Is colocation the right strategy for your business? Is it about time you moved your data to the cloud? Or maybe you’d like to move from one colocation provider to another? How do you know if a data centre service is the right choice for you? Technically, they all look the same, right?
Choosing the best data centre services provider is one of the most crucial decisions you may ever have to make for your business. Which begs the question, how do you find the best one? Well, to answer that question, you need to ask the data centre management team several questions during the vetting process.
Exceptional security is non-negotiable. You are entrusting the data centre service provider with valuable data and IT assets you cannot afford to lose. Don’t proceed unless you have suitable answers to these questions.
In this post, we are going to address six of the most critical questions you should ask.
1. What are your cooling, carrier, and power redundancies?
Power redundancy is vital when it comes to keeping a data centre up and running. Ask the data centre service provider about their power sources, where they’re fed from, how many commercial feeds they have; and most importantly, the redundancy of their UPSs. Data centre services need ample power not only to run client hardware, but also to cool the facility.
They must operate multiple backup generators to ensure availability at all times. Enquire about their connectivity options, which should also offer full redundancy of delivery to client deployments.
2. What level of protection do you have against natural disasters?
Regardless of the facility’s geographical location, there are always chances of natural disasters. Even if he facility survives a disaster, how long would the on-site generators continue to supply power?
Do they have emergency fuel suppliers? Understanding their contingency plans based on possible risks is vital. Knowing how they will inform you of the status of your systems following such disasters will help you decide if they are the facility operator of choice.
3. What level of uptime does their SLA provide?
When vetting data centre services, one of the most crucial questions you could possibly ask is how much downtime they expect to suffer. It could be devastating to lose access to your critical systems due to data centre downtime.
This could cost your business revenue, opportunities, and maybe even diminish your brands reputation. This is something you cannot afford. You’ll find 99.99% uptime SLAs in most data centres.
4. What security measures do you have in place?
Data centres nowadays feature top-of-the-line security features and access policies that protect the precious data entrusted to them by multiple businesses. Good security will always start at the perimeter, with the fencing and sensor surveillance, through to the data floors.
Aside from the layers of physical security they may offer, a data centre service needs to have logical security protocols in place that will restrict different people from accessing different areas. Companies with multi-factor authentication processes, such as biometric technology, work better in terms of protecting critical assets. They ensure only authorised personnel access certain areas of the facility.
5. Can the facility handle future growth?
Your business may have simple needs such as space, connectivity, and power at the moment, but what about your future requirements? You may need certain managed services, including cloud computing, replication, backup and archiving, managed SAN services, disaster recovery-as-a-service, among others.
Will the facility offer you such services? What about future power and space requirements?
Specify how much power you’ll be consuming and ensure they have room for more. You may be surprised later on to learn that you are limited to a certain circuit capacity, which may not be enough. Avoid placing your business in a position where you’ll need to start looking for another data centre once you experience growth.
6. How many data centres do you have and what are their locations?
This seems like a basic question, but it’s imperative. You see, you need to have a data centre that’s close enough for your frequent travels. Your technological requirements may need you to travel to the centre for maintenance, hardware and software upgrades, and server installations. A data centre close-by will certainly save you time and inconvenience.
It helps if the data centre operator has a national footprint, with facilities strategically located in different areas in case you need to branch your business. Having various centres in different locations is an assurance of redundancy. In the case of a natural disaster, you will be able to replicate your critical systems.
Bonus question: how do you handle temperature control?
Cooling innovations are important in data centres, more so as cabinet deployments increase. Enquire if the company uses cold and hot aisle containment, or whether they defuse hot air with cold. How do they manage the temperature in the facility? Do they have advanced predictive analytics and monitoring? Can they handle special cooling when the need arises?
Choose a professional data centre services company
With so many data centre options available, you may have an abundance of operators on your shortlist. However, you have to be careful about who you entrust your critical systems to. Besides all of these questions, ask about their transparency, staff qualifications, certifications, and attestations.
How often do they perform power switching tests for load performance? Do they provide 24x7x365 remote hands support? Answers to these questions will help you arrive at the right data centre service operator.
If you need state of the art colocation services, get in touch or check out our website.