Most enterprises have a data center model built on a mix of private cloud, public cloud, and legacy infrastructure. Everything has to be maintained, repaired, and upgraded when necessary. This entails time and resources and for this reason, many enterprises are opting to house their data centers in a colocation facility.
Making the decision to move to a data center involves careful planning and an approach that is aligned to corporate goals. A good starting point is to get answers to a few key questions.
What does the company want to achieve?
Planners need to assess the current state of the company based on key points relevant to its data center needs. This may include current demand load, historical demand growth, projected demand needs, and outage history. It is also important to identify future business initiatives like new branches, mergers, and acquisitions.
What are the business and IT requirements?
Other than power, cooling, and server cabinet space, planners should determine other necessary services and find out what the potential colocation provider can offer. Providers often offer a range of options that include managed services, cloud offerings, and a hybrid approach that combines company-owned IT equipment in cabinets and services in the provider’s cloud.
What does the company’s growth plan look like?
The colocation provider can help its customers draw a growth plan based on the results of the assessment of the key points mentioned earlier. This plan helps the company move in different directions as dictated by the growth rate.
Criteria for Choosing the Right Colocation Provider
At this stage, planners should have a clear picture of the operational dynamics that make their business unique. The following considerations are relevant to most data center types.
Scope of Capabilities
Aside from basic data center colocation services, many providers offer an array of related services. Depending on the needs of the company, decision makers may opt to use additional services while retaining in-house management of critical applications. Different services don’t always work well together. It is, thus, important for companies to determine if their chosen provider is capable of integrating these services within a controlled and systematic environment. It is also good to make sure that the provider can be flexible on the terms and conditions of the contract to accommodate changing business needs.
A data center colocation facility that is near the company’s offices is an ideal choice. Beyond providing easy access to the company’s staff, proximity can help reduce the effect of latency issues on applications. A site that is physically close reduces data replication problems, especially on large volumes of data. Redundant network connectivity, dynamic routing, and burstable bandwidth are also more plausible in nearer colocation sites.
Companies should look for a provider with a full range of connectivity options to ensure reliable connectivity at all times at all the business’s offices in a secure environment. Beyond connectivity, the provider should also be able to ensure quality of service (QoS), especially in the transmission of voice, video, and sensitive applications.
Security and Compliance
Basic physical security measures in the data center colocation site are a must. Among others, these include biometric scanners, video monitors, and card readers to prevent unauthorized access. The provider should be able to augment network security and threat detection as well as remediate security vulnerabilities to ward off intrusions.
Companies are expected to assign their own staff at the colocation office, but providers should also be ready with staff support who have extensive experience in complex environments for all the key data center capabilities. This enables proactive management and the resolution of incidents before they affect the performance of applications.
Power and Cooling Capabilities
The provider has to be able to provide 100% uptime for power and redundant power systems. Efficient cooling technologies are also crucial to protect hardware and extend its life as well as reduce hardware failure.
Colocating a data center is a long-term commitment, and choosing the right colocation provider is critical. For your data center inquiries, contact us at Copper State and a dedicated professional will gladly attend to you.