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Colocation is more than just racking and stacking your equipment in a data center and adding a network connection. Without highly reliable and redundant network connectivity, your IT performance will suffer. A provider with a full range of connectivity options can ensure all your locations get the access they need to your colocation environment and can provide networking between all of your company’s locations.
A provider that owns and operates its network end-to-end can provide full visibility across the network, allowing you greater control to optimize infrastructure performance. Such a provider can deliver integrated network and colocation solutions, which enable a superior IT environment for your applications. While some providers may route your traffic over the open Internet, which may be fine for some uses, make sure the provider you select gives you the option of using a highly secure, private network for your critical business data.
Quality of Service (QoS) capabilities are important as well, as they allow you to find your traffic prioritization and ensure the high quality transmission required for voice, video and other performance sensitive applications. For example, a provider that has its data centers “on-net,” or fully integrated into their network, can provide a direct connection from your locations to the data center.
This reduces latencies, increases application performance and provides a better user experience for your customers, suppliers, partners and internal users. Such Tier 1 connectivity can directly connect you to the global Internet without making multiple hops through different providers. The result is superior peering, speed and interconnectivity, so your users are served content more quickly.
Look for a provider with an advanced global IP-based MPLS network, so you have the highest levels of reliability across the core network. MPLS allows you to integrate across all of your sites, even if you are using legacy protocols at some locations. Fast re-route capabilities make MPLS networking perfect for high transaction processing environments. To ensure security, make sure your provider can support Virtual Private Networks (VPNs).
Having an integrated network and colocation services provider can also speed incident resolution. With a single operational support team, you do not have to work multiple escalation paths at different suppliers and can have a single service manager as point of contact for all your requests.
It is also critical that your provider has carrier diversity at their data centers if you are running applications that have this requirement to ensure reliable and redundant network connectivity. Make sure your colocation provider can offer you advanced networking capabilities so you can meet your application performance and uptime requirements.
Dynamic routing allows you to rapidly adapt the flow of your traffic across carriers and routes to efficiently manage multiple network providers. Burstable bandwidth enables you to immediately scale the connectivity to your colocation environment to help you efficiently handle surges in usage, and can provide a huge boost to customer experience and internal user satisfaction. Dual paths increase redundancy and prevent outages due to circuit failures.
Source: Associated Press