Colocation Facility

Definition of Colocation Facility

A colocation facility, also known as a data center or colo, is a secure, specialized building designed to house and maintain multiple companies’ servers and networking equipment under one roof. These facilities provide redundant power, cooling, and network connectivity to ensure the optimal performance and uptime of the hosted equipment. Colocation facilities are crucial for businesses to offload the responsibility of maintaining a personal data center, and they allow clients to share costs and resources.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Colocation Facility” is: koh-loh-kay-shun fuh-sil-i-tee.

Key Takeaways

  1. A colocation facility is a data center where companies can rent space for their servers and IT equipment, providing the necessary power, cooling, and physical security infrastructure.
  2. Colocation services enable businesses to reduce overall operating costs, simplify IT management, and gain access to advanced technology and connectivity options.
  3. Key factors to consider when selecting a colocation facility include location, connectivity options, redundancy features, and scalability to accommodate future growth plans.

Importance of Colocation Facility

The term “Colocation Facility” is important because it refers to a secure, specialized facility where businesses can rent space to house their servers and related IT infrastructure.

These facilities provide a reliable environment with redundant power, cooling, and networking systems, ensuring optimal operating conditions and minimal downtime for clients.

Colocation allows businesses to benefit from economies of scale, reduced overhead costs, and enhanced connectivity options, without having to invest in building and maintaining their own data centers.

By using a colocation facility, companies can focus on their core business operations while ensuring the safety and availability of their critical IT infrastructure, which is essential in today’s increasingly technology-dependent world.


Colocation facilities, also known as data centers, serve as a crucial hub in which businesses and organizations house their IT infrastructure, specifically their servers and network equipment. These facilities are designed to provide an optimal environment for technology equipment to run efficiently and securely. The primary purpose of utilizing colocation facilities is to leverage the various benefits offered such as advanced power redundancy, cooling systems, high-speed connectivity, and robust physical security.

This allows businesses to ensure the continuous operation of their critical systems while reducing their capital and operational expenses on managing their own physical infrastructures. Colocation facilities are used by a wide range of organizations, from small startups to large enterprises, to host their web applications, databases, and content delivery networks. The tenants, or users of the facility, rent space in the form of racks, cabinets, or cages to house their servers and networking equipment.

By doing so, they gain access to the facility’s resources, including power supplies, cooling systems, and network connectivity, while sharing the overall cost of those resources with other tenants. This helps companies to achieve higher levels of reliability and performance for their IT systems, without investing in the full cost of building and maintaining their own dedicated data centers. In addition, colocation facilities often provide on-site technical support and offer various managed services, which can further streamline the maintenance and monitoring of tenants’ technology infrastructure.

Examples of Colocation Facility

Equinix Colocation Facility: Equinix is one of the largest colocation providers globally, with over 200 data centers across 26 countries. They offer a wide range of colocation services, including interconnection, data storage, networking, and cloud computing solutions for businesses. For example, many financial institutions and cloud service providers use Equinix’s facilities to host their mission-critical IT infrastructure, enabling them to provide reliable services to their customers.

Digital Realty Colocation Facility: Digital Realty is another prominent player in the colocation market, operating over 280 data centers across 20 countries. They cater to various industries, such as telecommunications, IT services, and content providers. For instance, Digital Realty provided a colocation solution for IBM Cloud in Dallas, Texas, allowing IBM to expand its cloud offerings and services to customers in the region.

Switch Colocation Facility: Switch operates highly efficient and secure colocation facilities known as SUPERNAP data centers, primarily located in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their facilities are designed with advanced technology to ensure maximum uptime, security, and efficiency. One example of a company utilizing Switch’s services is eBay. In 2010, eBay moved its ecommerce platform to Switch’s data center to achieve higher efficiency and reliability. This helped eBay reduce power consumption while ensuring that their infrastructure could handle the high demands of its vast user base.

Colocation Facility FAQ

What is a colocation facility?

A colocation facility, or data center, is a space where companies can rent space to house their servers and other IT infrastructure. This facility provides power, cooling, and networking services that ensure the continuous operation of the housed equipment, relieving organizations from the need to build and maintain their own data center infrastructure.

What are the benefits of using a colocation facility?

Colocation facilities offer a secure, reliable, and cost-effective solution for companies that need to maintain and grow their IT infrastructure. Benefits include reduced capital expenses, enhanced physical security, access to high-capacity network services, and improved scalability.

How is security maintained within a colocation facility?

Security is a top priority at colocation facilities. Measures include 24/7 video monitoring, access-controlled entry with biometric authentication or secure keycards, on-site security personnel, and perimeter safeguards such as fencing and locked gates. In addition, facilities often undergo regular security audits and comply with industry-specific regulations.

What types of services are typically offered by colocation facilities?

Colocation facilities offer various services, including rack or cabinet rental, dedicated server hosting, managed services, DDoS protection, backup and disaster recovery, and access to diverse network carriers. These services can be customized to meet the unique requirements of each client.

What is the difference between a colocation facility and a dedicated server?

A colocation facility is where an organization rents space for their IT infrastructure. They are responsible for maintaining and managing their own servers within the rented space. On the other hand, a dedicated server is a hosting solution provided by a data center. In this case, the data center owns, maintains, and manages the server, leasing it out to the organization as a dedicated resource.

Related Technology Terms

  • Data Center
  • Server Rack
  • Network Infrastructure
  • Power Redundancy
  • Cooling Systems

Sources for More Information


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