There’s a lot that goes into managing a data center.

Building the infrastructure, purchasing the hardware, securing and maintaining the facility, troubleshooting any issues. It can be a drain on your time, energy, resources and capital. It also leaves you on an island, responsible for developing all future technologies to support transitioning your solutions to take advantage of current and future cost savings.

While many organizations look to the cloud to solve these issues, that's not an option for certain workloads and data. Most companies that require colocation, either in a DIY or outsourced model will require some type of hybrid solution that integrates data security (e.g. DDoS, intrusion detection and prevention), hyperscale connectivity, cloud (private and public), storage, and disaster recovery planning and execution.

In that case, the best approach is a hybrid solution utilizing outsourced colocation. This approach allows companies to access expertise and services in the most cost-effective manner by leveraging the scale of a colocation provider. It also allows organizations to focus on their core business while being confident that new technologies can be quickly implemented as they become available. This is not a new concept, and you've likely heard of it before - but is a hybrid solution the right move for your organization?

Here's a look at five benefits of colocation as part your hybrid strategy that might make you think twice about developing and delivering services in-house.

1. Focus on Your Business

Unless you are a colocation provider, running a data center is not a key component to your success. As a cost center, incorporating new technologies and business continuity is a necessary evil required to deliver your core services or applications.

Colocation can reduce the overall total cost of ownership (TCO) for an environment through a provider's scale where services are developed to be consumed in increments aligned to a business strategy. Technology and service advancements can also be incorporated into a business's solution quickly and cost effectively. Examples include; business continuity and disaster recovery, colocation, data and physical security, hyperscale connectivity, cloud, storage and other technology expertise.

Working with a provider allows for an organization to adopt an overall solution, not point solutions that need to be integrated and self-maintained.

2. Lower Your TCO

Data centers are expensive to operate and manage. New technologies have a large "up front" commitment in both human and cash capital. A DIY approach to deploying new technologies often has long evaluation, design and implementation runways which hinder an organizations ability to "catch up" to their competitors.

There's the upfront cost of the initial physical infrastructure, and the ongoing cost of the full-time employees managing the facility and troubleshooting. There's also energy costs and network connectivity to consider. Not to mention rent, taxes and other expenses that you may be responsible for.

With colocation, you turn capital expenses into operating expenses. By renting the space in a third-party data center, you hand off the building, infrastructure and maintenance to a provider for a predictable – and lower – monthly cost. Best of all, you can take advantage of economies of scale to lower your costs while delivering more value.

3. Improve Your Ability to Grow with Your Business

Capacity is a legitimate concern for those concerned with TCO. Often, homegrown data centers and services must be oversized initially to plan for future growth. Environments typically have a lifecycle of having too much capacity to begin with and then eventually run out of capacity as business grows. Typically, you're paying a massive upfront human and capital expense for assumed future requirements, which is unlikely to be fully utilized for quite some time.

With a colocation provider, you purchase and implement what best suits your current business requirements with the ability to quickly expand as those requirements change and evolve.

4. Service Levels Contractually Aligned to Your Business

Outsourcing makes sense for your mission-critical production applications. Service levels can be customized to meet your product application needs. Uptime requirements as well as business continuity requirements are backed by provider service contracts. In many cases, service levels are developed for solutions, not the individual components. Does it matter that your power is available if your external connections are down? The answer is no, consumers can’t get to your product.

Ultimately, this guarantees better levels of availability and uptime for your most important applications.

5. Enhance Business Continuity

Making colocation a part of your hybrid strategy can greatly improve your disaster recovery capabilities. Whether it is leveraging a geographically diverse colocation facility or incorporating advanced recovery solutions, working with an experienced provider can ensure you get the solutions to properly protect your business critical applications, while offering scalability to reduce TCO.

Do you have questions about making colocation part of your hybrid strategy? Contact us to learn about Sungard AS' colocation capabilities in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Ireland and France.


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