6 Reasons Small Businesses Should Consider Using Colocation Services

A colocation, or colo, is a data center facility business or individual can rent space in order to store and maintain servers and other hardware required for running a business. Usually, the colocation center provides the building, power, bandwidth and physical security, while the business provides the hardware. This type of service can be great for businesses looking to take a more "hands on" approach to their data management, and it has several benefits that make it a better option than managed hosting, at least for some companies.

Here are six reasons why small businesses should consider using colocation services.

1.  Colocation can be cheaper

If you have to buy the equipment upfront, colocation can seem more expensive, but in the long run, it can be cheaper than using managed hosting or building your own data center. The monthly fees charged are based on the number of servers you use, so if your business only needs one or two units, it can be much less expensive than building your own data facility. If your business requires more space, it's also more practical to use a colo than to try and expand or build an existing data facility.

2.  Colos offer protection against power loss or other unknown dangers

Because they're built to store your equipment, colocation centers are designed to handle anything, from flooded buildings to power outages, without causing you to experience and outage in services. From the cooling units to the backup powers supply, colos have thought of everything that could go wrong, so you don't have to worry about it.

3.  Colocation centers offer security

While most colos don't offer actual maintenance service for your equipment, they do offer another type of service that is just as important. The buildings are typically staffed with security personnel to keep your equipment and the data on it safe from anyone who shouldn't be near it.

4.  Colos offer better bandwidth

Colocation data centers typically house the equipment for businesses with similar bandwidth needs in the same structures, so there are no "bandwidth hogs" using up all the bandwidth being made available. Plus, with several clients using the bandwidth, it generally drives the price down for the services, making it more cost efficient as well.

5.  You own the equipment

If you think your servers are too slow, you can upgrade them at any time. If you need more power, you simply buy the equipment that meets your company's needs and have it installed at the colocation data facility. With managed hosting, this is isn't an option. The same thing applies to the software being used on the server; if you don't like the software that you're currently using, you can install another type of server software. This gives your business the flexibility it needs to meet its and its customers' needs more efficiently.

If you want to use a colocation center and don't own any hardware, renting hardware could still give you the flexibility you need and the long-term savings that a colocation center can offer.

6.  Some colocation centers offer equipment maintenance

If you're lucky enough to find a colocation center that offers paid maintenance for your equipment, you can save money by not having to keep someone on staff for that task. Plus, with 24-hour access to your equipment, your colo tech can alert you to any problems as they occur and have them fixed before you have a chance to notice something was ever wrong in the first place.

Small businesses can benefit from colocation data center services, regardless of how much equipment they use. The added security, potential maintenance and access to better bandwidth for less are benefits all businesses can take advantage of. If you are looking for hosting services for your small business, consider using a colocation center and your own equipment for better access and control over how your data is managed.

Check out sites like http://colocationnorthwest.com for more information.