Server colocation is an excellent way to prepare your IT infrastructure for expansion. While your local server room or data center can provide some of the same amenities that a full scale provider does, a smaller facility or small onsite server room isn’t likely to be ready for large or unexpected expansion in bandwidth, power, or server hardware.
Starting a business is difficult but to expand one that’s experiencing growth can seem especially daunting for small businesses that possibly neither have the resources nor the staff to manage that growth from an IT perspective. Such growth can cause business owners to seek the assistance of high-priced consultants who might not have the experience to properly advise a growing company toward the correct solution.
Your Provider as Consultant
Fortunately, colocation companies offer consulting services from experienced staff who can provide options to a growing business. Consulting services may include:
- Migration services
- Virtualization choices
- Storage options
- Bandwidth scaling
- Security strategies
- Support options
- Inventory analysis
- Consolidation efforts
- Disaster recovery services
- Scaling assistance
And your colocation provider’s assistance doesn’t end at advice and consulting. Providers employ a range of skilled staff members who physically perform those migrations, configurations, and other managed services for you.
Colocation and Scaling Your Business
Expanding a business is exciting and is something that every business owner looks forward to, but it also can be a difficult and expensive process, if not handled correctly. Your colocation provider can lend that valuable assistance that you need to expand and scale your infrastructure and services without also breaking the bank. We often hear business owners say, “We’re experiencing growing pains,” but the process doesn’t have to be painful. Aligning yourself with the correct provider makes your growth phases enjoyable as well as profitable.
Scaling doesn’t always require purchasing a lot more hardware. It can be as simple as restructuring your current infrastructure to include the capacity to scale. In other words, rather than buying ten new servers, you could move your current hardware systems to virtual ones to better leverage your hardware as virtual infrastructure.
Server Colocation and Economy of Scale
Your provider has invested in racks, power, uninterruptible power supplies, backup generators, servers, cooling, storage infrastructure, physical security to host and house a variety of client services. The provider hasn’t just scaled its business to host a single company’s infrastructure. It can literally host thousands of clients with needs similar to yours. You can lower your costs by taking advantage of their scale.
For example, if you require more network bandwidth capacity for your services, you would have to contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to provision more bandwidth for you in an increment that you might not want or need. You will also have to pay full retail price for the bandwidth you request because it is exclusively dedicated to your company via leased equipment, which you also pay for as part of your service.
You can request more bandwidth from your provider by submitting a service request via email or a ticketing system. The bandwidth can often be provisioned within hours of a request and at a fraction of the cost compared to that of a dedicated provider. Additionally, colocation providers often offer dynamic bandwidth options, which means that you only pay for what you use rather than paying for overprovisioned bandwidth that wastes your money.
The same story applies to storage. If you require more storage for a project, you only need to submit a request for the additional space to be made available to your systems. The process requires no hardware compatibility research, no purchase requests, and no capital expenditures on your part. You simply pay for the extra storage, which is generally spread over a year’s time. Embracing your provider’s economy of scale can save you time and money by allowing you to take advantage of infrastructure and bandwidth that already exists.
Part of the beauty of colocation is the concept of elasticity, which is part of scalability. Elasticity refers to dynamic scalability. For example, if you want to initiate a marketing campaign and you predict a 30% uptick in business, then you’ll need to compensate by increasing your computing capacity by some amount.
You have made some calculations as to what that increase might look like on your bandwidth, storage, and compute. If you have your own data center, you will have to plan and purchase several weeks in advance of the campaign. You will also have to purchase hardware and bandwidth based on your best predictions. Once the campaign has concluded and you’ve returned to a baseline business level, you’re stuck with the additional hardware, bandwidth, and whatever else you purchased to buffer the new traffic.
A colocation provider could have set up temporary additional bandwidth and infrastructure that spins up to absorb the additional traffic and then spins down when it’s complete. Your costs increase during the campaign and return to a base level according to your usage. That’s elasticity. Elastic infrastructure equals elastic costs and scalability without the pain.
Let Your IT and Colocation Provider Help Grow Your Business
Business expansion and growth don’t have to necessarily equal a lot of pain and expense. A colocation provider can ease the pain of expanding your business through consulting services, support staff, and economies of scale. Using a colocation provider can offer you predictable costs and dynamic scalability that gives your business the flexibility to respond faster to an ever-changing business climate.
Colocation can also prepare your business for expansion. Providers like ColoCrossing offer a long list of services to assist you in migration, deployment, consolidation, virtualization, and elastic infrastructure. To learn more about how we can help scale your business, contact us.