A recent 2012 datacentre survey by the Uptime Institute indicates that at least 26% of internal IT departments and UK startups plan to lease colocated dedicated servers from remote web hosting providers in over the next two years.
This is reflective of massive datacentre growth since 2008 (despite the economic meltdown), which has seen cloud and colocation infrastructure sprout up (or be upgraded) in the United States, Europe and Asia.
However, despite this growth, a number of startups and on-premise IT departments will run out of datacentre capacity (which encompasses power, cooling, space, networks and of course, servers) in 2013. While cloud computing in the form of virtual private servers and various other flavors of private, hybrid and public clouds are proving popular, many organizations are using colocation to either extend their cloud footprint or use it as a base to access further cloud delivery models.
And, this scenario does not only apply to large UK enterprises, but particularly to small to medium-sized businesses.
Colocation typically involves multiple customers installing their network, servers and data storage in remote service provider facilities allowing them to reduce overheads and optimize business efficiencies. It also offers other disaster recovery (DR) benefits when used in conjunction with an existing on-premise IT facility.
“When you use colo, basically your datacentre is just in a different location, so you still have control over the hardware, the software, most of the communications, and any other issues that come up,” said TechTarget.
These private rack facilities have “big pipes” to multiple carriers, an exceptionally attractive feature for Startups who are considering upgrading their on-premise infrastructure.
Typically, best-of-breed hosting providers will often have hundreds of fiber strands, each with one or more 10Gbps links, into their facilities, from a dozen or more carriers,” said Information Week in its 2012 State of the Datacentre Report.
“Many have started installing 40Gbps WAN links and are already talking to carriers about 100Gbps circuits. Inside the data centre, dedicated 10Gbps drops to each customer are common.”
These WAN “super powers” are hard to match for startups seeking to scale quickly and cost affectively through their own datacentre rollouts. In fact, they are most likely compromising performance and efficiency since these days savvy IT leaders are decoupling the application infrastructure from the physical infrastructure. Colocation is thus a critical element in achieving business agility and should be considered alongside (and in tandem) with standardization, virtualization (through the cloud,) automation and denser, faster hardware. This will help British startups reduce service and support overheads and push more of the heavy-lifting technology integration into the hands of experienced datacentre and cloud engineers at remote hosting facilities.