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Colocation pegged as key to improved data centers

By Max Burkhalter
July 12, 2011
Brian Burch, an infrastructure expert at capacitor manufacturer Kemet, opted to split a data center, leveraging colocation to improve the efficiency of his companies storage and IT operation, according to

Initially, his company maintained its data in a single location. However, opting to split the facility enabled Burch's company to move forward with expansion without dealing with latency issues that could've resulted in limited capability. In general, data center management experts believe colocation can provide companies with improved capability and fewer limitations.

The key, according to, is to ensure that a secondary location is situated properly. Partnering with another organization has helped some organizations, while breaking ground on an entirely new location proved the ideal choice for others. According to Jeff Paschke, senior analyst for Tier1, who spoke with, this decision is critical to the success of any colocation initiative.

"You absolutely need to do the buy-vs-build analysis," Paschke told the news provider. "I am a former enterprise data centre manager, and from what I know now, more should be using [colocation] than they do."

For larger companies, building a new data center may be the easy option. While the investment can be pricey, organizations with the resources and compliance responsibilities may want their own space to operate as they see fit. Otherwise, outsourcing the management of a data center to a colocation provider is a legitimate alternative.

The market as a whole as seen a shift toward third-party colocation. At first, a slowly recovering economy may appear as the primary reason for this trend. However, certain trends within IT have resulted in a growing number of companies experienced in data center management.

Aside from the general infrastructure required to manage the data center, issues, such as disaster recovery and data protection, can be equally important.

"One month after go-live on the new data center, we conducted a test recovery of the systems previously covered under our DR contract," Burch told the news provider. "We recovered all of the target systems in less than 10 hours."

Any widescale restructuring of IT operations requires extensive research prior to the decision-making process. In terms of data center management, a poorly made decision can result in data loss or an initiative that leaves a company vulnerable to targeted attacks.


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