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How Co-location Can Help

Jun 17, 2008
What is co-location? Also known as "co-location" and "collocation", it is the commercial service of providing Internet or leased line connections to one or more servers that are kept in a server room type of environment.
In computer terms, it refers to the installation of or the running of applications or data in a single process, computer, data centre, or storage unit. (A good example of co-location is virtualisation, which means the host server provides a virtual hardware or software platform for running one or more instances of a program on what might be a potentially different system, such as a virtual Microsoft Windows machine on a Linux operating system.) The servers might also be kept in a private co-location space. Co-location can include rack mounted servers, towers, cubes, desktop computers, full racks-pretty much any configuration someone could dream up.

So what are the reasons for server co-location? That is a very good question, as although there are many reasons for using this type of service, many of them are not as apparent as one might think. Truly, there are many key features a customer has in mind when choosing to use server co-location. These include localisation, available bandwidth, security, accessibility, reliability, and the availability (or lack of) of competent technical support.

To go a bit more in depth, a client company might not have a good deal of resources to put into computer equipment, and bandwidth can be costly.
However, in today's society, the only way to run a business is with computers and access to the Internet, be it for keeping records, for tabulating costs, for sending and receiving e-mail or simply to advertise and receive customer feedback via the company Web site. All this takes bandwidth, so it only makes sense to consolidate it. Co-location offers protection of critical data with superior security, instant bandwidth management and solid, redundant Internet fiber connections. In other words, they consolidate everything in one place and keep it safe and up and running all the time.

Therefore, a company can get excellent service by keeping everything in one place, both physically and metaphorically. Customers of the service are looking for certain things: backup of data that is done offsite, a centralised database (so no data is lost), monitoring of a remote network, local television feeds, game servers, list servers, high volume Web servers and even more.

The options available to a customer considering trying co-location are manifold; they include pre-configured servers, customer supplied servers, pre-built rack servers, raw or finished co-location space and finished adjacent office space with premium bandwidth.

Customers also want a company that is large enough to meet their data needs while being small enough to care about them as a client. Honesty, integrity, responsible, knowledge of the product (both in regard to installation and to support), local-all these things matter greatly when picking a provider of co-location. Customers want to know they will be important to the provider, that it will take care of and protect their data. This makes co-location very attractive, indeed.
About the Author
Derek Rogers is a freelance writer who writes for a number of UK businesses. For Business Internet Services and Co-location, he recommends Iconnyx.
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