Given the rapid growth of public cloud services since they emerged a little over 10 years ago, is colocation still a relevant business solution? Continued rapid growth in our colocation services, especially in our South London data centre in central Croydon, with its proximity to the City of London, indicates the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.

Research by Markets and Markets, predicts that the global colocation market is expected to be worth $54 billion by 2020, i.e. continued expansion, bearing out what we’re seeing.

Colocation can provide significant advantages to businesses. Since the initial explosion of public cloud services, many colocation providers have responded by offering a broader service, such as enabling customer to manage all their cloud services centrally and applying colocated IT infrastructure in their data centres as a private cloud service within an inclusive cloud strategy.

As an opportunity to better understand the key benefits of colocation, we’ve drawn up a list of the top five reasons why it remains a good solution for businesses.

1. Scalability

Colocation provides incrementally scalable service models. This allows both for scaling up, in response to periods of business growth, as well as scaling down, providing an easy way to release capacity if and when you no longer require it.

If you have built your business so you can only scale up, this would eventually lead to wasted resources in keeping the system space maintained. When it comes to infrastructure, being able to scale down on-demand is absolutely critical. Whether through yearly, daily, even hourly cycles, if you have a mechanism for increasing and decreasing capacity, you end up better off and ultimately avoid excessive IT spend.

2. Reliable performance and connectivity

Placing your servers in a third-party data centre can provide a better level of performance, connectivity and reliability than you could manage in house. This is enabled through highly developed relationships that have evolved between data centres and the many carriers and partners. Data centres also feature highly developed support systems which are regularly maintained to ensure the highest hardware performance for your business.

Essentially this dedicated service means an internal IT team’s time is freed up from administrating services so they can concentrate on other day-to-day business requirements, with the ultimate goal of better supporting the bottom line.

3. Enhanced physical security

Colocation facilities are very often more secure than on-site data rooms. Considerable investment is placed in colocation security – far more than any one organisation could reasonably be expected to make. Most datacentres provide sophisticated physical security, such as layered buffer zones around sites, thick concrete walls, crash barriers at vehicle entry points and biometric scanning devices. In addition, security and risk frameworks like ISO27001, PCI DSS, etc. provide another measure of assurance.

4. Overall cost effectiveness

Colocation allows you to save money in several ways. The need to spend money on IT infrastructure either on-site or building and maintaining your own datacentre is removed; savings are made on cooling, power and management costs. Paying for colocation out of op-ex in the form of a monthly fee is also welcomed by many businesses.

5. Future proofing your IT infrastructure

Growing IT trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data also present new ways and opportunities for data centres to assist businesses with the challenges these technologies will present. For example, colocation can help customers make the right investments in new and upgraded solutions to support an IoT strategy, from data-collection points to data aggregation to capacity management and planning. Colocation provides holistic IT solutions in a managed environment that can adapt and grow with your business.

It is important to understand that public cloud services aren’t the answer to every IT challenge. Colocation can form part of an holistic IT strategy, bringing benefits that other technologies can’t. Colocation is ideally positioned to support emerging requirements as the market continues to evolve and will be integral to IT infrastructure long into the future.

IDE Group is one of the UK’s largest colocation providers, offering data centre space in over 100 locations. One of the latest locations includes a state of the art datacentre hall in a South London facility, featuring more than 400m2 of data floor space to accommodate almost 200 racks. Built with energy efficiency, redundancy and security in mind, it features multiple points of presence from a variety of carriers and providers.

To discuss the latest colocation availability in the South London area, and beyond, or to discuss your unique colocation requirements please call 0344 874 2020 or visit  .