At a rate of 2.5 quintillion bytes per day1, 90% of data in today’s world was created in the last two years alone. Getting a picture of this number around the head is overwhelming. However, these astronomical numbers do bring out an important question.

Are organizations ready to scale at a moment’s notice?
At the current rate, it is not surprising for organizations to witness a 3X growth in data annually.

According to a report by Cisco2, in 2017 the annual run rate for global IP traffic was 122 exabytes (EB) per month, a number calculated to reach 396 EB per month by 2022. At such an exponential rate – organizations need to tackle challenges while scaling smoothly. Since organizations are primarily dependent on the quality and availability of their data and IT applications for day-to-day operations – the need for data centers is inevitable.

A data center is a facility of networked computers and storage that organizations use to store, organize, process, and distribute large volumes of data.

Believe it or not, data centers are a lot like the housekeeping department, security services or even the cafeteria of an MNC – a requirement, but not something organizations manage by themselves. In the digital world, data centers are a hygiene factor rather than a luxury – one that needs expertise, latest technology and best practices.

Owning and operating an in-house data center is not the best in their interests as it does not align with their core business. Moving to data center colocation providers allows organizations to leverage unparalleled benefits.

Colocation is a type of data center facility where organizations can rent space for servers and other computing hardware. Data center colocation providers offer power, cooling, bandwidth and physical security to the facility.

Here are 5 Reasons to Upgrade Data Centre Operations Through Colocation

1. Scalability and Flexibility
Data center colocation providers allow organizations to scale up their footprint as per the growth. As an organization grows in data, it is easy to expand through colocation. Since different industries have different requirements – colocation makes it flexible for them to expand what they need. Organizations can scale their data operations by opting for space, power, security, and support as they require.
The flexibility to scale and accommodate additional capacity or capabilities is more than possible with colocation services. Organizations no longer view colocation service providers as merely ‘space’ but the one that provides a complete data center solution with the ability to scale.

2. Predictable Cost Structure and CapEx Savings
One of the main reasons to upgrade data center through colocation is that it results in significant cost savings. An in-house data center built for one organization is expensive. Bring in the economies of scale and a data center built for many organizations cuts down the overall cost for everyone. Organizations can cut down CapEx (capital expenditure)3 and leverage economies of scale by adopting a fixed operating cost structure.

By going the colocation way, organizations do not have to worry about backup generators, uninterrupted power sources (UPS), power grids, maintaining HVAC units, equipment, and other similar capital expenditures.

Data center colocation provides a fixed OpEx (operation expenditure) where the cost structures are predictable and well-planned.

3. Uptime
SMBs, banks, telecom operators, digital giants – all of them conduct business online. With every outage, there is a loss of revenue. Colocation data centers are segregated as per their uptime through a ranking system ranging from Tier 1 to Tier 4. A minimum Tier 3 data center is recommended as it offers N+1 redundancy4. Also known as parallel redundancy, N+1 redundancy is a safeguarding measure that provides an uninterrupted power supply system in place which keeps the servers running at all times.
Paired with superior 24/7 high-density power supply, emergency backup generators and customized configurations – colocation allows organizations to stay connected at all times – pushing the uptime to even 100% in some cases.

4. Security and Support
Security is a critical aspect of any colocation facility. Most data center colocation providers have their facilities built as fortresses. Since data breaches around the world are increasing, the demand for fortified security is more than ever. A 2018 report titled ‘Cost of a Data Breach Study5’ reported that 48% of data breaches were caused by malicious or criminal attack, 27% by human error and 25% by system glitches.
A colocation facility invests heavily in security measures and provides 24/7 physical and network security. There is absolutely no room for system glitches or human error.
Perimeter fences, armed guards, CCTV camera, biometric security, restricted access, mantrap doors are some physical security measures taken by colocation facilities. There are also strict provisions for network security and support. Data center colocation providers offer services such as 24/7 access control, remote hands and monitoring.

5. Compliance, Accreditation and Reliability
Data is sensitive and without a doubt must be safeguarded against all the odds. Data center colocation providers follow a specific set of industry standards and adhere to regulations. When going the colocation route, organizations do not have to spend on compliance costs and to keep their servers up to date – it is all taken care by the colocation provider.

Data center colocation providers such as STT GDC India have various international accreditations. The facilities are Tier 3 certified by the Uptime Institute, ISO 27001 compliant6, and TIA-942 rated. They are also PCI DSS compliant – the most rigorous security measure in the industry. All these certifications point towards the reliability of the colocation center. Furthermore, they carry accreditations such as BCA-IMDA Green Mark Platinum and Singapore Standard SS 564 – the industry standard for green data centers. These accreditations are important and a trust factor for organizations that store their confidential data.

Conclusion
Organizations with a growth mindset and a significant web presence can ideally benefit from colocation. Maintaining entire IT infrastructure through colocation saves capital expenditure. There is guaranteed uptime, and an ability to scale flexibly – all this without needing a dedicated in-house team. Even a few minutes of disruptions to IT services can make an expensive dent in the earnings. The reason to switch to data center colocation is to stay competitive and have absolute computing reliability. It helps organizations to focus on their market differentiators and core competency with minimal overhead. The current digital wave is leading a data revolution. Businesses, irrespective of their sizes have to deal with data for reasons innumerable.

Aashima Sharma

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