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History of Colocation

The Birth of the Internet Spawns Colocation 

The origination of colocation has its foundation in the birth of what we today call the Internet.  The Internet was created initially for governmental and educational purposes.  Tracing back its roots to discover the primary reason for its existence, the Internet initially and to this day, serves to accommodate the same need - information and communication exchange.  With its improved qualities over time and its ability to connect worldwide, commerce eventually found the Internet to be a superior means of producing global, cost effective business as well.  For companies to maximize their Internet connectivity and ensure profitability, they turned to Internet data centers or colocation facilities.  Colocation facilities formed during the evolution of the Internet and now boast as a technical and financial necessity to Internet business today.   

The Internet Looks Attractive As A Business Tool - the Seed for Colocation is Planted

During the 1980s, the Internet was growing rapidly underneath the radar of mainstream knowledge.  While computers were still quite new to the masses, technology increasingly elevated itself allowing more sophisticated means of communication.  The first major network connecting the universities and government was the ARPANET [the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network].  Instant messaging and relaying of scientific research at universities and colleges around the world were being transferred effortlessly by connecting different networks to one another.  The accessibility of data and information transported via the Internet to various institutions created a technological buzz that caught the attention of businesses that equally desired to benefit from the instantaneous communication opportunities.  By the end of the decade, the first Internet Service Providers (ISPs) were formed.  These ISPs spearheaded the movement for what grew into Internet data centers or colocation facilities.  One of the most recognized company's pioneering this movement was a company originally called UUNET Communication Services.  Founded by Rick Adams, UUNET Communication Services was initially formed as a non-profit in 1987.  It soon changed its status and within two years was renamed UNNETAt first, universities and colleges reacted negatively to the idea of non-educational use of the networks.  However, it was a result of the ISPs that educational institutions were able to participate in new areas of research because costs related to Internet services became more affordable.  As it would be, UUNET launched an independent IP Backbone called AlterNet, becoming the fastest growing ISP in the mid 90s.  Surpassing MCI, Sprint, and PSI (one of the original ISPs), it was later purchased by WorldCom.  Ultimately WorldCom went bankrupt and its divided assets became the property of Verizon.

Colocation: A Silicon Valley Dot Com Rush

In 1994, commercial restrictions that were previously hindering entrepreneurs and companies from completely utilizing the Internet fell to the wayside.  Moreover, additional ISPs and colocation facilities originated to take advantage of the newly established technological wave that would prove to be a breakthrough for global businesses that were popping up overnight.  A Silicon Valley native by the name of Mike Leber began his start-up company:  Hurricane Electric Internet Services.  Hurricane Electric was among the first ISPs that embraced this newfound opportunity to provide colocation for companies that saw the advantages of Internet business.  Hurricane Electric helped pave the way for Internet business to be recognized as a viable means of commerce.  Equally contributing to educational institutions, Hurricane Electric implemented a special program offering free Internet services to colleges and universities to help sustain research and educational growth.  

Colocation Companies that Survived the Bust

It has been over 14 years since the inception of the Internet was used for business.  Since then, many companies have come and gone, including colocation companies and ISPs.  The dot com boom and bust left many businesses hung out to dry.  Colocation facilities such as Level 3, Equinix, and Cogent have all struggled financially and IBM simply jumped ship to avoid further profit losses.  In 2002, AboveNet declared bankruptcy and shut out their customers' accessibility to their equipment since the bank considered the equipment assets.  Verio reportedly closed down 36 of its 46 colocation facilities that same year due to poor planning and over expansion.  Hurricane Electric is one of the few facilities that not only survived the bust, but actually has been profitable every year since its beginning.  This is a landmark achievement that reflects a diligence and stability unlike much of its competition.  This company currently owns and operates some of the largest state of the art colocation facilities in Silicon Valley and the Bay Area with a network of 19 other colocation facilities worldwide.

Colocation Remains A Proven Entity for Internet Business

Throughout its existence, colocation has consistently taken Internet business to new heights by bringing technical reliability to entrepreneurs and cutting costs down significantly.  It continues to play a distinctive role within a company's profitability.  Because the Internet is becoming more of a standard of life, businesses will continue to rely on it increasingly more.  The incomparable strengths colocation offers makes it a bar none choice for companies wishing to compete in domestic and worldwide trade by utilizing the Internet, thereby making colocation a benchmark around the globe for Internet business.    


Read Other Colocation and Internet Articles Related to this Subject:

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  Top 21 Things You Need to Know Before Choosing A Colocation Service Provider

  Dedicated Servers vs. Colocation

  What is a Dedicated Server?

Below are more colocation articles from Colocation Co. - the colocation community resource site.

  Tips For Managing Collocated Servers

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  Selecting A Gigabit Ethernet Switch For Colocation

  Tips For Collocating Blade Servers

  Colocation News Articles

Please feel free to continue and read other Useful Colocation Service Articles.

If you would like to submit an article on a useful topic related to colocation use or technology, please feel free to submit your colocation article here.  Thank you for your colocation service article contributions.

















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