What is Colocation?

What is Colocation?

Colocation (also known as ‘co-location’ or ‘colo’) is the practice of housing privately-owned servers and networking equipment in a third party data centre.

Instead of keeping servers in-house, in offices or at a private data centre, companies can choose to ‘co-locate’ their equipment by renting space in a colocation centre.  

Therefore, unlike other kinds of hosting, where customers can rent space on a server owned by a hosting provider, with colocation the customer already owns the server and rents the required physical space to house it within a data centre.

How it Works

A colocation provider will rent out space in a data centre in which customers can install their equipment, but will also provide the power, bandwidth, IP address and cooling systems that the customer will require in order to successfully deploy their server.

Futhermore, colocation providers deliver much more stringent levels of security, including security guards and even biometric access control. Resilience is another key feature, with data centres providing backups and UPS devices to protect against outages, including those caused by natural disaster, fire or flooding. 

Space is rented out in terms of ‘racks’ and ‘cabinets’. A rack is a standardised frame for mounting equipment and hardware, usually horizontally.

Equipment that is to be mounted in a rack is measured in rack units (U), where one rack unit is 1.75 inches. The price for colocation plan is then calculated from the number of units required. A full size rack is 47U and is often called a ‘cabinet’. Depending on their budget and requirements, a customer can rent full, half or partial cabinets. 


Economies of Scale

Colocation allows customers to benefit from economies of scale that would not be available to them with an in-house option. Housing hardware in a colocation centre gives access to higher levels of bandwidth at a low cost. 

Low Network Latency

Network latency can be far lower with colocation, whilst reliability can be significantly higher. There is greater protection from power outages and 24/7 staff on hand should problems arise.

Physical Security

Customers may also choose colocation services due to higher levels of physical security available in comparison with in-house hosting. For example, there are options such as CCTV monitoring and lockable (or ‘closed’) cabinets.


Choosing a bespoke build allows customers to personalise their colocation plan and decide which aspects of their system they want to focus on, choosing from a range of facilities for individual infrastructures and budgets. 

Data Centre Infrastructure

Colocation allows users to take advantage of data centre infrastructure while maintaining control over the upkeep, maintenance and configuration of their servers, freeing up office space and improving cost effectiveness.  

Disaster Recovery & Business Continuity

By placing servers in a data centre rather than in an on-premises comms room, customers build in an extra layer of disaster recovery in the event of power loss, enabling them to recover business critical data.    

By the end of 2017 we will manage 15,000 cameras per data centre, which we predict will grow to 50,000 by the end of 2018.

We are experiencing strong growth in Europe and Interoute has the scale and ability to support us in this venture.


Extra Information

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