Browse Definitions :

BACKGROUND IMAGE: iSTOCK/GETTY IMAGES

This content is part of the Essential Guide: Colocated data centers uncut: Avoid these costly errors
Definition

colocation (colo)

Contributor(s): Don Brancato and David S. Jones

A colocation (colo) is a data center facility in which a business can rent space for servers and other computing hardware.

Typically, a colo provides the building, cooling, power, bandwidth and physical security while the customer provides servers and storage. Space in the facility is often leased by the rack, cabinet, cage or room. Many colos have extended their offerings to include managed services that support their customers' business initiatives.

There are several reasons a business might choose a colo over building its own data center, but one of the main drivers is the capital expenditures (CAPEX) associated with building, maintaining and updating a large computing facility. In the past, colos were often used by private enterprises for disaster recovery. Today, colos are especially popular with cloud service providers.

For some organizations, colocation may be an ideal solution, but there can be downsides to this approach. Distance can translate into increased travel costs when equipment needs to be touched manually and colo customers can find themselves locked into long-term contracts, which may prevent them from re-negotiating rates when prices fall.  It is important for an organization to closely examine their colo's service level agreements (SLAs) so as not to be surprised by hidden charges.


 

 

 

 

 

This was last updated in August 2015

Next Steps

How much do you know about colocation and cloud services?

Continue Reading About colocation (colo)

Dig Deeper on Application Development

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Additionally there are wholesale data center facilities and multi-tenant colocation data center facilities. A data center might look for colocation in a wholesale facility and a business would look for colocation in a multi-tenant retail colocation facility.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • quantum key distribution (QKD)

    Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a secure communication method for exchanging encryption keys only known between shared parties.

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • disaster recovery (DR)

    Disaster recovery (DR) is an area of security planning that aims to protect an organization from the effects of significant ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A disaster recovery plan (DRP) is a documented, structured approach that describes how an organization can quickly resume work ...

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

SearchStorage

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is storage for noncritical data that will not be frequently accessed.

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

Close