PTS: Blog

To Co-Lo or Not To Co-Lo?

I’m interested in hearing how organizations have come to the conclusion that this was their best alternative to expanding data center capacity?

We have seen some organizations dive into Co-Lo facilities because the industry is growing so they assume it is the right thing to do or they think it will be more cost effective before anyone has really analyzed the cost implications. I think it is critical for an organization to analyze all of the suitable approaches to their need of expanding data center capacity such as; upgrading existing facilities, Co-Location, building new or building a scalable Data Center Shelter that can be leased to provide tax benefits while the lease payments may be close to what you’d pay for suitable Co-Lo space.

First of all, what is driving your interest in Co-Location is it the costs of running your own facility? Or one of these issues:

• Have you outgrown your own facility?
• Is your facility unable to handle new higher density infrastructure?
• Are you looking to Co-Locate to have access to better carriers or lower your network latency to your business partners?
• Does your own organization lack the expertise to manage IT facilities?
• Is your organization just looking to get away from operating & managing IT facilities so you can focus on your core business?
• Is it for a new application such as DR or business continuity that is requiring a secondary site?

Next lets assume you have determined that Co-Location is right for your organization & application, there are now 1,000’s of Co-Location facilities, what one is right for your organization and your application? Sure you can spend a lot of time touring facilities & trying to find one that meets your availability, density, accessibility, service, budget, expansion & growth objectives, but what will you base your decision on and how long will your process take? Is there a need for an expert who has rated 100’s of Co-Lo facilities in all of the key areas and attributes within those areas? I think it is important for an organization to define their design criteria as well as assess their load, density and growth projections before the organization takes a step into any Co-Lo space for a tour. An ogranization can then quickly narrow its search from 100’s of suitable Co-Lo’s to the few that warrant further consideration thus saving time, effort & budget. Also, by having a detailed design criteria an organization is now in a better position to negotiate a contract and Service Level Agreement that is tipped in their favor and make comparisons on one Co-Lo vs another.

Curious to hear how others have made decisions to Co-Lo and what process they initiated to make their site selection? I’d like to hear both positive & negative experiences as well as where you thought your processes could have been improved?