A Colocation Buyer’s Guide:A

What You Should Know Before Making a Colocation Decision
This eBook will help you:
• Learn the benefits of a colocation solution • Find out what executives say about ROI • Decide if you are a good fit for colocation • Discover questions to ask a prospective provider

887.843.7627 | contactsales@internap.com | www.internap.com | 08/11

......................com ........7627 | contactsales@internap..internap..................com | www..........Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ........................ [ 2 ] Table of Contents Section One: Section Two: Section Three: Section Four: Section Five: Section Six: Section Seven: Does This Sound Like You? What Is Colocation and What are the Drivers? What’s In It for Me? The Benefits of Colocation One Size Doesn’t Always Fit All Strategic Considerations Before You Buy Show Me the Money– Expected ROI Getting Started: Interview Questions for Your Prospective Provider 3 5 7 10 12 15 17 887...843...

...843........com | www...... At each stage of a company lifecycle..... [ 3 ] Does This Sound Like You? Although they come in different flavors.internap.........7627 | contactsales@internap....com ...................................... small businesses.Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ... and enterprises alike still face challenges managing their IT Infrastructure............... Do you find yourself in any of the following situations? 887. a new hurdle presents itself.

.. Climbing utility bills and a non-redundant system are pushing you to your breaking point..... Plus....com | www..... not to mention the cooling and power capacity you need to run increasingly complex Infrastructure. Everything seems to be humming along.. 887....... you added equipment but now you are reaching capacity.... [ 4 ] SMB As a new startup you began housing a server in your spare closet....internap.... A colocation provider that can handle your needs may be just what you are looking for. continue to risk network outages or move everything to a larger facility? Enterprise At this stage you have the hardware.. but what about the monthly operating expenses? Plus. As operations grew. Can you really manage it all and is it worth it? If you find yourself in any of the above scenarios..com ......Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ....7627 | contactsales@internap..... Your application usage is through the roof and your customers can’t get enough of your product................ Your equipment and data are at risk and you need more room to grow. But behind the scenes.. data center design is also becoming more and more complex due to the ever-changing requirements of hardware.... your Infrastructure is pushing maximum density. You don’t have the space for additional equipment...... Medium to Large Business Business is booming... read on.... The cost of building out a facility is one thing...... How do you meet your customers’ demands without disrupting service? Do you add on to your current space. but you have doubts about the long-term ROI... There isn’t enough space to handle the amount of equipment you need to house. capital and manpower you need and are considering building your own data center facility.843... security isn’t exactly up to par...

...... [ 5 ] What is Colocation & What are the Drivers? Colocation is a physical facilities option for your IT Infrastructure.......com ................ HVAC systems. 887....... You essentially lease space for your IT assets while maintaining ownership and control of those assets........... while conserving capital. giving you the ability to take advantage of shared power Infrastructure..........internap.. your IT assets are placed in a service provider’s facility (next to or “co-located with” the assets of other organizations).. Under a colocation scenario. This option allows your company to expand quickly....7627 | contactsales@internap........com | www.....Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ...... physical security and redundant architecture.......843. bypassing the time it takes to design and construct a new data center.....

2 3 Third.64% of Organizations Engage in Some Form of Data Center Colocation Services According to Info-Tech Research Group. 64% of organizations engage in some form of data center colocation services. allowing IT staffers to even reboot servers remotely.internap. remote “lights-out” management technology makes administering remote systems easier.com | www. because organizations are more geographically distributed.7627 | contactsales@internap.843. *Source: Focus Research Group Colocation Services Buyers Guide 887. these buildings rarely allow for the lockdown security measures that companies want for their server rooms. they don’t necessarily have an optimal central location in which to locate a data center and Web systems. power and weight requirements to house dense and heavy hardware. and retrofitting them is too expensive. traditional office buildings don’t always meet the cooling. Second.* 1 First. 4 And.com . Gartner has observed more and more enterprises enlisting colocation services. finally. colocation gives companies that are consolidating or outgrowing their internal data centers a cost-effective alternative to building new facilities. Also. In addition. and the research firm has identified several reasons behind this trend.

. eliminating costs and more.....7627 | contactsales@internap.........................................com ..internap.........843... [ 7 ] What’s In it for Me? The Benefits of Colocation Colocation offers many benefits that meet many businesses’ short lists including....Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ..com | www.. performance......... improving their reliability.............. Improve Reliability & Availability Improve Efficiency & Performance Reduce and Eliminate Costs Easily Scalable Reduce Risk Meet Compliance Needs 887..

