How colocation can help businesses save money during the recession

data center
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The pandemic increased internet traffic by 30% forcing an increase in colocation center usage. However, now that there's a recession looming, companies are looking to cut budgets and may consider cutting their colocation centers.

However, with emerging technologies such as AI that needs to operate at the edge, and the fact that colocation is more cost effective than edge data centers, businesses could save money on infrastructure and server space without compromizing on reliability, speed and security.

TechRadar Pro speaks to Peter Trinh, Cyber Security Architect at TBI who says that colocation budgets shouldn't be cut due to the recession.

How can colocation help save money during the recession?

Colocation centers offer a physical place to store equipment such as servers, switches and routers, which many organizations, especially those smaller in size, struggle with because they don’t always have a conducive place for these items. 

With colocation, businesses are able to save money not only by having a separate place to put their equipment but also built-in options for things like utility and internet providers. 

This flexibility allows organizations to choose what will meet their unique needs, thus providing value and saving them money in the process. Colocation centers can also provide savings on physical aspects such as maintenance, updates and personnel. These are managed by the colocation facility and therefore, reduced from the business’ budget. 

How much can a business save by using colocation compared to edge data centers?

When comparing edge data centers to colocation centers, the use cases differ, so it’s important for the organization to look at what will be better for their specific needs. With edge data centers, the storage is brought to the edge device to make it faster and more efficient. It’s designed to shorten the distance between the application and the user to account for low latency. 

Therefore, if an organization is really struggling with data processing, edge might be more beneficial to them. However, if the organization doesn’t feel that efficiency is a problem they’re encountering, colocation will be better suited for them. When making this decision, the company should look at both their short term needs and long-term goals. 

When you’re signing a contract with either of these centers, it’s going to be a multi-year contract, so accounting for what the future of your business will look like is important. 

What other saving tips do you have for businesses investing in colocation?

When looking at colocation centers, I would recommend you walk through everything thoroughly as you’re not only entrusting a lot in the colocation centers, but you’re also deferring the risk to the colocation centers as well. 

However, not all centers are the same, so you need to do your due diligence to determine which is best and which will give you the most value for what you’re spending. For example, some colocation providers have redundant power from multiple utility providers, so you should ask about that. You should also ask what happens they have a crisis such as the power goes out or they face a natural disaster or inclement weather. 

Look at the innovation that’s on the horizon and how the colocation centers are utilizing it. For example, cloud environments are creating new distributed data bases which are easier to deploy and utilize. Outsourcing can help you leverage this new innovation so you can take advantage while continuing to focus your internal time and resources on your bottom line. 

Data center server room lit with green lights

(Image credit: Shutterstock/Tomasz Wozniak)

Can colocation help small businesses save money too? If so, how?

Small businesses are probably the ones that will use colocation the most. As these small businesses grow, they’ll start to increase infrastructure and will quickly find they need some place safer to put it without spending their entire budget. That’s where colocation comes in. 

How can businesses make colocation a part of their cloud strategy?

This will be very dependent on the organization, the size of their organization, their hunger for innovation and internal expertise. If the company doesn’t have the internal expertise, they’ll have to outsource in order to strengthen their cloud strategy, which is where colocation centers come it. 

Additionally, when it comes to disaster recovery, the two can back each other up. For example, physical locations are more susceptible to issues like inclement weather problems, so it can be good to have a cloud backup. 

What would be the best cost option for businesses that need help with their hybrid cloud move?

First, the organization should determine what their current needs are and their desired growth strategy. Next, they should evaluate providers with that goal in mind so they can decide who would best be able to address the desired case and outcome. 

Working with a technology services distributor can help with this because they know the colocation options and what to look for and can therefore help the business find what will fit their needs at an affordable cost. 

Are there any negatives that businesses should be aware of when choosing colocation?

The biggest thing organizations should look out for is signing a legally binding contract that locks them into multiple years, especially if they haven’t gone through and made sure the provider is going to be one that meets their long-term business goals. 

When looking at your colocation options, you should always get a clear understanding of the onboarding and offboarding process and what happens if you decide to leave or explore other options. 

Some colocation center contracts are not conducive to that, and you may find your business in a situation where you’re stuck because you signed a contract without first doing your due diligence.  

Would the reduction of square footage that comes with choosing colocation compromise the data being transferred back and forth?

The physical square footage wouldn’t be an indicator of weakened security or compromised data. The data should always have a firewall which will help keep it encrypted during the transfer process. 

As far as the physical security aspects, that would be incumbent on the colocation provider. So, in short, no, the square footage of the colocation space wouldn’t compromise the data. 

What about those that worry about latency? Does the reduced cost outweigh other possible issues that could arise?

Not usually. Bandwidth is fairly cheap and readily available so if you’re using a colocation, they’ll have relationships with carriers that will provide many options. We’re not seeing latency as much of an issue these days. 

How should businesses go about picking the best colocation provider that will save them money?

Start by finding a trusted advisor who will help guide your journey and able to give you options with pros and cons for each. That advisor will do a discovery process to understand the company’s needs, their desired business outcome and the experience that they want. Then, they can make introductions between the end user and colocation centers that can meet those needs. 

Abigail Opiah
B2B Editor - Web hosting & Website builders

Abigail is a B2B Editor that specializes in web hosting and website builder news, features and reviews at TechRadar Pro. She has been a B2B journalist for more than five years covering a wide range of topics in the technology sector from colocation and cloud to data centers and telecommunications. As a B2B web hosting and website builder editor, Abigail also writes how-to guides and deals for the sector, keeping up to date with the latest trends in the hosting industry. Abigail is also extremely keen on commissioning contributed content from experts in the web hosting and website builder field.