Connecting the dots in data: Why do you need a colocation centre?

Have you ever wondered what a colocation centre is and what it can do for your business? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re tired of managing your own IT infrastructure or you’ve simply run out of space to house more hardware, here’s everything you need to know about colocation centres and how they can help you.

What is a colocation centre?

In short, a colocation centre is a data centre that allows businesses to rent space for servers and other IT equipment. It is ‘colocated’ because the use of a third party remote facility is employed, rather than a private, purpose-built on-site facility.

These remote facilities offer a secure environment to house your critical equipment. In addition to space, they provide power, cooling, and connectivity for your hardware. This gives organisations an affordable way to expand and scale their IT infrastructure without worrying about physical restrictions or management.

You can rent the space you need and bring your own equipment to set up in the data centre. Then, you can remotely coordinate with the staff to manage the hardware from afar. Colocation services are ‘low-touch’ and can provide much-needed flexibility, allowing you to upgrade or downgrade as needed.

Some data centres also allow businesses to buy or rent equipment. They can then connect the equipment for you, so you can avoid the headaches that can come with complex system setups. Colocation centres provide a variety of services like this and tailor them to your exact requirements.

What services do they provide?

Colocation services vary by provider, but the core services typically include:

  • Space for IT hardware
  • Uninterruptible power systems
  • Physical security protection
  • Cooling systems and advanced environmental controls

The advantage of teaming up with colocation service provider is space. Colocation centres are designed and built to house sensitive IT equipment. While you can build your own space for IT hardware, it’s going to require a lot of time and money to do so.

On top of that, you need to create an environment in which you can precisely control the temperature and humidity.

With a centre dedicated to cooling, you can forgo building or expanding space within your business to house IT equipment. They handle all of the cooling and temperature controls, and are experts in doing so. These centres also have highly trained security staff to ensure no one can access the sensitive data on your equipment.

Security is paramount in the data centre industry. Many data centres have multiple levels of physical security, from video camera surveillance to biometric authentication. This strict approach to security will keep your kit safer than ever.

Data centres have backup power systems, too. In case of a power outage, the machinery can automatically switch to a redundant power supply. You won’t have to worry about inclement weather or other physical disasters pulling your network offline with an uninterruptible power supply.

Depending on the data centre, you can customise the services you want for your business. For example, you can choose from a range configurations to suit your needs. You may also be able to get services like equipment inspection, consultation from on-site staff, or regular inventory analysis reports.

Why do you need one?

So, now you know what a colocation centre is and what services you can get through one. But why do you absolutely need one?

When you outsource hardware management, you can save money and redirect your IT team’s time elsewhere. It allows you to be more strategic with your resources, which can directly affect your bottom line. Instead of worrying about hardware, your team can focus on your core business function.

As your business grows, you will inevitably need more space for servers and networking equipment. Even if you have enough space onsite today, you will gain more customers and more employees. The most cost-effective way to scale with that growth is to store your equipment offsite.

If you need to scale back, colocation services make it easy to do so. They have staff onsite to handle all the physical needs of your hardware, which allows your organisation to be more flexible. You can save money and scale up or down depending on your needs without having to worry about space.

Colocation service providers may also offer consultation. Their employees are experts in data centre management, so if you have questions, you can turn to them for advice. They can help you maintain and update certifications, ensuring your hardware is functioning at the optimal level.

Data centres used to be the territory of large enterprises, but nowadays, every business has a need for such a service. Colocation centres provide an affordable option for businesses of all sizes. You can find a plan tailored to your needs and expand without having to pay exorbitant prices.

When you choose to house your equipment in a colocation data centre, you receive all the advantages without any of the costs of maintaining a facility that size. You can decrease downtime and save on resources. But you should take the time to vet your colocation partner before picking one to do business with.

Find a data centre you can trust

With all the benefits provided by colocation centres, you may feel tempted to dive right in and pick one to start working with. But before you do, it’s important you choose a company you can trust. Ideally, you should partner with someone who can provide state-of-the-art services and facilities.