.... Buy 887.Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents .. from the raised floor to deliver cool air....9.com | www....... In many cases. the ability to provide reliable and redundant power Infrastructure is key to business uptime......* *Source: Data Center Knowledge Data Center Economics: Build vs.. Availability is usually Five 9’s? expressed as a percentage of Three 9’s? uptime in a given year. not to mention the ongoing operating costs of management and maintenance. In the world of online business.. And with carrier neutral IP connectivity as an option........ or 43 minutes more downtime every month.... to the white rooftops that reflect the sun’s heat... colocation providers are able to offer uptime guarantees on power and are willing to pay down to the minute as stated in their Service Level Agreement (SLA).. making the reliability and availability of data center services a big draw for customers....com ... Improve Efficiency/Performance Data center facilities are designed with efficiency and performance in mind...... [ 8 ] Improve Reliability/Availability The improvement of reliability and availability is a huge plus for businesses looking to colocate.. Temperatures are monitored and maintained to the degree to keep equipment running optimally.... extending the life of hardware... taking advantage of a multi-tenant facility can be more cost effective than building out your own data center facility........ The difference? Two fewer nines means an average of 86 seconds more downtime every day.......... For example. In fact.... even a second of downtime matters.. Many providers will state their What’s the availability as percentage Difference? such as 99.. $1500 per Square Foot The average costs of building a data center are between $1000 and $1500 per square foot......999 or 99.......7627 | contactsales@internap.. performance to the end user is improved. Reduce and Eliminate Costs Another reason businesses choose to colocate is the cost savings.internap.843.

.. SAS 70 was originally written as a financial auditing framework to verify that service providers followed adequate controls and processes.... the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA ) announced new requirements for reporting on controls at all service organizations. where the service provider did not have a direct financial impact.. • SOC 1 reports. you may have heard providers refer to something called “SAS 70.. which are governed using the SSAE 16 framework. businesses can benefit from scalability...e.. focus solely on service organization controls that are likely to be relevant to an audit of a user entity’s financial statements.. [ 9 ] Auditing Standards Update Scalability With most data centers having ample room to grow and the capacity for higher density rack configurations. Over the years. Security and Availability for Data Centers). Since data center facilities and colocation providers have already done the heavy lifting to comply with regulatory requirements.com . thereby minimizing risk to the client company. These new standards provide non-financial service providers a way to report on controls to their clients that better align with the processes and metrics important to data center operations..... On-site security....Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ..... SAS 70 has been applied to numerous business areas including data centers and managed hosting services.... Risk Mitigation A colocation data center facility offers security features comparable to a highly controlled access government building. Last year.. • SOC 2 and SOC 3 reports address controls at the service organization related to non-financial objectives (i. Introduced in 1992... many companies are required to abide by certain compliance and regulatory policies..............com | www.......7627 | contactsales@internap...........843. 887.internap.” SAS 70 is an auditing standard designed to provide assurance to customers who use service providers for tasks that impact bottom-line financials. you can save time and money............... replacing the SAS 70 Standard..... video surveillance and even biometric fingerprint scanners are standard security procedures to protect customer equipment and data.... For years.. Compliance and Regulatory Requirements In the digital information age... These are contained within three Service Organization Control (SOC) reporting options.. The ability to quickly add more physical space or increase densities as needed is key to keeping up with growing business demands...

..... [ 10 ] One Size Doesn’t Always Fit All Outsourcing the responsibilities around your IT Infrastructure with colocation can provide the traditional benefits of lowering costs and re-directing resources.. you may be asking... “Is it a fit for me?“ To make an informed decision....7627 | contactsales@internap...................com .com | www..... 887.......... ask yourself the questions on the following pages....... like many organizations..internap.Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents .....843.... however............................

The hosting service provider will allocate the appropriate level of personnel – with the requisite skills and certifications – who best fit the needs and demands of your IT Infrastructure. do you have access to or a willingness to devote capital expenditures to this effort?” Yes.. as well as over the life of your business.” the following core questions can help you determine whether colocation or another service like managed hosting is best for you. No......843.. hire and train (and retrain) the personnel needed to manage the Infrastructure...... In order to capitalize on the inherent value of these solutions. redundancy and security under a more cost-effective structure. power.. Savings associated with personnel and management should still be considered..... No.. It is their responsibility to identify. If the answer is “no........ If the answer is “yes...” then there is no need to proceed... The internal mindset must be receptive to the idea and the potential benefits that colocation and other services offer. 887... Yes. No...” your best solution is likely to be colocation.. then you will likely be best served by another solution such as managed hosting.com . the costs become re-categorized as monthly operating expenses and capital expenditures are avoided.....” then proceed to the next question... With managed hosting.com | www.......... you must be willing to accept the transfer of responsibilities and allow the service provider the ability to execute them...Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ..7627 | contactsales@internap........ You will benefit greatly from a physical facility that offers space.” colocation can still be a good option for you today.” then proceed to the next question.... Hardware Ownership “Do you currently own or have the plans to obtain all of the required IT hardware assets you need to grow your business?” Availability of Personnel “Do you have the personnel necessary to operate your IT deployment today?” Yes.... If the answer to the initial question is “yes. [ 11 ] Control “Is your organization willing to relinquish some control over the facilities that house and/or the assets that define your IT Infrastructure?” Availability of Capital “If your organization continues to grow and requires additional or new IT hardware assets... If the answer is “no. Down the road if you find you aren’t willing to invest in additional assets. however in the future you may want to revaluate your needs. If your answer is “no.... You may also consider a partner that can provide a flexible IT platform which can serve you today... If the answer is “no... If the answer is “yes. Yes......” then your organization should take advantage of the colocation option...” then your organization should take advantage of a managed hosting solution. No.. the solution provider is responsible for acquiring the necessary hardware. If the answer is “yes.internap..

