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Things to factor in while going CoLo (CoLocation data centers) in a hybrid environment

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By Anjani Kumar, Country Manager, India & SAARC, Raritan- A brand of Legrand

The need to secure growing volumes of dispersed data generated at edge locations are driving enterprises to set up and operate data vaults in multiple co-location facilities. IT centric businesses wishing to place their data center assets are finding Co-location to be a rational step laden with multiple benefits – enhanced efficiency, reduced cost and increased data security. No wonder, the co-location data center market is growing exponentially to reach US$50 billion by end of 2019.Data driven organizations across industry sectors as well as government are fuelling this growth. New regulations with respect to data hosting and security have increased demand for CoLo’sin India. Currently there are estimated to be 147 co-location data centers across 23 locations in India.

Here are things to consider and key benefits, when it comes to CoLo (CoLocation data centers):

Intelligent power management improves efficiencies and reduces power costs
Data centers require huge amount of power to operate efficiently. A well-chosen PDU (Power Distribution Unit) minimizes the number of power drops and reduces cost. It assures receipt and efficient use of all the power being paid for on a monthly basis. Choosing the most suitable PDU (having the right form factor, outlet count, feature set for your applications) for a particular co-location environment is thus critical to achieving uptime and efficiency goals. It is also important to consider whether you need 1kW or 100kW in a PDU. The right PDU should be able to validate power consumption, monitor rack power and control rack access. Intelligent racks are increasingly a must for any co-location IT infrastructure.

KVM-over-IP provides remote access to your hardware in CoLos
KVM (an acronym for keyboard, video and mouse) is a hardware device, generally found in large and co-location data centers where more than one servers are placed in a single rack. By pressing a button on a KVM switch the operator can change control from one server to the next. Using KVM switches can save the administrator the cost of purchasing a dedicated keyboard, monitor and mouse for each computer and save space in the server room to limit cable clutter.Many IT businesses who opt for co-location facility need to be diligent in providing for multiple paths to the control interfaces of their hardware.

CoLo’s offer enhanced physical security at the device, rack & facility level
Given the intricacy and confidentiality of the data that co-location data centers store, data security is of topmost importance for CoLo managers. The focus is on eliminating process risks and aiding integration of data and services to ensure there is no lapse in security. In a co-location data center, organisations have greater control over security without having to give up complete control. With co-location, you can minimise the risk associated with shared cloud infrastructure. At the same time, the physical security is more than what you get in a standard private data center. Co-location data centers offer the advantage of more stringent norms for physical access. They demand multiple forms of identity biometric authentication. They also have comprehensive security procedures such as locking the server racks inside caged enclosures and performing surveillance with both human and automated systems.A co-location provider must ensure multiple layers of security around the equipment especially for SMBs who may not be able to afford such facilities at lower prices on their own. The multiple layer security includes video recording, restricted security procedures, and 24x7x365 comprehensive technical support.

More flexibility by providing access to multiple cloud service providers
Most co-location facilities offer customers the option to deploy applications, store data and distribute workloads within the data center just like most cloud service providers. However, they offer the additional advantage of accessing multiple cloud service providers through direct carrier-neutral connections. Since these connections have a low latency, the workload can be distributed among multiple infrastructures including virtual locations; thereby improving performance. It offers the advantage of ‘cross connections’ that helps eliminate costs and other “last mile” issues.

Exercise the data center as a service option for more flexibility & faster scalability
In order to meet the current demands of data proliferation and data center scalability, there is a need for integration of both cloud and physical solutions. With co-located data centers, customers can scale their operations far more easily and quickly as compared to a private on premise data center. Rather than having to invest time and money in adding additional space to their existing data center, organisations can simply lease additional space in a co-located data center as and when need arises. You can even choose andget additional infrastructure from a cloud service provider from within a co-located data center. Companies using co-location services have much greater control and better visibility of the costs.

Operate at the highest uptime & efficiency norms
Since most co-location data centers are designed to be safe even during natural disasters (tornados, flooding and earthquakes), they offer much better data and power redundancy as compared to regular on premise data centers. The servers are much more likely to run in the event of power disruptions or disk failures.

Added protection of your assets & data with real time environmental monitoring
Besides prevention and protection from viruses and network threats, there needs to be comprehensive approach for factors like temperature and humidity as they are equally destructive. Effective and comprehensive environmental monitoring is thus critical for a co-location data center. Intelligent PDUs that effectively monitor temperature &humidity are thus effective in environmental monitoring and management.

Resource optimization & long term capacity planning enabled through asset management tools
A colocation data center may be in remote location with continually shifting asset base and making it difficult for IT managers to keep track and manage. Capacity planning and ensuring full utilization requires knowing the load and real time planning. Though asset management is critical, IT managers hesitate to implement a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software, due to the effort required to enrol assets into it and maintenance of the DCIM database over time because systems are added, removed, or moved about within the data center on regular basis. Combining an asset management system (AMTs + AMSs) with DCIM is the most effective way to address and manage.

Balancing the Capex-Opex budgets with the ‘Grow as you go’ CoLo model
Since customers can pay for co-location data center facilities on a ‘grow as you go’ basis, they can move their infrastructure spend from a capital expenditure (CAPEX) to operational expenditure (OPEX) model, thereby giving them greater financial flexibility.

While the upswing in demand provides unmatched opportunities to CoLo enterprises, the competition is getting more intense. It is no longer enough to offer price differential alone – customers are now demanding value beyond the proverbial dollar.

If you have an interesting article / experience / case study to share, please get in touch with us at [email protected]


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