The Raritan Blog

The Importance of Data Center Colocations in Your Hybrid Environment

Jessica Ciesla
November 21, 2018

IT leaders are currently facing the challenge of effectively integrating multiple infrastructures into a single, optimally-functioning environment, commonly known as hybrid IT. Many colocated data centers can offer a solution to this challenge by providing the capabilities that make a hybrid environment so attractive, including a secure, private cloud with access to public clouds. Colocation data centers can also help enterprises deploy and manage a hybrid data center in the following ways:

•    Security measures
•    Access to multiple providers
•    Flexibility and scalability
•    Curated cloud ecosystems
•    Service availability
•    Control over workloads
•    Shift CAPEX to OPEX

Security Measures

Co-location data centers can handle some of an enterprise’s data security requirements without requiring it to relinquish all control over security, as is the case with cloud services providers. Co-location providers also help to mitigate the risk of a shared cloud infrastructure and provide greater physical security than many private data centers offer. Co-location data centers typically implement stringent standards for physical access, including multiple forms of identity that must be matched to an access list and biometric authentication. In many cases, they lock the server racks inside caged enclosures and perform surveillance with both human and automated systems.

Co-location providers may also restrict the media allowed in the data center and often prohibit portable media such as USB drives. Additional security features for customers requiring managed infrastructure include data redundancy, deletion software, firewalls and malware detection.

Access to Multiple Providers

Like many cloud service providers, data center colocations allow customers to deploy applications, store data and distribute workloads within the data center. However, colocations may also provide direct carrier-neutral connections that allow customers to access a variety of cloud service providers. These connections have a low latency that improves performance by distributing the customer’s workload among multiple infrastructures and accessing data that's stored in another virtual location. Cross connections in a co-located data center also eliminate the costs and other issues associated with the "last mile", where service providers truncate their network.

Flexibility and Scalability

Co-located data centers allow customers to scale their operations more easily and quickly than private data center on the customer's premises. Customers can lease additional floor space in a co-located data centers as needed, rather than engaging in the time-consuming process of adding floor space to their own data center. Co-location customers also have the option of obtaining additional infrastructure from a cloud service provider from within a co-located data center.

Curated Cloud Ecosystems

Co-location providers may also provide a carrier-neutral location that serves as a meeting room between customers and cloud service providers. This location typically provides a low-latency cross connection that allows customers to easily access the cloud platforms. These cloud ecosystems are often curated, meaning the co-location data center has already vetted the cloud providers as reliable.

Service Availability

Co-location data centers are routinely constructed to withstand natural disasters, including tornados, flooding and earthquakes. They also offer greater data and power redundancy than on-premises data centers to keep the servers running in the event of power disruptions or disk failures.

Control over Workloads

The customers of a co-location facility provide their own infrastructure, which is managed by the enterprise and dedicated to their use. This arrangement gives customers control over their workload without the expense of building out their own facilities.


Colocation data centers provide customers with the ability to pay for infrastructure as needed, typically on a monthly basis. This arrangement allows customers to shift their spending from capital expenditures (CAPEX) to operational expenditures (OPEX), which avoids the need to spend money all at once in a lump sum.

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