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What Does Colocation Mean in 2016?

colocation trends in 2016
Q.C. Crea

What does is mean to be a colocation provider in 2016?

The talk these days is all about cloud, hybrid cloud—you name it, we’re in the age of the cloud. But what about the colocation market? Is there still a niche for people wanting to host their own servers or is the process too stunted, too much work?

Furthermore, with nearly every data center being state-of-the-art or close-to-state-of-the-art, what does it mean to be the best colocation provider? The data center market in 2016, much like 2015, hopes to go greener, while providing better efficiency. Will 2016 be like 2015 in this regard? Or are there more things in store? We obviously can’t predict that, but what we can do is forecast the colocation and data center market in 2016.

What Are Some Colocation Trends in 2016?

One can’t talk about colocation without talking about the structures in which they lie. Let’s put on our pointed, clairvoyant scrying hats on and dive into some potential 2016 data center trends:

Colocation Will Become More Renewable

As mentioned, 2015 focused on going green in the data center world and, perhaps, no sect of the data center became more green than colocation.

Two big players in the field, Equinix and Switch, invested a ton of money in renewable energy sources in 2015 which some speculate could trigger an interest in renewable energy sources in colo—something that colocation-consumers cared little about in the past.

renewable data center energyWe expect to see a rise in the number of colocation companies making a concerted effort to go green in 2016.

Colo Goes Robo

We’ve written a little bit about automation in the data center in the past, but in 2016 it seems there will be a push for it.

robots in the data centers

The main goal of data center labor automation is to reduce human error—something that causes the industry tons of money each year.

As far as colocation in concerned, if one is an unmanaged colo-customer then automation won’t particularly affect you as much as it would a managed customer. Regardless of your type, however, automation would be a great happenstance for the colocation industry because it would reduce (hopefully) the overall data center costs.

The Merging of Retail and Wholesale Colocation

If you’ve been paying attention to the colocation financial market at all (and why wouldn’t you, right?), you’ve probably gathered that the line between retail and wholesale colocation is starting to get a little fuzzy. What was once determined by power capacity, both sides are decreasing and increasing their limits in order to retain/acquire customers.

By the end of the year that line will most likely continue to blur until there’s just colocation.

What Makes the Best Colocation Provider in 2016?

Listen, we’re not here to toot our own horn, we generally want to know what makes the best colocation provider in 2016. Uptime? Cooling, power, bandwidth? Customer service? Location? In such a niche market it’s sometimes hard to decide which colo provider is the best.

Now with competition from the cloud and dedicated server markets, colocation is seemingly becoming more niche than ever. The upfront cost of buying your own server, outfitting it, and then paying to host it seems like more work than just signing up for the cloud or renting a dedicated server.

But if you analyze the trends above, to what’s happened in the past, you have a little bit more of an understanding as to what makes a great colocation provider.

colocation trends in 2016

Rather than just sitting back and renting out space after space, a good colo provider will be on top of the market—recognizing trends such as renewable energy or automation, always staying one step ahead of the game.

Couple innovation with great service and you have your recipe for what makes the best colocation provider in 2016.

Finding the right people (or robots) will be the tricky part, but seeing what the colocation provider is doing outside the box is a great indication of how they will treat their customers.

What do you think the colocation market will look like in 2016? Are there any trends you’re privy to that we did touch upon? Let us know in the comments below!

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