Here at Netwise, our London colocation centres deliver world-class services and an unrivalled experience in the marketplace. Our London Central data centre is one of the UK’s leading facilities, and can handle the resilience your critical IT infrastructure demands.

If you’d like to learn more, get in touch today. You can book a virtual tour with us or ask us anything about colocation and our services.

7 data management mistakes and how to avoid them

Accurate and reliable data has never been more critical in the business world. All the complex data challenges you face could be detrimental to the success of your business. You need to ensure that you have everything under control.

About 98% of companies use data to improve their customer experience, and to be a part of this, you need to avoid some common data management mistakes. The modern customer comes with high expectations. There’s regular pressure to improve transparency, and even more need to ensure customer privacy.

You not only have more data, but you have access to the technology required to convert that data into actionable and meaningful insight. The question is, how do you leverage data to improve customer experience, and ultimately grow your business?

How do you even track this data? In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common data management mistakes and help you understand how to avoid them.

1. Lack of centralisation and visibility

We have already established how important data is to a business.

However, you’d be surprised to learn that only a small percentage of companies integrate their sales, marketing, and finance data and make it accessible in a centralised location. The problem is, if you only have access to a part of the data, it’ll be hard for you to make informed decisions.

You won’t be able to visualise the bigger picture, because some of the most vital data will be missing. Centralising access to data in your organisation is essential. Relevant parties will have access, and this could be the difference between how successful or unsuccessful you are in a data-driven economy.

2. Not understanding the potential of the data you have

The amount of data produced every day is a mind-blowing 2.5 quintillion bytes, which stands to increase with the growth of IoT.

The thing is, your business is sitting on a mountain of data on everything from your customer’s buying behaviours to their preferences and your operational effectiveness.

However, chances are, you’re not analysing this data to its full potential. Consider all the data you get in your company and how it can help you anticipate customer needs. How you can identify opportunities that will improve the efficiency and overall performance of your business.

3. Not having a dedicated data management team

Apart from the kind of tools and technology you use to manage your data, it’s equally as important to have a dedicated data management team. Even if you choose not to make it explicitly dedicated to data, the one thing you need to understand is that the team must be well-trained and experienced in data collection and management.

They should be aware of privacy policies and understand data quality, protection, analysis, and implementation. Creating and maintaining a dynamic data management team for your company is an essential part of effective data management.

Find the right team to ensure you get actionable and insightful results.

4. Failing to comply with global data privacy regulations

Businesses have gone global with the use of the internet, and you’re possibly reaching out to customers all over the world. Even if you’re not doing so now, it’s probably a part of your business plans as you expand, right? In an era of globalization, other countries will also have an influence on the economy, and how businesses function and process personal data.

Even if you were to choose to serve European customers only, you still need to comply with Europe’s Global Data Privacy Regulations. Failure to comply could lead to significant fines. This means that you should adhere to international data privacy rules in all the countries your business operates in.

5. Failing to secure data

One of the most essential aspects of data management is having the right data security measures.

We’re living in a world where cybercrime is thriving, and so are hackers, malware, viruses, ransomware, etcetera. You are also faced with both internal and external threats, so you must find a way to secure your data effectively.

The bigger challenge here is that you may need to copy confidential information to mobile devices, employee hard drives, and USB devices. The issue here is that these devices are portable and prone to loss, theft, and damages.

If such devices got lost without proper passwords, data backups, or proper encryption, your sensitive data could get into the wrong hands, putting your company and customers at risk.

Company servers also need to be extremely secure and having a data security team can solve this. Ensure there are no vulnerabilities, and only authorised personnel have access. You can hire a professional company for a quarter, half, or full rack colocation service for all your data.

6. Being lax about data quality

The one variable that truly has an impact on the success of your marketing campaigns is the quality of the data you have.

It’s impossible to deliver the right messages to the right target market unless you have quality data. Besides, everything right now is in constant flux, so it’s impossible to use bi-annually or even quarterly lists.

A part of your data is inaccurate, inadequate, incomplete, or unavailable. This can result in a wasted budget, missed opportunities, and failure to meet your objectives.

This is one of the most common data management mistakes you should avoid. It’s possible if you find the right data management tool that will help you collect complete and clean real-time data.

