Gartner Research

Best Practices for Selecting a Colocation Provider in North America

Published: 10 October 2014

ID: G00270479

Analyst(s): Douglas Toombs , Bob Gill


Third-party colocation facilities can be used to augment data center space and prevent significant capital expenditures for building out a new site. However, IT leaders need to be careful in selecting the correct provider to avoid unnecessary costs and inappropriate contracts.

Table Of Contents
  • Key Challenges



  • First Decide Whether to Build More Data Center Space or Contract for Services
  • Use Gartner's Colocation Selection Decision Process
    • Consider Colocation Placement (Geography) as an Opportunity to Improve Enterprise Resiliency and to Address Specific Issues Such as Network Latency, Disaster Recovery and Data Sovereignty
    • Match the Colocation Provider Type to Your Requirements for Scale, Network Diversity and Services Offered
    • Decide Whether Retail or Wholesale Colocation Meets Your Needs
    • While Resiliency Is Always a Goal, Don't Overbuy
    • Ensure the Provider Offers the Power Density to Meet Future Needs
    • Don't Ignore Cooling Restrictions or Hidden Costs
    • Examine Colocation Connectivity as a Way to Improve Enterprise Networking Efficiency, Not Just Access to Colocated Data and Applications
    • Ensure the Provider's Security Capabilities Meet or Exceed Enterprise Guidelines
    • Understand the Critical Role That Remote Hands/Managed Services Can Play in Determining Your Staffing Model and Where You Can Colocate

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