn more about how LightBound can help your business.

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You’ve probably heard the terms “Cloud” and “datacenter” solutions thrown around by providers to describe just about any datacenter or hosting service. This kind of generic phrasing may be more marketable for providers, but it’s important to know the nuances of each service option and how they work differently to serve your business.

This blog explains why two service options, IaaS and colocation, are often marketed interchangeably, what their differences actually are, and how they’re evolving together to create a hybrid future for Cloud.

What are Cloud Services, IaaS, and Colocation?

Cloud Services refers to any cloud-based resources a provider deploys and manages for you via the Internet on an on-demand, pay-as-you-go basis.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud computing service where a third-party provider purchases, installs, and manages datacenter infrastructure for you, allowing your business pay-as-you-go use of storage, networking, and computing resources via the Internet.

Colocation, also known as colo, allows your business to rent from a provider the physical space, power, redundancies, and cooling needed to house your own hardware. You own and manage your equipment.

IaaS is a cloud service while colocation is not. Colocation simply provides the space for you to house your own datacenter infrastructure such as routers, firewalls, servers, and storage. The differences between colocation and IaaS make it tempting to compare and generalize which service is better than the other, but the two are not interchangeable because the value proposition and capital cost (as well as manpower resources) are entirely different.

Determining whether IaaS or colocation is the best solution for your business all depends on your business’s unique needs. So why are providers referring to these separate services as though they’re interchangeable?

 

IaaS and Colocation: From Interchangeable to Integrated

When big names in the industry began using phrases like “datacenter solutions” to describe IaaS and colocation, it became a trend and the two services started to sound interchangeable. The generic phrasing helped providers improve the marketability of their non-Cloud services by associating them with the growing Cloud market.

While IaaS and colocation are not exactly interchangeable, we are beginning to see a future where these two services are combined in more than just name. By utilizing both colocation and IaaS together, businesses and providers are able to achieve more customized and beneficial solutions than either service could alone.

 

The Future of Cloud

The integration of both IaaS and colocation is certainly one definition of a “hybrid” solution and is what’s growing and shaping the future of Cloud. Essentially, it’s “some of yours and some of ours” from a provider’s viewpoint.

A hybrid solution is a cloud service that allows for greater flexibility and efficiency by integrating the use of private cloud and public cloud solutions. Colocating your virtualized environment in a datacenter is commonly referred to as private cloud, but your virtualized environment could also be located in your own datacenter. IaaS Cloud providers like LightBound offer private cloud resources that can also be meshed with your public clouds.

As we continue to move into the future, most larger companies will likely leverage hybrid solutions depending on their need for scale and time to market. Less on-premise solutions will be maintained in favor of moving to the Cloud, and the hybridization of colocation and IaaS will be a large player in what makes this transition possible.

Want more insight into IaaS, colocation, and hybrid solutions? Sign up today for a FREE, one-hour, zero-obligation tech assessment with LightBound. Our experts will meet with you in person to evaluate your business’s unique needs, answer questions, and help you discover the best fit for your business.

What Is Colocation?

 

As your business grows, it’s important to consider your options when it comes to your computing needs. One of the primary options is a colocation data center. Colocation services at a data center offers space with proper power, cooling, and security to host your business’ computing hardware and servers. Instead of keeping servers in-house, in an office, or at a private data center, you can choose to “co-locate” your equipment. This involves renting space in a colocation data center, which means you already own the server and rent the required physical space to house it within a data center.

 

Colocation data centers are beneficial through allowing you to eliminate the capital expenditures of building and maintaining your own facility, while simultaneously allowing you to retain ownership and complete control over your physical servers.

 

How It Works

 

Colocation providers rent out space in a data center in which customers can install their equipment. However, they also provide the power, bandwidth, IP address, and cooling systems that you will require to successfully use your hardware and server from that space. The space in the facility is leased by size. There are racks, cabinets, cages, or full rooms. A rack is a frame for mounting equipment and hardware, usually horizontally. A full-sized rack is a cabinet. A  cabinet is 47U, and ideal for those looking for maximum agility and room to scale in the future. A cage is a tailored option that gives you the ability to customize a secured portion of our facility to support the specific requirements of your deployment. Full rooms can meet the most complex requirements, offering the most extensive options when it comes to autonomy, privacy, security, and stability.

 

Colocation provides much more stringent levels of security, including security guards or even biometric access control. Colocation data centers have added features, like backups and UPS devices, to protect against outages. This includes outages caused by natural disaster, fire, or flood.

 

Benefits

 

Colocation is a beneficial option for your business because it is reliable. It is structured so that your data is always up and running when both you and your customers need it. It is secure. At Lightbound, our data centers are among the safest and most secure in the nation. We provide redundant power, cooling, fire suppression, and security. With us, you only pay for what you need, when you need it, thus reducing unnecessary costs. Our colocation data centers are also scalable, giving you the ability to expand and grow in your computing as your business grows.

 

At Lightbound, we provide our customers with the ultimate in availability, which starts with the colocation data center. Our colocation data centers are fundamental to any IP foundation, and we strive to create a building block for our customers to continue growing their business. If you’re ready to make the switch or even have a few questions about our colocation data centers, get in touch with us today! We’d love to hear from you.