7. Tracking the wrong metrics

Can you show how your marketing strategies contribute to your overall business revenue?

A very small percentage is able to, but the thing is, it’s essential for you to tie your marketing efforts to performance. This will require you to track metrics that impact your business.

Before you can get any meaningful insights, it’s vital that you consider what you need to know. First, identify what problems you want to solve, what goals you want to achieve, and the metrics you need to measure.

The worst data management mistakes to avoid

There you have it! These are some of the top data management mistakes you should avoid because they’ll only drag your business behind. There is so much that goes into data management, and you need to ensure that you have the right tools and the right team as well.

If you’d like to know more about data collocation, please get in touch with us, and we’ll be glad to tell you more and help you out.

7 questions to ask before choosing a data centre in London

If you’re in the market for data centre services, there are a number of prerequisite questions to ask yourself and your future provider before
settling on the right service.

1. How secure is your data?

One of the first questions you should ask when choosing a data center in London is how secure your data will be. Being able to connect to your server securely is essential.

You should always ask how the company can help you to secure your information. While you want to be able to access your files and information with ease, hackers certainly shouldn’t.

Make sure you understand how the organisation can assist you in properly securing your critical data. Then you can determine how safe your data will be when you move your equipment into the data centre.

The right data company won’t have a problem disclosing their own network security practices. Once you learn about the process, you can decide if the company is the best choice for you, or whether you’re best looking elsewhere.

2. How reliable are they?

While your data’s security is of the utmost importance, you also need to access that data around the clock. You need to ensure your systems are immune from outages, and remain online regardless of any external factors.

A reliable data centre provider will use emergency backup generators to prevent any loss of power. That way, you won’t lose your connection during the middle of your workday, should there be external power issues at the facility.

When you send your information to a data centre, you risk not having full control. So after you ask about security, you should always ask about system reliability.

3. How flexible or scaleable are they?

If you’re looking to use a data centre, you should consider how flexible their services are. Your business may take on new projects or systems, and you want your facility operator to handle that with ease.

Even if you operate as a relatively small company, you never know when you’ll need to grow your business. You may have a sudden spike in customers or orders.

When that happens, you may need to house more equipment in your data centre. If you can’t grow your systems with a data center in London, you won’t be able to use it for very long.

4. What’s the capacity like?

Along with service flexibility, you should also consider the available connectivity capacity. Some data companies may have a firm limit on the amount of data you can transmit.

If you exceed your committed rate, you may need to upgrade, or be liable for overage charges.

5. Where is the data center in London?

You should also consider the location of the data center in London. When looking for a suitable facility, it doesn’t have to be right by your current office (in fact, it’s best that it isn’t).

However, if you ever need to visit your servers in person, the location will be important; it shouldn’t be too far away.

The location is also important in terms of accessing your information remotely. A closer data centre will make the connection quicker for certain types of critical, latency-sensitive data.

If you don’t need to access your service at lightning speed, you may be able to use a facility that’s farther away, particularly for DR. But if you need to access data in a second, you’ll want the service to be close by.

6. How secure is the facility?

Overall, London is a safe city, but that doesn’t mean it’s immune to crime. You should also consider how a data company is securing physical infrastructure.

If they have a physical security system, consider how strong it is. Ask if they’ve ever had a physical attack on their systems.

See how secure the entry points are, along with entry to the data halls themselves. Make sure there’s some level of protection for your data.

7. Do they offer customer support?

When considering a data center in London, think about the available customer support options. You should be able to contact the company whenever you have issues.

Whether you can’t get to your data or you suspect there’s a power issue, you should be able to contact your provider and get the help you need.

Ideally, customer support would be available at all hours of the day. After all, you may need to access your information in the middle of the night.

You’ll want to ensure that there is a highly experienced team in charge of the facility, who can help you with support enquiries at any time.

Don’t be afraid to ask about the customer support team and the experience of individual team members.

The best data center in London

When searching for the best data center in London, you want to consider a few factors. Asking questions can be a great way to determine if a company is right for you.

From determining the location to the security of the data centre, you can use that information to make the best decision for your business.

