Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Colocation Leverages Your IT Staff

Most businesses today, even the largest and most well known, find it hard to justify staff increases in this economic climate. That makes it tough on the IT department. Not only can't they expand to meet increasing demands for their time, but they may be subject to hiring freezes or even across the board staff reductions. Is there any way to keep this situation from heading into a morale and productivity meltdown?

There is one idea that can take some pressure off. What you need is leverage. That's the ability for each valued member of the team to be able to get more done without destroying their own health or getting so overextended that they start creating more problems than they solve. Forget trying to cram more work down fewer throats. Instead, use a technique that can multiply the effectiveness of your IT team.

That technique is called colocation. Basically, it's a way to outsource some of what you do while retaining control over the results. I know that outsourcing has gotten a tarnished reputation, especially among those who have seen their jobs moved overseas. This isn't that. In fact, everything remains nearby. What moves is not the hands-on customer service you enjoy in house or the business strategy that is core to your operation. What you are moving is the mundane, everyday infrastructure needed to run a data center.

With colocation, you move your equipment not your jobs, not your people. You rent rack space or a completely secure caged room where your servers, appliances and their WAN connections will reside. You still operate everything remotely and have access to the physical equipment when needed. What you don't do is provide physical space, main power and backup power, light, fire protection, and security. You can elect to have the colocation personnel do server maintenance and upgrades or just rent server capacity instead of owning it.

But isn't this a zero-sum game? You move the equipment from one spot to another but you still need all the resources you already have, right?

Not really. A colocation facility gains efficiency through economy of scale. A colo center can staff for monitoring, maintenance and security for hundreds of companies much cheaper than a hundred companies can do individually. The same is true for backup generators, data center facilities, and WAN bandwidth.

You may be having trouble getting the bandwidth you need because your facility just isn't located near enough to carrier facilities to make high bandwidth drops cost effective. But a colocation center often has multiple carriers with POPs (Points of Presence) in the building. They have all the bandwidth you could want and you'll get it at a bargain per Mbps or Gbps. The construction costs are as little as running a fiber or copper cable from your choice of carrier to your equipment location. You might pay very little. You might not have to pay anything.

Want to find out what colocation services can do for your business? Simply call the toll free number or enter a quick online quote request for colocation services now.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.