If you’re running a small to medium-sized business with a web presence, you’ve probably thought about colocation for your web hosting. To find out more about colocation, what it is, as well as the pros and cons, we’ve prepared this handy article. In this article, I want to talk about where to find and buy colocation services, and what you should be looking for.
Colocation – Bigger is Better
While it may be the case that you need some special, bespoke service from your web hosting provider, most businesses look for the same things. They look for reliability, a strong service with little downtime. They also look for a high-speed connection, robust security and a good price.
The colocation market has many large players that can offer all of these features. Who you choose is up to you, but bigger does seem to be better. You’ll have more peace of mind trusting your business’ web services to one of the larger players, compared to a smaller hometown operation. These larger players invest billions in their infrastructure, such as the H5 Data Center in Seattle. They’re investing to grow the colocation market, which is tipped to be worth $48 billion by 2021.
Many of the world’s biggest colocation providers are also multinational telecoms giants, offering colocation services on top of their other products.
Here are 10 of the biggest players in the global colocation marketplace, based on figures from the summer of 2017.
Based out of Redwood City, California, Equinix is the global market leader in colocation services. Its market share is 9.5%, with annual revenues of $3.6 billion. They operate more than 150 data centers in 21 countries across the world. Being a big player, Equinix serves some pretty big names, such as Amazon Web Services, Netflix, Salesforce, eBay, and LinkedIn.
With a market share of 5.7% and annual revenues of $2.1 billion, Digital Realty is another massive player in the colocation space. They operate more than 150 data centers across 4 continents, but center on the US. Reliability is Digital Realty’s selling point, boasting uptime 99.999% of the time. Five 9s! They have recently bought DuPont Fabros Technology (DFT) to increase their share in the market.
China Telecom is the state telecoms provider in China, owned by the Chinese government. It’s also China’s largest colocation company. Because of the size of China’s population and business sector, it still boasts a 3.3% global market share. While obviously, China Telecom primarily operates in China, they have overseas arms in North America and Europe.
Cyxtera Technologies came together when the ISP CenturyLink sold their data center operations to a tech investment group. Based in Florida, Cyxtera has a 2.1% share of the global colocation market. They pride themselves on the high security of their operation, as well as their comprehensive support.
Similar to China Telecom, China Unicom is a Chinese state-owned telecoms company. Where they differ is that China Unicom specializes in offering colocation solutions to international companies trading in China.
Probably a company that needs no introduction, Verizon offer colocation services on top of everything else that they do. However, they are looking to exit the data center arena in the future. They have a 1.9% share of the global colocation market, so they would be an attractive prospect for a larger player in the market, or a smaller company looking to grow.
Based out of Dallas, Texas, where CyrusOne differs from many of the other companies we’ve talked about so far, is that they specialize in colocation. They’re not a telecoms giant that offer colocation on top their other services. Colocation is what they do. With a 1.7% share of the global market and annual revenues of $529 million, it seems to be working.
Based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Interxion is flying the flag for colocation in Europe. With 45 data centers across the continent, Interxion has managed to build a big business, with 1.6% of the global colocation market. They have centers in 13 major cities across Europe, serving more than 1600 business clients.
Another company that needs no introduction, AT&T offer colocation solutions through their network of data centers across the world. AT&T has a partnership with Digital Realty, so they can offer colocation services to their existing telecoms business customers.
Formerly known as British Telecom, BT is a household name in the UK. As well as their telecoms, internet and TV businesses, they offer colocation solutions globally. Although, bizarrely, they call it ‘telehousing’. Those crazy Brits!
Whatever your colocation needs are, you’ll be able to find them at these huge global businesses, but make sure you shop around. Remember to look for uptime statistics, reliability, speed, and price.
If you have any opinions on good, or bad, colocation providers, we’d love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below.