Want to start looking at a data center in London? Check out our London Central location and book a tour.

What is colocation, and how does it work?

As your business grows, so too will your IT-related needs. Instead of automatically choosing to house multiple private servers on-site (that take up lots of room and energy), you may wish to consider other solutions to this problem.

One possible workaround is colocation. So, what is colocation, and how does it work?

What is colocation?

Colocation is a way of housing privately-owned servers and networking equipment off-site, in a third-party data centre.

Instead of the traditional scenario whereby your business may have a separate office or basement area to keep your servers, your business can rent space in a third-party location to safely and securely house your critical IT equipment.

There are many examples of successful, high-growth enterprises choosing this option. Take, Catchpoint, Krystal Hosting, and EveryCity, as prime examples.

Why colocation?

In short, it’s a positive and cost-effective alternative to cloud-based systems and onsite storage. Colocation enables total control over your own servers and equipment, and you have the freedom to pick a location that is most convenient to you.

It also addresses the perennial problems that many UK businesses have: lack of space.

The European Office Outlook report found that businesses are increasingly using more flexible office space solutions. This includes taking space on a per-desk basis.

In situations like this, space is at a premium. As such, colocation offers a practical solution to server storage to meet this need.

The idea has grown in popularity in the UK, with anticipated industry growth of almost 7% between 2015 and 2020.

Not only that, but using a colocation service provides direct access to resilient, high-bandwidth connectivity, redundant power and cooling systems, top-level security, and excellent 24×7 technical support.

Data centres are a far more reliable option over housing servers on-site, because they offer greater protection across all areas of technical operation, something not found to the same degree in-house. 

What about safety and security?

Colocation data centres are an extremely secure choice for your critical systems. Typically, there will be CCTV monitoring, biometric access control, uninterruptible power supplies, fire detection, and highly efficient cooling systems.

There will also be backup generators in the unlikely event of unforeseen area-wide power outages.

The right colocation centre will have a highly trained support team that offers technical assistance, security and surveillance 24/7/365.

With corporate and charity data breaches on the rise, finding a secure colocation centre for your data is essential.

In fact, the latest cybersecurity breaches survey for the UK showed almost half of businesses in the UK (46%) and a quarter of charities (26%) reported data breaches or attacks in the past year.

How does it work? 

A good data centre gives its clients the choice of various flexible configurations that best suit their needs. One thing that colocation isn’t is a one-size-fits-all solution.

There are several space options available, whatever the size of your organisation:

1 Unit, 2 Unit or 4 Unit Colocation – 1U/2U/4U

These are individual rack units tailored to suit businesses of different sizes; it’s possible to choose or upgrade storage needs as the company expands. There are many package configurations available depending upon the number of units required.

The 1U option is seen as an “entry-stage” choice where your company installs a single server in a shared cabinet.

Quarter rack colocation and half rack colocation

Quarter rack colocation is ideal for smaller businesses or startups with smaller systems. This option offers 10U of colocation space in a private and locked cabinet.  

Half rack colocation is a mid-range option, offering 20U of secure colocation space. It’s a perfect choice for businesses that are expanding or planning on expanding, and have larger deployments.

Full rack colocation

This is a 42U cabinet option; an entire rack dedicated to one business. It’s designed for companies with larger systems that need more room to grow. Full rack colocation also comes with higher power availability.

Is it cost-effective?

In short, yes it is.

Managing systems internally means businesses are responsible for any major or even minor expenses and variables. Not only does this take time, but it means recruiting new teams on top of employees who are managing daily business operations.

Will my business stay connected?

One of the biggest reasons businesses choose colocation at a data centre is because they guarantee you will stay connected. Their infrastructure means that you don’t have to invest in your own core network to accommodate your high-uptime requirements.

Colocation centres offer access to fully diverse, high-capacity networks, with direct connection capabilities to more than 500 service providers and carriers, and the best global routes and routing technologies.

Interested in colocation for your business?

We hope now having read this article, you now know the answer to the question: what is colocation?

If you’d still like to find out more, please feel free to contact our friendly team today.

