How MSPs Grow IT Services with Colocation

How MSPs Grow IT Services with Colocation

Data centers provide the perfect opportunity for Managed Service Providers to support their clients seamlessly through colocation services.

Data centers deliver a secure and compliant environment, armed with top-of-the-line equipment to support and scale IT needs. Through data centers, MSPs can manage their clients’ services without having to be physically present.

Which Clients Benefits from Colocation?

Clients who benefit most from colocation are those who should avoid placing mission-critical hardware on their premises. The following categories represent the most common reasons SMBs switch to cloud to pacify their needs:

  • Clients in a growth period
  • Clients with specific compliance needs
  • Clients who regularly experience problems with their server
  • Clients with a remote employee workforce

Clients in a Growth Period

“When your business is growing, sometimes you forget about the IT,” says Jeff Shotnik, Systems Engineer at Handy Networks. “Along with your business, IT also needs to grow. Keeping a large amount of IT equipment in a closet or data room is challenging because you need to keep it cool, dry, and the humidity just perfect.”

Incubating the perfect environment for your IT needs can be exhausting; doing it while trying to expand your business is even more of a challenge.

Choosing a data center to host your server allows experts to secure and physically manage your server while you focus on generating revenue.

Clients with Compliance Needs

Clients with specific compliance needs are optimal for cloud services.

Businesses required to comply with standards such as PCI Security Standards (Payment Card Industry Security Standards: how providers handle card data) and HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act: how businesses handle medical records) will have a difficult time doing so when their IT is hosted through an office space or shared environment.

“Following those standards while your IT is in an office space or shared environment is pretty hard to do,” cautions Shotnik. “To reach full compliance with standards such as PCI and HIPAA in an environment not built for that specific purpose is near impossible for that server.”

Clients Requiring Ample Support

Colocation services are great for clients who are constantly running into problems with their servers.

“These are clients that are constantly having issues with their server and need their IT infrastructure away from them,” says Shotnik. “Then you don’t have to constantly dispatch a tech out there to fix things every other day.”

These clients benefit tremendously by opting into colocation because they acquire the ample support they need and are unable to cause damage to their own equipment because it is stored offsite.

Clients with Remote Employee Workforce

User experience is key with a remote workforce. Getting remote employees to connect back into your local infrastructure if you have not invested tens of thousands of dollars into good equipment will be a challenge.

Clients benefit from putting their critical services in a data center because it is already set up as a secure environment.

Cost Effectiveness

Many MSPs ask: “How can I still make money by putting my customer servers in a colocation data center?”

The simple answer? Be selective when choosing the right partner.

Many data centers offer accommodations ideal for MSPs.

“We offer a couple of unique programs,” says Matt Sudowski, EVP of Sales and Key Accounts Manager at Handy Networks. “One specifically if you have very small customers who have one or two servers. We can accommodate colocating a single server for colocation service customers, and you can resell that service, or we can try to work out a recurring commission.”

Another option includes renting out a couple of racks and dividing it among customers.

“We have MSPs that work with us, and they rent out one, two, three, four, or five racks, and they split those racks up between their customers depending on their customer size and compliance requirements,” says Sudowski.

Do you keep mission-critical hardware on-premise? Would you prefer to support your clients seamlessly through colocation services?