When do we evolve from colocation?

Colocation often gets overlooked in the managed IT services family. It's the forgotten sibling to cloud computing, oversimplified and viewed as solution whose time has passed. However, there's still a place for colo in the IT solutions toolbox, and I think it's a great time to take a fresh look at ways to optimise and strategise to get the most out of this so-called legacy solution.

As the global recession appears to wane, organisations that may have turned to colocation out of habit or as a short-term fix should view the solution as part of a long-term strategy.

Take a step back, analyse your current needs, plans and expected capacity requirements and discuss them with your colo provider. Look at options for expanding into burstable storage or compute capacity to meet peaks rather than expanding capacity by paying for and blocking out additional physical space you don't actually need for nine-tenths of the year.

CIOs and IT directors, especially in Europe, have become more involved in the corporate decision-making process and have a vested interest to do more with less on their IT budget. They are eager to question and evaluate existing methods so that unnecessary fat can be trimmed from budgets to ensure their businesses stay lean and scalable.

How much data centre space do we really need?

As you explore colocation options, it's important to regularly ask yourself, "Why?" In other words, "Why do we need this much data centre space?" Having rack after rack of space blocked out and provisioned with power and cooling effectively wastes thousands of square feet of data centre space.

Look to your IT vendor to recommend an optimum solution that balances potential expansion needs with cost-effective and efficient deployment. Instead of deploying colocation in the old fashioned caged kit way, look to make colocation more flexible by dipping into other services offered by IT vendors.

You should work with your IT partner to build and operate infrastructure at peak efficiency, with maximum up-time. If deployed with in a strategic manner, colocation can help reduce capital costs, improve service levels and allow you to focus more energy on your core business