Mission Critical Magazine: What Happens if Your Colo Fails? – Tim Kittila

December 27, 2017

Although a data center network is designed not to fail, it does happen. Sometimes the unexpected and unanticipated does happen. And if it does, it puts “data owners” in a precarious situation — especially when it is a colo that goes down. As recent situations have illustrated, the ramifications of a colo outage can be devastating. Case in point: two outages in data centers in the UK in July 2016 operated by one of the world’s largest communication and colo providers reportedly took down 10% of voice and data traffic in and around London for more than four hours. Unfortunately for the businesses that operated out of those data centers their assumption that they had secured their data in a stable environment unwittingly felt the consequences.

Despite going to great lengths to design and operate data centers to avoid outages, colocation facilities are not immune to problems. Unplanned outages are costly failures for colos in both the short-term and long-term. Many may face one-time financial penalties for not meeting their SLAs, yet also the long-term damage to reputation and recurring revenues if a customer chooses to leave or use the incident as leverage to stay but at a lower rate.

From a colo’s perspective, it’s a pretty straight-forward discussion on what should (or shouldn’t) have been done to prevent these outages. However, it is a different discussion if you are the data owner and your colo solution goes down.

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