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Why Colocation Should be Part of Your Disaster Recovery Plan.


Posted by Jackie Edwards - 13 February, 2020

Every organization requires a disaster recovery (DR) plan to protect against events that could cause prolonged unavailability of critical systems, services and applications. Most would benefit from a solution built on a data center colocation strategy.

Traditional DR involves failing over to offsite IT infrastructure where workloads can continue to run without interruption in the event of problems at the primary data center. However, that can be extremely expensive. By some accounts, building a data center with redundant infrastructure can cost up to $1,000 per square foot.

Colocation and DR-as-a-Service (DRaaS) are two cost-effective alternatives. Both options allow easy offsite failover of IT operations without the costs of building a physical DR structure. The DRaaS approach has a couple of significant downsides, however.

Cloud-based DRaaS is easy to implement and very cost-efficient. It is a subscription-based offering in which the provider absorbs all hardware, software and real estate costs. In addition, the provider adds multiple layers of services such as DR planning and testing, real-time data replication, data security, and ongoing management and support.

There is some loss of control in the cloud, however. You don’t get to choose the infrastructure that will house your data, and it can be difficult to conduct in-person inspections. Backup and recovery times can be highly inconsistent, depending on the provider’s network connections. You may not even be able to access your data if you lose Internet access at your primary site.

Improved Control and Flexibility

In the colocation model, you are renting data center space for the hardware, software and system architecture of your choice. This eliminates the capital expense of building a redundant data center but gives you much greater insight into and control over your infrastructure because you own the hardware.

Colocation delivers many other cost benefits by spreading operational costs among multiple customers. Expenses for power, cooling, telecommunications and network services are calculated at a shared rate and rolled into your monthly bill.

Colocation can also provide a great deal of flexibility in the event of a disaster. Colo facilities usually feature redundant power sources, cooling systems, network connections and more to ensure resilience and high availability. Many facilities also provide office space, phone service, Internet connectivity, and other services and equipment in the event your offices are unavailable.

Increased Support and Security

Best-in-class colocation providers offer very high levels of support, which is critical for remote infrastructure. Most offer both “remote hands” services for basic tasks such as rebooting a server, reconnecting cables or responding to alerts, and “smart hands” services for more complex tasks such as server provisioning, configuration changes and circuit testing.

Security is a critical advantage. Colocation facilities typically have advanced physical security features such as video surveillance, outdoor lighting, fences and other barriers, locks, alarms and access controls. Some also offer IT security services such as managed firewalls, advanced threat detection, intrusion prevention, vulnerability testing, encryption and compliance validation.

RMM Solutions gives customers flexibility and choice when it comes to disaster recovery. While we offer industry-leading cloud-based DR solutions, we also help organizations implement their DR plans through our industry-leading colocation services. Our data centers in Milwaukee and Appleton, Wis., are built to Tier III standards and have SOC 2 Type 2 certification, demonstrating we have implemented appropriate security policies and procedures to protect customer data. Give us a call to learn more about leveraging our state-of-the-art facilities to ensure business continuity.

Topics: Disaster Recovery, draas, Soc 2, colocation

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