Thought Leadership

The Importance of Moving Your Servers to a Data Center

While it might seem like a great idea to host your servers in-house, there are many reasons why it makes better sense to store them securely at a colocation data center. It also might seem like it’s more cost effective to host in-house, but when you weigh all of the extras a colocation offers, you should see the value in the added cost.

The five top areas that will be touched on in this article include:

  1. Security
  2. Redundancy
  3. Performance
  4. Infrastructure
  5. Compliance

SecurityThe Importance of Moving Your Servers to a Data Center
Colocations are responsible for protecting millions of dollars of hardware, so they need to have security features built into them during the design of the center. A colocation generally have key card readers, or biometric scanners that regulates the entry into certain parts of the building. Colocations also have 24 hours per day, 365 days per year surveillance and on-site staff protecting the equipment. In most standard office buildings, the computer closet is one of the last things thought of, and when you factor in security certifications, you may find Colocations are usually the best option.

Colocations have a lot on the line when it comes to redundancy. It’s estimated that it costs a colocation around $100,000 per hour of downtime, so it’s in their best interest to keep your data accessible. This means that most centers have N+1 redundancies built into the key infrastructures like power, cooling, bandwidth and networking. N+1 redundancy means that they have a spare or backup waiting in case something were to happen to the primary device. From a networking standpoint, most colocations have 3 or more ISP carriers to protect against Internet outages from a single carrier. At many office locations, it may not be feasible or possible to implement this type of redundancy.

You may not think of computers as precision equipment, but they are. Electronic devices give their peak performance in an environment that is consistently cool, dust-free, and with low-humidity. Even if you keep a clean office, it can’t compete with the cooling and air filtration systems that a colocation provides. You can see this for yourself by opening any desktop that has been around your office for a year or so. If you want your servers to give you the best performance, they need to be installed in an ideal environment.

Colocation facilities are built to specific standards to meet the needs of today’s high-tech equipment. Colocations are built with massive battery backups, air conditioners, Generators, security systems and many other factors that can cost millions of dollars. All of these systems are monitored around the clock. Your company can take advantage of these instead of trying to host your own equipment in a less than desirable location. In addition, if the need to expand comes up, it is very easy to do so in a data center. If more space, internet bandwidth, or power is needed, these can usually be added quickly, compared to weeks or months waiting for reconstruction, or utilities to be brought to your facility.

Many businesses attempting to do their own hosting may overlook certifications that may be required. Many organizations need to provide proof that they are protecting the data they are hosting, and audits may be part of this process. Colocations already have these certifications, and this can save businesses thousands of dollars a year. Certifications may include HIPAA, PCI, and Safe Harbor, which are just a few of the certifications that may be necessary when hosting your data. SSAE 16 SOC reports alone can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year. Hosting at a colocation provider can make the process of being certified much easier by allowing auditors to review certifications held by the colocation.

We here at Afia we can help your business assess your current situation and help you build a better business case for a move to a colocation facility or farther still, to the cloud.

Afia offers Managed Cloud and Colocation services in our TIER III data centers as well as:

  • Proper planning, execution and testing the migration
  • Coordination with 3rd party vendors and providers to ensure a smooth and timely migration
  • Evaluation of your office connection speeds and ensuring they are adequate
  • Setup up of secure network connections from your offices to the colocation
  • Updating of office PCs and applications to reference the new location of the servers

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. We hope you have gained some insight on the value of removing your systems from your office, and storing them securely in a colocation or Afia’s Cloud. If you would like more information or have any questions, please feel free to contact us at or via phone at (734) 418-8162.

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