Colocation or Datacentre providers offer a number of key advantages to any organisation wishing to deploy hardware outside of their premise-based systems.
In terms of Disaster Recovery (DR) this offers fantastic advantages in terms of control ownership and access to IT systems.
Colocation services offer distinct advantages for any customer wishing to provide a disaster recovery system for their IT users.
With advances in network technology such as implementation of MPLS networks colocation centres are now deployed across the UK and not just in Central London or the Docklands area.
This is great news for disaster recovery as the flexibility to deploy in datacentres outside of the M25 London region offer advantages in terms of costs and geographic separation.
There are compelling advantages for any organisation that wishes to use a colocation rack or suite as a disaster recovery centre. 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.
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 offices to connect to either national or international carriers depending on your target markets.
- Fully redundant architecture
Your colocation provider will offer multiple tiers of redundancy in terms of electrical power and connectivity.
- Geographic location
By housing your disaster recovery hardware within a colocation centre you can ensure that your systems are hundreds of miles away from your head office whilst (depending on connectivity options) functionality will not deteriorate due to internet routing concerns.
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 Costs
Always check the power costs of any rack or suite you’re purchasing. Use vendor supplied capacity planning tools to check server and system power draws.
- 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).
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. In terms of disaster recovery if you’re replicating software and systems including backup traffic to your datacentre confirm that the ISP your using for connectivity is ‘peered’ within the proposed colocation environment.
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 provider for your disaster recovery needs.