Guide to choosing a colo or on-site data center

When you have to decide between colocation services and building your own data center, ask yourself these questions: How many servers will you need? How much mission-critical data will you be running through those servers? Are there regulations associated with your business's data? If you're still not sure, consider the cost.

New construction means a lot of capital investment, but it does allow full control of all aspects of the data center from design to completion. With a colocation (colo), you might save on costs at the expense of complete control. But will a colo be the right fit for your business needs? Learn more about each option in this quick guide.

Table of contents:

Test your colo knowledge

This guide begins with a quick quiz that will get you started on terms associated with colocation and data center outsourcing in general.

Test your IT IQ: Data center...

Considering colocation services

A colo is basically a climate-controlled storage unit for servers. It provides security and networking, and maybe a desk for your IT personnel. The customer supplies any hardware it likes -- servers, storage, network switches -- as long as it meshes with the cooling and power systems installed at the colo facility. Read these tips to find out a little more about ways a colocation might benefit your business.

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The cost of building a data center

Many shops have gone away from building on-site data centers, but for some businesses, it may be the right choice. Though a private data center often requires redoing a section of an existing office building or building an entirely new facility, a little thought and planning can save money in the long run.

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