Datacentre or Colocation suites are enclosed areas built within a colocation centre or datacentre provider.Datacentre Colocation

Colocation providers generally offer a tiered service in terms of occupancy; these tiers are generally defined as:
  • Racks – Individually located datacentre racking that provides either single or multiple cabinets usually they are 47u or 42u in size.
  • Suites – An enclosed area with your datacentre racks located within them.
  • Floors – a complete floor of a colocation provider
Suites are generally built on demand and are aimed at organisations with larger capacity requirements or require enhanced physical security options that individual racks on a shared floor do not deliver.  Suites are generally occupied by Internet service providers and are sub-let to individual rack owners within the provider’s suite.

There are compelling advantages for any organisation that wishes to purchase suites within a datacentre or colocation environment. We have listed out some of these advantages below to help guide your decision.

  • Secure Environment
As standard colocation providers offer 24x7x365 manned security and access controls such as biometric scanners. Colocation providers generally operate under a standard security scheme such as BS1799 or ISO 27001 which generally includes proximity card access.
  • Environmental Controls
Servers, Storage area Networks and switching and routing hardware are all prone to failure if not kept within a strict environmental operational environment. Colocation centres offer strict service level agreements in terms of humidity and environmental statistics.
  • Connectivity
Generally colocation centres are considered ‘carrier neutral’ allowing for customers within the centre to choose between a plethora of internet access providers. This choice allows for your website to connect to either national or international carriers depending on your target markets.
  • Enhanced physical security
By contracting a suite your organisation is able to enhance the levels of security offered by the colocation provider including individual biometric access. Systems within a suite are also easily interconnected with close proximity aiding networking for fibre and other systems.
  • Fully redundant architecture
Your colocation provider will offer multiple tiers of redundancy in terms of electrical power and connectivity.

With any technology deployment there are things to keep in mind and consider. We have listed out potential pitfalls to consider when purchasing a colocation rack.

  • Power Cost
When purchasing a suite power is presented as a single figure for the area. Therefore use a consultant or datacentre capacity planning tool to check your total power requirements and hardware housing needed.
  • Power Feeds
Check the capacity of circuit breaker required for each rack within your suite and if this is delivered as a redundant service (i.e. two independent power cables per rack). Try to spread the load of your hardware ensuring that ‘hotspots’ do not occur. (a hotspot is where IT equipment generates heat in one area causing systems to intake hot air).
  • Connectivity
If a colocation provider does not offer connectivity from independent providers evaluate the quality of the single connection being offered perform ping and other tests to check suitability. 
  • Support
Support is generally offered as packages of ‘remote hands’ purchased in packs. Check the levels of support offered in terms of hardware support or if it’s just general system reboots. Check the service level agreement in terms of response times and operational hours.

At Compare the Cloud, we’re here to help you get started and to identify suitable technology partners to help with your deployment. Take a few minutes to tell us about your company in our Cloud Comparison Tool, and we’ll present you with some informed options – and help you take full advantage of Cloud Computing and selecting a colocation suite provider.

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