............ 887...internap........com | www....843............7627 | contactsales@internap....... [ 12 ] Strategic Considerations Before You Buy Choosing a colocation provider is a strategic business decision that evolves from thoughtful consideration....Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ............com ....... It is important to know what to look for and the right questions to ask.......................

internap. you must find a provider who is implementing new facility design elements and integrating proven technologies that increase power and cooling capacities to support much higher density rack configurations......... which means maximum system uptime.... Reliability and Resiliency A reliable colocation partner will have N+1 design providing redundancy in power and cooling Infrastructure.....com | www.....843... ensuring your information is protected at all times... Advanced systems should be in place that continuously report electrical and mechanical Infrastructure health to NOCs and on-site staff...... Security and Protection Physical security is an important component in deciding where to house your mission critical data.. A scalable data center environment that provides for flexible deployment of higher density solutions in an on-demand model will give you the opportunity to grow within the same facility and extend your longevity...... To make the best colocation decision..... keypad or electronic locks as well as digital camera placement should be a part of any data center facility you choose.... In addition. Make sure to carefully review the SLA of any colocation provider you are thinking of. beyond the guard. 887... [ 13 ] Scalability It is critical for colocation customers to measure the data center provider’s ability to support their evolving computing and network requirements as their businesses grow. A colocation provider should offer comprehensive security. your business depends on the uptime your colocation partner provides.........com . Did You Know? N+1 N+1 means having enough equipment for what you need plus one additional for added resiliency..... By making sure these processes exist. card readers. and find out how much they pay if you experience downtime and if they offer proactive credits............. You should also look for a provider that offers a well defined SLA and supports 100% uptime........ ultimately improving ROI for your colocated solutions. a data center must have controls in place that comply with SAS 70 audits and other industry recognized standards. The ability to scale efficiently and on-demand by deploying higher density configurations within your existing footprint impacts not only your solutions’ Return on Investment (ROI). After all. but also your company’s bottom line.......7627 | contactsales@internap..Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ... Biometric security. you can ensure better performance of your equipment.

and raise some hypothetical questions about what you might experience to see how they respond.. ensure there is office space to work. Since high speed is so important to your online customer.. Ask potential colocation partners how many carriers feed into their facility and how they optimize and route traffic to ensure network speed and ongoing connectivity. A premium facility will offer furnished customer lounges and conference areas enabling you to host a meeting or just take a break..... a delay of even a few milliseconds can have a direct impact on customer loyalty and revenue....com ....com | www....... Carrier Diversity Network performance issues can have a tangible financial impact to your bottom line. Talk to the Tier-II engineers.... Finally.... Customer Amenities Because your technicians and staff will be spending a significant amount of time onsite..... and make sure your tickets are immediately sent to a human being who is physically looking at your equipment to determine the nature of your problem. In the event one Internet provider fails. [ 14 ] Technical Support Make sure that your provider has the data center and the support centers staffed 24/7..internap..... Partnering with multiple high-speed Internet access providers allows a colocation provider to add diversity...Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ... a data center should be more than just a place to house equipment... Avoid automated e-mail attendants.......843. You will also want to look for staging areas so your staff can set up equipment before bringing it on the data center floor..... contact references that can attest to how the provider responded in a failed situation.......... Technicians should be reachable by e-mail and phone in the event of any problem. Finally. Did You Know? 12KW+ up to 12KW per rack..........7627 | contactsales@internap. Leading data centers now offer power capacities of 887.... another can pick up the slack............. send emails or just take a call..

