How to choose a colocation provider.
Not all data centres are made equally. In fact, the speed in which technological advancements are being made within the data centre marketplace has already made several colocation centres outdated and behind modern demands.
When choosing your data centre, it’s important to view your relationship as a partnership, not just a transactional contract agreement. Get to know your provider and ensure they are able and willing to meet your demands.
Choosing the wrong provider risks the safety of your data, with potential impact the efficiency of your operations and services. In this blog you will find out what you should be considering when choosing a colocation provider. Identify your business objectives and requirements to ensure you get it right, first time.
Consider the location.
With colocation, the physical location of your data is a lot more important than you may realise.
While you are looking to move your data offsite, it is important to choose a partner who is physically easy to reach by your teams.
Imagine this scenario. Your equipment is performing poorly, or even worse is down. The ability of your team to get to the data facility and rectify software issues in good time can potentially save the costs incurred by downtime or unavailability and the impact this has on your customers.
It is often suggested that your data centre should be no further than 50 or 100 miles from your primary data centre or headquarters. But the reality is that the quicker you are to respond to issues, the better for your business and for your customers.
Some providers now even offer work areas for your teams to remotely work from the data centre without hinderance to your operations. Find out if these are in place and importantly find out if these are secure, private and capable of meeting your demands.
Think about the physical environment.
Another often overlooked point is the security of a colocation provider within their natural environment. While a remote data centre therefore might be safer from human threat, it could potentially be at the mercy of natural threats like flooding.
Limiting yourself to only looking within a pre-defined radius, central to your headquarters does not necessarily limit your choices. On the contrary, where there is one data centre, there are likely to be multiple competitors all within miles of one another all of whom compete on price.
Take confidence in grouping of data centre facilities, it increases the options available to you while ensuring that the physical environment has been recognised by multiple providers as safe to store data. Find out our three top tips for choosing the best data centre.
Is your data centre future proofed?
Ultimately a good colocation partner should be able to flex and scale with your demands. Whether that is an increase or decrease in your requirements.
When it comes to colocation, more floor space does not mean a better data centre. In choosing a provider, think about your long term goals. Are you looking to move towards high density computing, transitioning to cloud or hoping to simply comply with data security regulation? Most importantly, can your chosen provider support your long term goal?
Colocation technology and the industry as a whole is growing rapidly. The truth is that not many data centres possess the necessary power densities to support incoming technologies.
Currently most clients demand anywhere up to 10kw a cabinet. Many data centres constructed a decade a go when the colocation market began to boom only support an average of 4kw per cabinet.
Choose partner who can prove the measures they have in place to accommodate increasing data demands in 2019. Evidence of this includes:
- Power and cooling investment
- Modern rack space technologies
- Live environment monitoring (temperature, humidity and power)
Get the best deal on your connectivity and the safety of your data.
Data centres owned by corporations are sometimes limited to a smaller number of telecommunications service providers. If you want to get the best deal possible, identify a carrier neutral colocation provider.
When a data centre is aligned to a specific network communications supplier, you will most likely be penalised financially. Instead of getting the best deal on the market, you will be restricted to the best deal of a single provider.
Neutrality means there will be more options available to provide the connectivity you require and at more competitive price points. But it is also important to weigh up your connectivity with security considerations.
How secure is your data?
Industry standards now mean that multiple levels of security both inside and outside the centre. Make a point of finding out key security measures, such as the areas covered by surveillance technology, visitor access procedures and biometric access restrictions.
The highest quality colocation providers house their servers in near impenetrable physical and digital environments, ensure that you are confident in the capabilities of your provider. Avoid the risk of data breach and the implications this could have for your compliance while maintaining rapid and business critical connectivity.
Look for providers with clear contingency plans to maximise uptime. For example, for how long can a data centre run in the event of power loss? Is there an onsite technical team present 24/7? What measures are in place for optimal cooling?
Think about uptime rates as a key reliability measure. The industry standard currently sits around 9.99999%. Verify this statistic against staff certifications, accreditations and customer reviews.