Copyright 123RF Stock Photos
Copyright 123RF Stock Photos

Colocation providers free businesses from maintaining their own data centers. Given that data center space can cost $1,500 to build and requires highly specialized staff to conceptualize, build and maintain, sending the work out to colocation experts has been a fruitful strategy for businesses. Interestingly, cloud providers are also turning to colocation firms to manage their server farms.

Cloud services exist in an amorphous place. To many end users, the cloud is the data center. When a company uses the cloud, they’re trusting that provider to provide applications, CPUs to run them, storage for data and connectivity for the system. However, cloud services are also about the applications that they provide. Those can be separated from the physical infrastructure.

Ironically, cloud service providers turn to colocation because it offers them similar benefits to what using cloud computing offers to enterprises. These benefits include:

  • The ability to rent or release space on an as needed basis.
  • Access to staff that manages data center facilities.
  • Reduced capital equipment and, with this, significant savings

Integrating collocated data center services carries one significant risk for cloud providers, though. By giving up control of their infrastructure, they risk providing unreliable service to their end users. Given that their users expect a seamless experience, managing their third-party colocation partners is crucial. At the same time, it’s challenging to do since they don’t have the same ability to manage the collocated systems that they do to administer their own.