There are a multitude of ways to ‘get connected’ to the Internet – via carriers, service providers, partner companies and the like – but not all connectivity options are created equal. It’s imperative that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) understand which connectivity options are best suited for their unique business demands and internal capabilities, so they can determine a clear path to success (and security).
Colocation gained popularity in the 1990s with the rise of the internet and remains an essential part of any telecom IT, infrastructure and connectivity strategy, serving SMEs in a wide variety of industries. In fact, analysts predict the global colocation market will nearly double in value in the coming years. Market Research Future forecasts a surge from $26 billion in 2016 to $51 billion in 2022, which translates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12 percent.
Is your SME going to be part of this growing trend? Below is a checklist of factors to consider when assessing colocation service providers:
A colocation provider is only as good as the networks that it can connect you to. Be sure to consider your overall business strategy when you evaluate a provider and take a look at the most current roster of network service providers at the facility that you are considering. Are there a number of “on-net” service providers in the facility that are available via a simple cross connect? Is your existing service provider currently an “on-net” provider? Are there other tenants, perhaps existing customers or Cloud services providers, to which you’d like to directly connect? It is wise to get yourself in the same building as companies that you might like to do business with, as it makes establishing a cross connect that much easier.
It is crucial to find a provider with facilities that are reliable, secure and can scale with your business. Additional building specs to keep in mind include:
Power: This is the lifeblood of a data center operation. Without power, colocation services cannot be provided. So, you’ll not only want to look for a provider that offers the volume of power that you’ll need, but one that offers reliable power that does not go down. Outages mean that your critical business functions won’t run, which impacts your bottom line.
Space: Another critical piece of the colocation checklist, you’ll need to determine how much available colocation space a provider has for you. Naturally you’re looking to grow your business, so you’ll need a provider that can evolve and expand your colocation services should you need more hardware to support your network as it grows.
Security: In this day and age, security can never be overlooked. Cyberattacks have increasingly made major headlines over the past few years, so you’ll want a provider that offers top notch physical and virtual security measures to protect your data at all costs. Surveillance that is 24/7/365 along with a dedicated on-site security staff and other top tier security measures should be on your colocation security requirements list.
Compliance: SMEs in the medical, legal and retail sectors need to ensure their network adheres to the latest compliance regulations mandated by their industry. Some of these compliances include HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOC 2, VISA, SSAE 16 and ISAE 3402. Make sure your colocation provider has the compliance expertise you require.
After you’ve determined that a facility has the connectivity options and specs that you require, it’s time to compare costs. There are a few different pricing models for colocation service. Some charge for space (amount and size of cages and cabinets) and power, while others charge solely on provisioned power. There are also charges for cross connects and remote hands. Ultimately, seek out a colocation provider with flexible pricing options that is willing to structure your colocation deal in a way that you are comfortable with and fully understand.
Since you’ll be busy running your business, it’s important to colocate with a provider that has a dedicated support staff on-site that can answer any questions, make any service changes you need or triage any potential issues immediately for you. Look for a provider that offers 24/7/365 remote hands services.
A Humanized Approach to Colocation with 365 Data Centers
Looking for a provider that checks off all of these boxes? 365 Data Centers has over ten years of continuous uptime across our 10 data centers, and you can rest assured that 365 Data Centers is laser focused on delivering reliable and secure colocation services no matter what happens. We offer 24/7/365 monitoring and meet the data retention and security requirements to achieve compliance certifications with HIPAA, PCI DSS, SOC 2, VISA, SSAE 16 and ISAE 3402. We are so confident in our systems that we offer a 100% power SLA guarantee.
We’re proud to offer industry-leading, comprehensive IP blend offerings, redundant and BGP options, and a variety of cross connect options with the ability to connect to carriers, cable providers, cloud providers and other businesses. Leverage these options with fixed and burstable pricing, depending on your budget and needs. Contact our team today to discuss our colocation services.