This is the first of a 3 part series centered around analyzing the pro’s and con’s of a colocation versus a Disaster-Recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS) and figuring out which is better.

A colocation is one of the most common ways organizations can protect themselves in the event of a disaster situation. In the wake of new technologies, is a colocation still the best option for organizations? Let’s take a look:

The Pros
The most cited reason for a colocation is cost. Organizations believe that the upfront savings are reason enough to go with a colocation . Simply put – the initial costs are less to lease real space from an existing provider than to build an entirely new colocation . Upfront costs are indeed lower and it definitely is nice to have somebody else maintain the building and monitor power consumption and temperature.

Organizations tend to choose colocation near their headquarters resulting in lower latency. This is indeed very helpful when production workloads need to be run in the colocation.

The Cons
First and foremost, the organization becomes dependent on a physical location. In the event a regional disaster occurs, both the organization and the colocation infrastructure will be affected. So much for redundancy.

And what if the organization wants to expand? The organization has to either lease more space from the current colocation or find a new colocation in the event there isn’t enough room (that happens more than you’d think).

Let’s look at the cost breakdown of leasing in a colocation center. Pricing models can very greatly from colocation to colocation, but the experts at Gartner were able to ballpark the rough cost estimates per year:

  •  Storage – $4,876 per terabyte
  • Wintel Servers – $8,260
  • Host costs per port – $111
  • Datacenter switch cost per port – $500
  • Unix Servers – $23,520
  • Cost per OS instance – $6,349

Ironically – the most cited reason for choosing a colocation is really the same reason to not. Organizations are typically required to sign multi-year leases Which mean total infrastructure costs and consistent ancillary datacenter costs result in much higher leasing costs over the long haul. Hardware and software related expenditures and resource consumption all begin to quickly add up.

We can see that while it may be cheaper to lease in a colocation initially, the costs are certainly still high. While larger organizations may be able to contend with multi-year expenditures they are committing themselves but small to medium size businesses will find it much more difficult. A colocation sounds enticing at first glance; a place to lease release estate where you do not need to worry about managing the facilities. However, we find very quickly that things are not that simple.

But if colocation are not the solution, then what are? What do organizations do to replicate their data and protect themselves incase of emergency?

Please tune in for the next blog to learn more about the pros and cons of a DRaaS.

To read more about the comparison of a colocation vs a DRaaS, read the full whitepaper here: Colocation vs. DRaaS: See the Upside of Each

Yoav Naveh