If you’re interested in booking a free tour of our London data centres, get in touch. We look forward to speaking with you soon!

6 data centre migration mistakes and how to avoid them

When it comes to migrating a data centre, you can’t afford to make mistakes.

Data centre migration is something that businesses may need to undertake from time to time, for a variety of reasons, and with many risks involved. The migration process is complicated, because you have to transport a lot of critically important equipment, work with a number of different parties to ensure everything runs smoothly.

Although difficult, understanding what some of the common mistakes are and how to avoid them will let you better prepare. Preserving critical business data and getting a new data centre operating can be done without a problem.

Keep on reading to learn more about six common data centre migration mistakes, and more importantly, how to avoid them!

1. Lack of infrastructure assessment

One of the main things that goes wrong during a data centre migration stems from an improper initial assessment of infrastructure. When it comes to infrastructure, you need to thoroughly assess everything so you can move kit successfully. This includes things like knowing what you’re currently using and what you’ll need at the new location.

Taking a full inventory of what you have in place will help shape key decisions, not only in terms of what you’ll need to deploy at the new site, but also how this is handled to avoid any unnecessary downtime.

2. Unclear leadership

You must have a project leader. This isn’t something that should be overlooked. Unclear leadership will prevent your team from working effectively. There are many moving parts and variables involved in a migration task, so having someone with a top-down view to orchestrate things is critical.

Communication will play a major role in any successful migration process, so a project manager will help to ensure everything is running smoothly. They’ll keep track of everything and come up with solutions whenever the team faces a problem.

3. Lack of clear procedures

Alongside having a project manager, you’ll need to have clear procedures written out that everyone can follow. You should include step-by-step procedures for various tasks, including what equipment you’re taking and how best to move it.

This is something a project manager can come up with, but if you have a major role, you should also contribute your own know-how to the migration plan. If you happen to be the project manager, ensure that you’re thinking about all parts of the migration process so that you can include them in the detailed plan.

After making a list of procedures, make sure everyone has seen them ahead of time.

You’ll then need to enforce these procedures when you start migrating. Should someone fail to properly follow the procedures, you can give them a quick reminder of what they should be doing.

4. Not checking if equipment will fit

Before you start taking equipment to a new data centre facility, you need to check that it will fit. This is something that many people overlook when they start migrating and they find themselves without room for all of their hardware.

The best way to do this is to measure all of your equipment. You’ll also need to find if the new location’s elevators (if needed) can handle the weight of everything. Go to the new location, check out the hallways, and measure the size of the space you have available to you.

Buying new equipment before you’ve measured anything will run you the risk of wasting a lot of money. Always measure before you move anything or purchase something new. You’ll want to do this well before you start migrating so that you can make accommodations for issues in good time.

5. Underestimating the time required

Another thing that people drastically underestimate is how much time is required to migrate kit. Moving even comparatively small systems can take a considerable amount of time, particularly if not planned adequately in advance.

You’ll need to evaluate available manpower so that you can work around your team and migrate as quickly as possible. Consider assigning roles for the migration so that your team can handle various tasks at the same time.

If you come up with a data centre migration budget, you can prevent yourself from overspending or purchasing the wrong equipment. If you buy too many things, you can delay the migration process because you’ll have to try to send them back and get something new.

6. Lack of a backout plan

backout plan is necessary for most things, especially when it comes to data centre migration. Should something happen that prevents you from migrating, you’ll need a plan that lets you change your strategy. This can be considered as a “Plan B,” typically centred around bringing everything back to your original location.

Whether you need to go to a new location or purchase new equipment at the last minute, these are things you need to consider when putting together a backout plan. Keep in mind that you should try to follow through with your original plan, the backout plan is just a last resort.

Now you’re ready for your data centre migration

Data center migration requires a lot of teamwork and coordination, so you can’t afford to make a mistake that will slow down the entire process. By understanding how to avoid these six mistakes, you’ll be better prepared to execute a successful migration.

We recommend starting with the creation of a suitable plan to follow with detailed procedures. From there, everything else will fall into place as you go through the process.

Get in touch with us today to learn about the expert assistance we can provide you in migrating your critical systems between data centres!