Match the Colocation Provider Type to your requirements for Scale, Network Diversity and Services offered

Some companies today hesitate to commit to a data storage option for long-term, being unsure of the exact short-term IT direction their business will need. Such delay can result in unnecessary capital allocation and inflexible reactions to both growth needs and company IT crises.

Looking at best practice, it is clear that the business of the future is flexible, scalable and reliable – just like the colocation provider you should choose.

This complimentary Gartner best practice research provides a three-step process and key considerations for selecting colocation facilities and vendors.

Best Practices for Selecting a Colocation Provider

Gartner Research Note

Select the right colocation service based on scalability – Gartner Best Practices for selecting a colocation provider

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Choose between retail or wholesale colocation

While the decision between retail and wholesale colocation has historically revolved around how much space and power the enterprise is looking to source, the lines between such models is blurring. A more relevant differentiator may instead be the level of support services required of the colocation provider. Retail providers may offer anywhere from single, locking cabinets all the way up to 3,000 or even 5,000 square feet, and up to one or two megawatts of power capacity.

As part of the service, the provider will supply racks, deliver power circuits, build cross-connections, undertake cabling and include additional services such as remote hands. All of this is designed to make it simple for enterprises to install their equipment in racks, connect up to power and start using the service.

Services beyond space, power and cooling are often focused on enhancing enterprise data center capabilities, such as offering rich connection options to partners and vendors (e.g., cloud suppliers) and layering on enterprise-focused managed services (which vary depending on the supplier’s strengths).

Wholesale providers are a blend of commercial real estate and data centre operators that have a portfolio of properties, most with proximity to larger technology and financial markets. They typically lease large quantities of empty “white space” to customers, with redundant power and cooling and little or nothing in the way of services.

Recommendations for choosing a colocation provider

  • Select wholesale providers for enterprise use when organisational needs exceed one megawatt of power, or when you require unique build-outs that retailers either can’t or won’t provide
  • Select wholesale providers for enterprise use in smaller deals, but be certain to compare the services offered with available retail provider alternatives

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