Carrier Neutral Colocation Data Center: What does it mean?

By Lori McConvilleBlog

Imagine that you are craving for a strong cup of coffee to kick start your day. You drive into a nearby Starbucks where you are bombarded with tons of options to choose from. You see an option to add an extra shot of espresso to your coffee which is exactly what you need. You place your order and walk out a happy customer! Choices can leave you feeling empowered, provided you understand your needs.

In the data center world, a carrier neutral colocation facility is like a digital fortress of sorts, providing diverse service options for business owners. Now, what does this really mean? Let’s break it down.

Bits and Bytes

Data Centers: The bits and bytes

There is no doubt that we live in a digitally connected world where information is exchanged in the form of bits and bytes of data. From the pictures we post on Facebook, to our financial transactions, all online content constitutes data. Microsoft estimates that by the year 2020, nearly four billion people will be online, and fifty billion devices connected to the internet. Can you imagine the sheer amount of digital content this would create? To give you an estimate; as per a report published by the International Data Corporation, the amount of data generated globally was around 4.4 zettabytes (1 trillion gigabytes) in 2014, and projected to hit 44 zettabytes by 2020. Now, all of this data has to go somewhere so that it can be pulled out for future reference. Where does it go? Data Centers.

A Carrier Neutral Colocation Gateway

Social networking services, business enterprises, government organizations, educational centers, all require a data center in order to maintain their online infrastructure. In a nut shell, data centers are physical locations with sophisticated servers and networks that require significant investment for maintenance in terms of power, cooling and broadband connectivity. Data centers can either exclusively cater to the IT infrastructure of a company or they can rent out space in their facility to allow various companies to house their servers. The latter is called a colocation center (colo).

Connectivity i.e., the network bandwidth plays a vital role in the effective performance of a data center. The facility can opt to align itself with a specific telecommunication carrier or open its doors to various carriers so that businesses have the flexibility to choose the ones which suit their requirements, in this case they are known as carrier neutral centers. In the current scenario, where businesses require substantial online presence, a carrier neutral colocation facility offers them freedom to pick and choose services, seems like an ideal solution to meet their current and future needs.

The Benefits

Let’s look at how businesses benefit by partnering with a colocation carrier neutral data center:

Business Flexibility

What would you choose; to be locked-in a contract with a single carrier, or have the option to pick carriers that are a perfect match for your business needs? As businesses grow, the need for faster connectivity becomes critical. Having such diversity gives you a free rein, and allows your business to expand.

Economic Edge

The financial investment required to build your own data center is far greater than leasing a space at a colocation facility, which already has robust infrastructure with shared technology and security costs. In addition, a carrier neutral marketplace gives you an opportunity to compare various price and performance options so that you can make an informed decision.


Having your business run round the clock without technical glitches establishes continuity and maximizes profit. The freedom to connect with multiple carriers builds redundancy and ensures that there is no downtime in the event of any connectivity failure with a particular carrier.

Network Performance-Latency

The need for higher speed or lower latency becomes all the more crucial for businesses which involve financial transactions, like trading or the stock exchange where data needs to be transferred with great speed. A carrier neutral colocation center provides low latency, plus high bandwidth connectivity to ensure reliable transmission of data to its final destination.


A colocation facility also allows for connections between various networks within the data center, which fosters a collaborative businesses environment and speeds up information delivery.

Ultimately, a carrier neutral colocation center can be beneficial not only to business enterprises, but also to service providers. The presence of various businesses would give them an opportunity to broaden their portfolio as well.