We often get this question from both people who work with servers, and people outside of the normal ‘IT crowd’. They may have a server currently in their home or office, or have been told they require new server equipment to run a certain application.
Whatever the reason, people look to colocate equipment generally for a few core reasons;
- Physical Security. They may not have a safe location to currently house their equipment, or it may have sensitive data on it and not appropriate to have in an home or office environment.
- Availability. Many home and offices do not have constant power sources, or reliable internet. Cooling could also be a problem.
- Practicality. Server equipment can be loud and noisy, and require to be kept in cool and clean environments.
Data centre facilities offer answers to all of these requirements;
- Facilities are very secure, with access control systems and CCTV. Physical access to equipment is restricted to authorised personnel.
- Equipment is powered and protected by multiple UPS feeds and generators. This means equipment will keep running in data centres even when there is no power from the utility provider, or there is stormy weather causing brown outs and power surges.
- Cooling is configured to ensure equipment stays running – without it equipment will overheat and fail. Noise is not an issue as people generally only work near equipment when required.
- High speed internet, configured with multiple internet providers ensures the server always is connected to the internet.
There are other advantages of colocating your equipment. Many facilities offer ‘remote hands’ which means the staff at the data centre will be able to assist in case your equipment is experiencing problems. Data centres which have onsite staff also can also assist with the installation of your equipment, and the configuration of such things as firewalls and network switches.
Look out for our next article on what equipment is best to put into a data centre.
Article by Paul Arch, based on experiences operating data centre and cloud infrastructure in Perth Western Australia