What Is Colocation? And Why It Matters
Where you choose to store your data is very important.
Articles published November 16, 2021 by Rhiannon Thompson
Now more than ever, we are living in a technology-driven world. A world of data. Customers have grown accustomed to submitting their personal information online for various reasons, which means there are always going to be individuals to take advantage of that sensitive information. Case in point: recent ransomware attacks in the U.S.
Businesses, in particular, are more susceptible to cybersecurity attacks due to the sensitivity of the information that they deal with on a daily basis. From internal memos to financials to customer information, where you choose to store your data matters. If you use cloud-based software or applications your information is being stored within some type of data center.
In a previous article, we covered data center security and briefly touched on the four main types of data centers available. The list included enterprise data centers, managed services data centers, colocation data centers, and cloud data centers. Today we’re going to take a closer look at one particular type of data center that we utilize at Aureon — the colocation data center.
What Is Colocation?
Colocation is typically referring to a particular type of data storage facility. Colocation data centers are data centers where a company rents space within a facility owned by a third party and located off their own company premises. The colocation data center takes care of the infrastructure, which includes the building, cooling, bandwidth, and security.
For example, Aureon operates multiple data center facilities, and our network also has connections to many other data centers. Businesses may rent space in one of our data center facilities and we can connect them to the data centers, as needed. As for our network? It’s powered by our Aureon Fiber Optic Network with symmetrical connections up to 1 Gbps.
Advantages of Colocation
Colocation provides many advantages to businesses over self-hosting, including enhanced security benefits.
- Colocation data centers adhere to strict physical security protocols.
- Colocation facilities allow renters to choose their own server and storage hardware.
- Colocation data centers provide technical support services.
- Colocation data facilities are capable of scaling with your business needs.
In addition, colocation provides your business with strong network reliability.
How Secure Is Colocation Really?
Colocation data centers are one of the most secure ways to store your data. Physical security features included in our colocation data center facilities to look for include:
- 24/7 year-round video surveillance of the interior and exterior, including all doorways, hallways, and badge access areas.
- Additional sensor-driven cameras located on all doors, aisles, cages, cabinets, and within secure support rooms at the facility.
- Two-factor electronic security authentication with anti-pass-back doors to prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing the building.
Beyond security measures, you will want to consider what sort of safety features are available on-site, such as fire and water protection and climate control options. It’s just as important to be aware of available power options, including power distribution and power backup.
For example, Aureon's facilities use a non-water-based fire suppression system, as the servers and networking equipment are sensitive to water. Our newest facility even uses a fire detection system that checks for smoke in the air before it can be seen. While this level of protection from fire is included with our colocation solution, it is not the same at all facilities.
Colocation facilities always come with power included, but the definition of what that includes ranges widely. Aureon's facilities specifically include both an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) in a redundant configuration and a generator. In the event of an outage, Aureon data centers have enough fuel on-site to run on a generator for multiple days if needed. Does your current facility have this level of backup?
You should also consider how having a colocation facility fits into or augments your disaster recovery plan. Many companies use our facilities as part of their backup and data recovery plan.
Why Colocation Matters
Protecting sensitive data is crucial in our tech-driven world. And colocation offers one of the most secure ways to store your data. No matter how large or small your business is currently, you have a responsibility to keep your sensitive data safe. And as your business grows, you can work with your data center provider to determine your network needs and scale your storage space.
How secure is your data where it's currently stored?