Colocations: What are they, how they work and how your organization would benefit.

Once again we stress the importance of Business Continuity, or in other words how to ensure your business infrastructure and networks remain safe and accessible irrespective of what disaster(s) take place.  Colocations are an excellent method of maintaining, and accessing, your organizations critical infrastructure and are becoming an increasingly popular means to help manage Business Continuity.

In essence, a “Colocation” is what it sounds like; an additional off-site location that houses your data that can be accessed both physically and remotely.  A colocation facility can be part of your organizations in-house real estate holdings, but in an alternate location and facility.  E.g you may have one office in Austin, Texas and an additional office in Dallas, Texas, or even an out of state location, which is networked together to share and manage your data and online infrastructure.  For example, Microsoft has several locations strategically located throughout the country, so if one location has issues, another can take over.  Obviously, most organizations do not have the same resources, but there are great options for businesses of every size.

If additional in-house offices/locations are neither available, nor a viable option for your organization or particular situation, there are specific facilities available that act as de facto locations for other organizations. These standalone colocation facilities offer organizations space for their data and are networked with your organization to keep your information safe and immediately accessible should something go awry.  They not only provide actual physical space and cooling, but they also provide physical security. Space can be leased based on your needs, whether that be by the server, the rack, the cabinet or cage, or even by private suite. Your organization would merely be leasing the “space” and all that it comes with, but the equipment both hardware and software would be yours, along with it’s maintenance responsibility.  A bonus is that, typically, colocation facilities have several built-in levels of redundancy, both in terms of power and networking connectivity.  In fact, many are generally located in areas that are not subject to power outages e.g. are sharing grid-space with critical infrastructure like hospitals, etc.  Additionally, many have their own back up power sources like generations in case “all else fails”, they also generally employ cutting-edge firewalls and cyber security protocols, as well.

Should something happen in Austin, like the rolling black outs back in Winter 2021, depending on how you have things configured, the alternate location could take over and your network and data is both accessible and safe, essentially with little to no downtime or impact on your organization.

Whether owned space or leased, having a colocation is another critical tool for your business to maintain it’s data, keep it safe, and keep your network accessible when things go wrong.  UniVista has vetted several colocation facilities and can help your organization get a colocation set up. If you have any questions about colocations and how your organization would benefit from a co-location, please contact your UniVista Account Rep.