Choosing The Right Managed Colocation Provider: An in Depth Guide for Businesses

In today’s era of digital advancement, businesses, regardless of their size, are increasingly seeking reliable, scalable and cost-efficient solutions to manage their IT infrastructure. Managed colocation services have emerged as a viable choice, providing the advantages of a data center without the need for a substantial investment in physical infrastructure.

This article explores managed colocation services, highlighting their benefits and offering businesses a set of factors to contemplate when choosing a provider for managed colocation services.

Managed colocation

Managed Colocation Services, Explained

Managed colocation services entail a strategic collaboration between businesses and external data centers aimed at housing essential IT infrastructure in a secure off-site location. This approach enables businesses to capitalize on the advantages of cutting-edge data centers without having to make significant financial commitments or shoulder ongoing operational expenses associated with constructing and operating their own facility.

Essential Elements of Managed Colocation

Infrastructure Hosting

Fundamentally, managed colocation revolves around renting space within third party data centers to accommodate servers, networking hardware and other crucial IT assets. The allocated space can range from a single server rack to an exclusive cage or suite based on the specific needs of the business.

Power and Climate Control

It’s crucial to have reliable power sources and effective cooling systems to keep IT equipment running smoothly for a long time. Managed colocation providers ensure a stable supply of power and regulate temperatures using top notch infrastructure like backup power options and advanced HVAC setups.

Physical Safety

Data centers are equipped with strict security measures to safeguard the physical infrastructure. These measures may involve biometric access controls, surveillance cameras, secure entry points and round the clock security personnel.

Internet Connectivity

Managed colocation centers offer high speed network connections, enabling businesses to enjoy quick and dependable access to their hosted systems. They also provide redundant internet links and the ability to link directly with cloud services and other external networks.

Managed Services’ Value-adding Features

Apart from the core features of colocation services, managed services bring additional layers of support and management, easing the burden on a company’s in house IT team;

Technical Assistance

Service providers offer different levels of technical support, ranging from on demand help to dedicated teams handling the day-to-day management of hosted infrastructure.

Managed Security

In addition to physical security measures, managed colocation services can include advanced cybersecurity protections like firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS) and regular security assessments.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

To prevent data loss and maintain business operations, managed colocation services often include thorough backup solutions and plans for disaster recovery. These may involve replicating data off site, using failover systems and conducting recovery tests.

Storage Management

Providers can present adaptable storage options to ensure companies can easily increase their storage capacity as required. They also take care of managing data accessibility and redundancy.

Compliance Support

In regulated sectors, managed colocation providers assist in adhering to industry standards by setting up compliant infrastructure and processes.

Data center

Advantages of Managed Colocation

Cost effectiveness

Managed colocation offers the necessary infrastructure for a reliable IT setup without the need to invest in constructing or maintaining a data center.


Businesses can adjust their IT infrastructure based on their needs without being constrained by physical space limitations.


Managed colocation facilities provide high levels of redundancy and reliability, preventing disruptions in business operations caused by power outages or network problems.


Through advanced physical and cybersecurity measures, managed colocation centers ensure the protection of your data.


Providers grant access to IT support and expertise, which can be particularly valuable for businesses lacking extensive in-house IT resources.

Criteria for Selecting a Managed Colocation Service Provider

When businesses are selecting a managed colocation service provider, it’s important to consider various factors to make sure they choose a partner that fits well with their requirements and objectives.

1. Location

The physical location of the data center plays a role in latency and accessibility. It’s essential to think about how close it is to your business operations and whether it’s in an area prone to natural disasters.

2. Scalability and Flexibility

Assess the provider’s capacity to accommodate your businesss growth and changing needs. Having flexibility in terms of space, bandwidth and power is crucial.

3. Reliability and Uptime

Seek out providers with a strong track record of high uptime. Features like redundant power supplies, backup generators and multiple connectivity options indicate a dependable service.

4. Security Measures

Evaluate both the physical security protocols (like biometric access controls) and cybersecurity measures (such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems).

5. Compliance and Certifications

Verify that the provider follows industry standards and holds certifications relevant to your sector, such as ISO 27001 for information security management.

6. Support and Services

Understand the level of support available, including on site technical assistance availability and the range of managed services provided.

7. Pricing Structure

Scrutinize the pricing model for transparency and predictability. When thinking about moving forward with managed colocation services, it’s important to not just focus on the upfront costs but also consider the potential expenses that come with scaling up your infrastructure.

8. Sustainability

T there’s a growing emphasis on being environmentally responsible. So, it’s worth looking into how committed a provider is to sustainability practices like energy efficiency and using renewable energy.

IT consultant in the server room
photo credit: Christina Morillo / Pexels

The Next Step: How to Get Started?

Ready to take the next step? Here’s a guide on how to kickstart your journey;

1. Evaluate Your IT Infrastructure Needs

Take Inventory

Start by reviewing all your current IT assets such as servers, networking gear and storage systems. Understand what needs to be hosted in a colocation facility.

Define Your Requirements

Think about what you specifically need in terms of power, cooling, bandwidth and security. Also, consider future growth so that the colocation service can grow alongside your business.

2. Figure Out Your Managed Services Needs

Assess Your IT Management Needs

Decide which parts of managing your IT infrastructure you want to handle internally and which tasks you’d like the colocation provider to manage for you. This could range from basic monitoring to full-fledged management services covering security, backup and compliance.

Establish Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Clearly outline the expected service levels, availability and response times when dealing with potential providers to ensure they can meet your business needs.

3. Research Potential Colocation Providers

Create a Shortlist

Based on your criteria, research and compile a list of colocation providers that align with your requirements in terms of services, location and scalability.

Assess and Compare

Look beyond pricing when evaluating providers; consider factors like reliability, security measures, compliance certifications and customer service reputation.

4. Visit Data Center Facilities

Arrange Site Visits

Prior to making a decision, visit the data centers of the providers on your shortlist to personally evaluate their facilities. This will give you firsthand insights into their operations, security protocols and professionalism.

Check for Redundancies and Backups

Ensure that the facility has sufficient redundancy in place for power supply, cooling systems and connectivity to minimize the risk of downtime.

5. Review Contracts and Discuss Terms

Understand the Agreement

Thoroughly review the terms of service including SLAs, pricing details and any additional charges.

Negotiate for Flexibility

Aim to negotiate terms that allow flexibility in scaling your services based on future requirements.

6. Plan Your Migration Strategy

Devise a Migration Plan

Collaborate closely with your chosen service provider to create a detailed plan for migrating your IT assets to a colocation facility with minimal downtime and a smooth transition.

Testing and Deployment

Before launching, conduct thorough testing to ensure that your systems function as expected in the new environment. Then, proceed with the migration following your plan to ensure a seamless shift.

7. Continuous Management and Assessment

Monitoring Services

Regularly monitor the performance and availability of your hosted infrastructure. Make sure that your provider adheres to the agreed upon SLAs.

Evaluation and Adjustment

Consistently evaluate your colocation services based on your evolving business requirements. Stay ready to adapt your approach to take advantage of new technologies, accommodate growth and optimize performance.


Managed colocation services present an attractive option for businesses seeking to streamline their IT infrastructure without dealing with the costs and complexities of managing their private data center.

By thoroughly assessing potential providers using the criteria mentioned above, businesses can discover a managed colocation service that not only satisfies their current needs but also supports their future growth in today’s digital age.

Choosing the right provider is a strategic decision that can boost operational efficiency, enhance reliability and security and contribute significantly to the overall success of your business.