A growing number of small businesses have started exploring managed colocation as a potential solution to expanding needs and shrinking budgets. It has continually gained interest because of the potential benefits and opportunities it can provide when implemented effectively. To determine whether or not it is a solution worth considering, businesses must explore possible opportunities on a case-by-case basis. Every business has a different set of needs so managed colocation inevitably presents different benefits based upon how and why it is used.
Significant Reduction of Overhead
Managed colocation provides multiple opportunities for small businesses to reduce their overhead. The most obvious way to reduce overhead is by taking advantage of the efficiencies provided by elite data centers. In-house data centers of small businesses are not large enough to take advantage of economies of scale. Additionally, server rooms can take up a significant amount of space compared to other departments within the business. While it isn’t considered to be wasted space, the business could become more productive if used differently. Managed colocation eliminates all of the in-house overhead and transfers it to facilities which easily leverage maximum buying power for lower monthly costs.
Another opportunity managed colocation provides is guaranteed uptime. When businesses operate an in-house data center, the uptime is completely reliant on in-house maintenance, procedures, staff, and applicable utility reliability. If the servers go off-line the only option is get everything up and running as quickly as possible. With a managed colocation service, the service level agreement will include an uptime guarantee as well as provide recourse of downtime is experienced.
Access to State-of-the-Art Facilities
A common complaint among businesses with in-house data centers is a lack of necessary infrastructure, such as a fully redundant system. Managed colocation allows businesses to utilize state-of-the-art data centers without being forced to invest the significant capital it would take to build their own.
Complete Control over Equipment
While managed colocation gives businesses the opportunity to access infrastructure they would not otherwise have, it still does not take away any control over equipment. Many hosting options are poorly suited for businesses because so much control is taken away. This isn’t an issue with managed colocation.
Minimize Involvement with Daily Maintenance Tasks
Small and medium-sized businesses often report spending too much time and energy focusing on daily maintenance tasks tied to their IT infrastructure. Managed colocation eliminates the need for businesses to worry about day-to-day maintenance so they can focus on tasks tied to improved productivity and profitability.
Maximum Flexibility and Control
A critical opportunity provided by managed colocation is the ability for business to maintain maximum flexibility and control. Since they still own all of their equipment, businesses have the option of switching colocation providers whenever necessary. Additionally, businesses can add more servers on an as-needed basis. This allows them to constantly meet network demands without over-investing their capital unnecessarily.
While managed hosting isn’t perfectly suited for all situations, it does provide small and medium businesses with a variety of beneficial opportunities. To be implemented effectively, it is important for businesses to select a provider which understands the business’s unique needs and can create a customized service level agreement to meet them.
Haley Frick has been researching the benefits of using data centers for business colocation for over 4 years. She believes the benefits of colocation continue to grow for businesses small and large.
Photo Credit: MorgueFile
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