Colocation Bandwidth Advantages
How your business can benefit
from colocation bandwidth services
By: John Shepler
If your Internet access, hosting and other
telecommunication needs have started small and grown steadily
over the years, you probably have your own data center. The big
advantage of an on-site data center is quick and easy access
to your server farm and network connections. But, you also have
the responsibility of physical security, environmental controls,
backup power and wide area network connections.
Another approach is to move your equipment to a "colo"
or colocation center, also called a carrier hotel. This is a
special facility where many companies and telecom carriers rent
space and provide access to each other's networks. The colocation
center operator provides physical security for the building and
network wiring, environmental controls, battery and generator
So why buy these service when you can provide
them yourself? One good reason is that you may have more choices
among telecom carriers that you have at your location. Numerous
Internet service providers and long lines carriers may offer
points of presence in the same facility. Not only does this create
competition for bandwidth pricing, but you may be able to get
service from companies that can't directly connect to your location.
That's especially true if your operation is not sited within
a major metropolitan area.
Types of Available Services
Telecom services may include T1, DS3, OC3, OC12, and OC48 TDM
voice and data service. You may also find easier to get IP services
such as Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet. A carrier
hotel is likely to have multiple fiber optic cables brought into
the facility. How many fiber optic cables service your facility?
Colocation bandwidth is sometimes available
by the megabyte or gigabyte instead of a fixed bandwidth available
elsewhere. You may also have the option to quickly increase or
decrease the amount of bandwidth that you are buying, since the
carriers have routers and switches in the same carrier hotel.
The colocation center usually has a "meet me" room
where carriers all locate their equipment, or at least patching
facilities to make connections quickly, easily and cheaply.
Another advantage is the ability to get redundant network connections
from diverse carriers. In other words, you buy some of your bandwidth
from one carrier and the rest from a competing carrier. If one
carrier has technical problems that disrupt your service, you'll
still be able to run on the bandwidth from the other non-related
carrier. You can get redundant services brought to your own facility,
but it's likely a lot more expensive and less flexible. Latency
within a colocation center is reduced, too, since you are located
within feet rather than miles of your bandwidth providers.
You may also want to consider a colocation
facility for disaster protection. What happens if a fire, flood,
hurricane, tornado, earthquake or other disaster hits your facility?
By having at least a backup facility at a remote colocation center,
you'll be able to keep running regardless of local emergencies.
Discover Your Bandwidth Upgrade Options Now
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