What is Colocation—and Why Does it Matter in Utah?

Colocation is probably how owners and managers of websites store their hardware. “Colocation” is the practice of housing devices, servers and other hardware in a professionally managed datacenter. This offers better bandwidth, 24/7 security, a better infrastructure, and peace of mind knowing someone else (experts) are always on hand to troubleshoot, maintain and care for hardware. Unless you’re a multi-billion dollar company with top tier secrets and face a real threat of someone stealing or tampering with your hardware, it’s a safe bet that your hardware is best set up in a colocation manner.

For the vast majority of people and businesses, it’s just not feasible to alter, add to or otherwise play with a private datacenter. There are all kinds of datacenters, and it’s up to the client (you) to do your research and select one with the level of security you need, the right customer service, and an idea geo-location that is relatively safe. Some datacenters are incredibly huge, but they can still be eco-friendly with a few features like free air cooling systems. If sustainability is important to you—and it should be whether you’re “green” or not, since sustainability ultimately lowers the bills (including yours)—that’s just one aspect to consider when datacenter hunting.

As you can see, colocation makes sense, but why Utah? And what kind of colocation services are on offer?

At Your Service

The average, mid-sized datacenter is very big—and packs some big service to go with it. Customers will need to compare service options to find the right fit for them. However, what’s most important is that clients get secure access to their private service. Generally speaking, “colocation services” means a client leases the server’s cabinet, cages, connects to the Internet Service Provider (ISP) of the network, and is allowed access to the physical infrastructure. Every single cabinet/cage in a datacenter is locked and cannot be accessed by any other clients. It’s kind of like renting an apartment in New York, complete with the multi “locks”.

Hardware can be administered via the client with zero involvement of ISP, saving the manual server restarts as requested of course. Overall, colocation is very similar to renting a penthouse instead of buying one. You basically get all the perks, but someone else is in charge of the maintenance and there are no major upfront costs to you. You still get total control over servers—just like you have control over your apartment—but with the added bonus of being housed in a supreme datacenter.

Multiple Benefits

Colocation services ensure proper environmental control, keeping humidity and temperatures at a good level for the hardware. This is especially important for filtering particulates. Superior fire systems are in place, which are likely much better than most clients could create on their own. Featuring redundant power sources along with uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) backups, even if there’s a blackout in the region where the datacenter is located, there’s a good chance the datacenter and everything it houses will stay up and running.

Choosing a colocation service based in Utah is also very convenient because of the lack of natural disasters. There won’t likely be any hurricanes or tornadoes to deal with, and being in a land locked state means no threat of tsunamis from the coast. Utah isn’t anywhere near the most earthquake-targeted region in the country, and although there are four distinct seasons major natural disasters aren’t common.

Plus, datacenters guarantee the constant monitoring and maintenance of tech services like backups, DDoS attack mitigation, central data storage and firewall services. Basically, this is an easy means of securing business continuity and scalability with little effort, relatively lower costs and less network latency than going with a private datacenter.

A Cut Above

However, do bear in mind that not all colocation services are created equally. They can’t all promise immunity from power outages or offer the best in flood protection. Not all datacenters may offer around the clock physical surveillance. Clients who prioritize sustainable technology need to do their homework to make sure their datacenter has similar goals and missions. Green cooling tech might not be paramount to everyone, but for eco-minded clients it can be a deal breaker.

When it comes to the actual hosting, clients may also have preferences. Offering a cage, private rack, pod or other holding resource gives clients options. Most importantly, though, clients should demand expert hands at the ready any time of the day, night or year. If you need troubleshooting, rebooting or another task taken care of, you certainly don’t wait to wait until Monday morning to get it taken care of.

 

 

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