Traditional Colocation vs. Rackspace Managed Colocation

  • Last updated on: 2016-01-18
  • Authored by: Rackspace Support

Colocation typically describes the provisioning of space for IT infrastructure and equipment on a service provider’s premises. Business who choose colocation often do so to maintain the control of their operating systems but still have a need for the physical space in which to house their infrastructure.

Traditional Colocation: The Basics In a traditional colocation scenario, the vendor supplies:

  • Physical space (floor space-cabinets or cages)
  • Power to the cabinet/cages (conditioned power, battery backup, and backup power generators)
  • Adequate cooling and redundancy
  • Security (video surveillance, guard-monitored floor, and locked space)
  • Fire suppression
  • Network Connection (some only allow for a set list of providers)

    It should be noted that top tier colocation vendors also have options for additional services. (i.e, inventory space, access to multiple network providers, remote hand options). In traditional colocation, the customer also has a fair share of the responsibility. This includes:

  • Procurement of the IT infrastructure, including receiving and installation via hardware reseller or vendor (Cisco, HP, Dell, etc.)
  • Procurement of the network connectivity and installation into the cabinet or cage
  • Monitoring of all systems 24x7x365
  • Supporting, maintenance and replacement of all devices 24x7x365
  • Planning and scaling the configuration when appropriate
  • Management of staff and multiple vendors (colocation center, hardware provider, network provider)

It is also important to consider the hidden costs and non-operational activities in a traditional colocation scenario:

  • Employee resources (management of staff dedicated to the hosting infrastructure; insurance; weekend, evening/overnight and holiday coverage; certifications and ongoing training)
  • Management of vendor relationships
  • Response to natural disasters
  • Security and compliance requirements (SAS-70, HIPAA, PCI, etc.)
  • Maintenance of depreciating assets
  • Large capital expenditures with growth of business
  • Slow implementation times

Managed Colocation from Rackspace

Because many businesses prefer to maintain a substantial level of control regarding their mission-critical apps, but don’t want to be slowed by the complexity of managing a traditional colocation scenario, Rackspace offers Managed Colocation. Managed Colocation offers the best of both worlds: the desired level of control with the added benefit of a support team to proactively manage your config. Rackspace Managed Colocation is a level above traditional colocation, meaning it offers more support than pure colocation. Managed Colocation from Rackspace supplies:

  • The physical space
  • Power to the cabinet/cages (conditioned power, battery backup, and backup power generators) and network connection backed by a Service Level Agreement (SLA)
  • Controlled environment (redundant cooling, fire suppression)
  • Security (physical security, video surveillance, guard-monitored floor)
  • Hardware for infrastructure
  • Dedicated Support Team for maintenance and day-to-day operations
  • Industry-leading SLAs
  • Complete infrastructure and supply chain management
  • Implementation and deployment capabilities
  • Full customer remote management - customers don’t need physical proximity to the datacenter but can still access even international datacenters

Optional services include management options for storage, Managed Backup, Managed Private Cloud, Dedicated Microsoft® Sharepoint and Microsoft Exchange Server - Dedicated solutions. Rackspace also offers on-demand Managed and Professional Services for customers with unique requirements. In a Managed Colocation solution, customer responsibilities include:

  • Management of the operating systems and applications
  • Administration of the net devices (firewalls and load balancers)
  • Monitoring of the applications, operating systems and devices

Customers who choose Managed Colocation typically do so because they want to maintain OS control but don’t want to be bogged down with the day-to-day routine of server management. Managed Colocation from Rackspace offers a hosting solution that speaks to your desired level of control but creates a much more user-friendly experience compared to traditional colocation.

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