......... Read on to find out when they believe colocation will pay off for their business...com | www................com 887...................com ....................internap....... business owners and IT decision makers were surveyed on their expected ROI timeline for a colocation solution......7627 | contactsales@internap.. [ 15 ] Show Me the Money– Expected ROI More than 200 CEOs.....Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ... *Source: Colocation Trends Report by Hosting..843..

com within two years 887..................Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ...843......... [ 16 ] 70% of CEOs......com | www...........com ..............internap......................7627 | contactsales@internap........ business owners and IT decision makers expect to see a return on investment from their colocation solution of those: 24% expected a return within six months within twelve months 40% 29% *Source: Colocation Trends Report by Hosting.

.........................Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ...* of organizations that established a shopping list of services aligned with their business needs were more likely to experience colocation 62% 64% of organizations conducted site visits to vendor locations before entering into an agreement..internap.* of organizations engaged in a colocation agreement have a dedicated vendor resource responsible for managing their services....843...* 887....................com ........com | www... [ 17 ] Getting Started: Interview Questions for Your Prospective Provider *Source: Info-Tech Colocation Strategy Storyboard 55% success.............. which results in a more successful colocation arrangement..........7627 | contactsales@internap.

... such as hurricanes? If so..... on-site security and video surveillance? Is the provider carrier-neutral.............Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents Determining if colocation is right for your business is one piece of the puzzle....com ........ What kind of security is in place? Are there biometric scanners. for instance.. Does the provider offer a wide array of value-added services? Are services like cloud or managed hosting available in case your needs change in the future? What about remote services or managed installations? 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 How strong is the SLA? What is the level of availability? Does the provider offer proactive credits for SLA violations? Is the facility audited by a third party? Is it SAS 70 compliant or is there a SOC 2 report available? How often is the facility audited? Is this a premium provider or a cost leader? Are you willing to sacrifice performance and support for price reductions? Are there any hidden fees outside of the agreement? How scalable is the facility? Is there enough space to grow? Do they offer high density configurations? Is there technical support available when you need it and what level engineer will you speak to when you call the Network Operations Center (NOC)? How comfortable is the work environment for your technicians? Are there customer lounges or work space? Is the provider green? Are they looking for ways to address sensitivity to the environment? 887. or is it carrier-specific? A carrier-neutral colocation provider will let your company connect to a variety of carriers’ networks......843... ........... Use the list of interview questions below to help you identify a colocation provider and solution that meets your business needs........ [ 18 ] 1 2 3 4 5 6 How close to your company’s office building is the provider’s facility? Is it within driving distance so that your company’s IT staff can easily get to the building? Does your business need a facility that’s close to a major airport? If your company has offices in several locations........ while a carrierspecific provider will lock you in to just one carrier..........internap.... can you consider a facility in a less expensive real-estate market? Is the provider geographically diverse? Do they have facilities in other cities or abroad? Is the provider’s colocation facility in a place with few natural threats. but finding the right partner is a whole other ballgame. what kind of precautions has the provider taken to protect the data center (and your business) from these threats? Are they structurally sound? A provider in California.....7627 | contactsales@internap..... should have seismically engineered each facility to withstand earthquakes.com | www...

. maximizing your network availability.... Internap and P-NAP are registered trademarks of Internap.. Our enterprise IP..... intelligent IT Infrastructure solutions that enable our customers to focus on their core business.. Internap’s premium data centers sit on the edge of the most robust network backbone available.. Our secure SAS 70 Type II facilities. improve service levels and lower the cost of IT operations... All rights reserved.... All other trademarks and brands are the property of their respective owners......... 877......com | www..... Contact us to learn how Internap can solve your IT challenges.internap.... About Internap Transform your IT Infrastructure into a competitive advantage with IT IQ from Internap. Only Internap combines the superior performance of our Managed Internet Route Optimizer™ – which leverages multiple network connections for performance – with the rock-solid reliability of our 100% network uptime guarantee. Since 1996...Internap | A Colocation Buyer’s Guide | Return to Table of Contents ... thousands of enterprises have entrusted Internap with the delivery and protection of their online applications.. colocation........ managed hosting and cloud solutions are differentiated by unparalleled levels of performance. 08/11 887. conveniently located in major metropolitan areas... 41% of our data center Infrastructure has been constructed within the last three years.843.com www.. our facilities include state-of-the-art technology.. availability and support.. [ 19 ] Internap Colocation Designed with the future in mind... CDN..7627 contactsales@internap.7627 | contactsales@internap......com ©2011 Internap Network Services Corporation... feature N+1 redundancy for both power and cooling.....com . we delivered five 9’s of uptime availability for our Colocation and Performance IP™ solutions.... In fact...internap.....843. Backed by unsurpassed customer service...... In 2010...