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What is Colocation?

Managing an on-premise server environment can be challenging, but professional colocation can offer a more efficient and cost effective option for many organizations.
February 12, 2023

Defining Colocation

Colocation is the practice of renting space for servers and other computing hardware in a third-party data center. This can include a single rack, an entire care, or a private suite. 

Colocation is a smart investment for businesses that want to ensure that their IT infrastructure is reliable, secure, and scalable. By partnering with a colocation service provider, you can benefit from the latest in data center technology and infrastructure without the high costs of building and maintaining your own facility.

What the Data Center Provides

If you choose to partner with a colocation service provider, the facility will provide numerous other services including:


Many colocation providers follow compliance guidelines such as SOC 2, HIPAA, and PCI DSS for businesses that handle sensitive data or have regulatory requirements. These settings deliver the infrastructure companies need to adhere to regulatory requirements.


Servers and network hardware produce substantial amounts of heat, making effective cooling systems necessary to avoid damage. Colocation facilities provide optimized cooling to help keep servers at ideal temperatures to ensure they run smoothly.


Colocation providers strive to deliver maximum uptime through redundant power sources. This power includes any utility a server needs, backed up by an emergency generator, and conditioned by a UPS to handle any electrical irregularities so that the customer equipment maintains 100% uptime.
Disaster Recovery

Disaster Recovery

Power sources can fail, making it vital for data centers to prepare for disasters. Many providers set up facilities in areas with low risks and utilize backup generators in case of power outages. They may also use more than one internet provider to keep servers running if a service goes down. 


Data centers have numerous safeguards in place to protect the physical security of any business hardware, including biometric locks, cameras, onsite security staff, and require ID badges to prevent unauthorized access and physical threats.


Hosts typically offer three options for space — cabinets, cages, and suites. Cabinets hold multiple servers in racks, while cages house several cabinets in a separate, locked area. Suites are large, private rooms within the data center for clients with larger power and space requirements.

Data Center Considerations

When choosing a colocation data center, some considerations to keep in mind include:
  1. Location: The location of the data center can affect the latency and connectivity of your systems. It's important to consider the proximity of the data center to your users and other critical infrastructure.
  2. Security: A data center should have robust physical and cyber security measures in place to protect your equipment and data. This may include measures such as biometric access controls, surveillance cameras, and fire suppression systems.
  3. Power and cooling: Data centers require a significant amount of power and cooling to keep their equipment running. Make sure that the data center you choose has a reliable power supply, backup generators, and advanced cooling systems in place.  You may want to also check their power usage effectiveness (PUE). The PUE score expresses how efficiently a facility utilizes power. Companies with good PUE scores are more eco-conscious and usually charge less for power usage.
  4. Scalability: As your business grows, you may need to add more servers or other equipment. Make sure that the data center you choose can accommodate your expansion plans.
  5. Connectivity: The data center should have reliable and high-speed connectivity options to connect your equipment to the internet and other networks.
  6. Service and Support: The provider should offer good service and support, with regular maintenance, monitoring, and troubleshooting.
  7. Compliance: Make sure the data center is compliant with the industry standards and regulations that apply to your business, such as HIPAA, SOC2, PCI-DSS, etc.
  8. Cost: Compare the cost of different data center providers, taking into account factors such as the services included, scalability, and location.

Advantages of Colocation

Although colocation is an ideal choice for businesses that already own servers, other organizations can also profit from moving hardware to a data center. Consider the following benefits to companies that choose colocation services:

Lower Costs

Many organizations opt for colocation because it reduces infrastructure and maintenance expenses. Instead of building a data center on-premises, you can simply rent space from a remote facility. Spending fewer funds on housing servers gives you greater room in your budget for productive IT investments.

Increased Scalability

Data centers have ample space to accommodate multiple pieces of equipment, making it easier for companies to scale up. Additionally, colocation provides complete control over your servers. You can use software to manage hardware remotely or have data center technicians help with maintenance. Either way, colocation allows you to devote more time and resources to growth strategies.

Enhanced Uptime

Businesses require reliable uptime to maximize server usage. Colocation providers offer several features to improve uptime, including infrastructure redundancy and service level agreements (SLAs). SLAs outline the conditions of colocation services and protect your company if the host does not deliver the expected results.

Access to Support

Managed services not only provide organizations with server space, but also a wealth of onsite IT support. These specialists have extensive IT knowledge and can help your IT team tackle diverse issues with hardware, software, network, and security management.

Should Businesses Choose Cloud or Colocation?

The cloud is an affordable and convenient alternative for businesses that do not have existing IT hardware or wish to move certain applications to a virtual space.

While some businesses find using either cloud or colocation services beneficial, many prefer using both to maximize their options. In many cases, the advantages of the cloud balance out the setbacks of colocation and vice versa. For example, cloud servers provide greater flexibility with data storage, while colocation offers greater security for vital information.

Whether your company chooses cloud, colocation, or both services, you need a reliable provider to help you manage data and applications. At Evocative, we offer colocation and cloud services to assist with your IT needs.

Partner with Evocative for Trusted Colocation Services

If your business needs server colocation, turn to Evocative for high levels of uptime, security, scalability, and control over your equipment. Our customers can choose from multiple cabinets, cages, and suites for housing hardware and receive server support from a team of experienced IT professionals.

At Evocative, we offer a wide range of power, connectivity, and security packages to fit your needs. We also provide cross connections that allow companies to access private carriers, clouds, and networks within our data centers. Our experienced team can even help you rack and install your servers if you prefer to use your own equipment.

Evocative provides a full suite of colocation, network, bare metal, cloud, and managed services, providing all the critical building blocks you need to deliver exceptional end-user experiences and future-proof your IT.

Regardless of the size or capacity of your business, Evocative is committed to helping you find a colocation solution that meets your needs. We serve over 7,000 international customers that work in numerous industries and sectors, from healthcare to entertainment media.

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