6 tips for choosing a London colocation provider for your business

In the modern world of business, technology is king. The vast majority of core business functions rely on implicitly on critical technology. This is especially true when one considers the housing of business-sensitive data. With modern technological advances, it’s now easier than ever for businesses to house their data in many different ways.

Colocation services, which combine space, equipment, and security measures for your data into one packaged service, are particularly popular. If you’re in the market for London colocation services, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ll give you seven tips to guide your buying process as you decide on a colocation centre for your business data.


1. Power is king

When it comes to colocation services, it’s true to say that power is king. The amount of power and how it is delivered should be an essential guiding factor in your decision-making process. If you do a poor job of estimating how much power your business will need, both now and in the future, there’s a good chance that you could end up choosing a colocation centre that simply won’t be able to meet your eventual requirements.

To avoid any hiccups here, make sure you do your due diligence before issuing an RFP. Figure out exactly what your power requirements are, not only right now, but also during peak times and as you expand. Some facilities allow you to purchase power as you go (metered power), while others will require you to purchase a certain threshold of power regardless of how much you really use. One option may be cheaper than the other for you, depending on your power requirements.


2. Think long-term scalability

When deciding on a London colocation centre, don’t just decide on a facility that fits your needs right now. Instead, remember that you want to work with an operator that will scale alongside your business. 

Many colocation contracts are for a minimum of one to three years. So ask yourself where your business will be several years from now. If you plan on introducing new technologies, changing how you store data, or make any other significant changes that will affect your power requirements, be sure to factor that into your decision-making process.

You should have a good idea of whether or not your operator of choice will meet your needs now and in the future. Skip this step, and you could easily find yourself trying to break or renegotiate a contract a couple of years down the road.


3. Check uptime reports

One of the most important considerations when a purchasing colocation service is uptime. After all, every minute your network is unavailable will likely cost your business money. Your employees are unable to work, rendering them completely unproductive. But worse yet, if your clients are on the same network, then the disruption to their service will certainly have untold consequences on your ability to retain their business when their contracts come to renewal.

Make sure you never sacrifice anything when choosing a colocation centre, including a poor uptime record. Instead, you want to choose the most reliable option available to you. The facility should have round-the-clock support services, so even if your systems go down overnight, there’s an expert who can help you troubleshoot and fix the issue. This is not the place to skimp on costs.


4. Assess security protocols

Rapid advances in technology have come with an unfortunate consequence: a sudden proliferation in cybercrime. It could be a hacker trying to redirect funds from business operations to a personal accounts. Or, it could be one of your competitors trying to steal proprietary technology. Either way, it’s bad for your business.

That’s why you need to ensure that the operator offers premium-level security. Again, this is not somewhere you want to skimp on costs. A data breach could compromise your entire network, not to mention client data. Remember that physical security should also be a consideration. The data centre should have stringent measures in place that prevent those with ulterior motives from accessing your equipment.


5. Check audit compliance

Few things can be as significant in setting back a company as finding yourself on the wrong side of an audit. With all of the different certifications and regulations in this industry, there are now several different audits that your organisation probably has to face every year.

Make sure that your colocation centre of choice meets any certification requirements and will cooperate with any company or third-party audits.


6. Look at total pricing

Last but not least, make sure that you’re looking at total pricing before you sign on the dotted line. Many cheap colocation centres will ‘nickel and dime’ you for things like additional cable routing and remote hands, so be sure that you’re well aware of all the fees for any service upgrades you may require. 


Choose the right London colocation centre for your business needs

There you have it — now you know how to choose a colocation centre for your business. Be sure to check out our London colocation facilities if you’re looking for reliable, secure, high-value services.

Announcing our new London East data centre

Today we are officially announcing plans for the opening of our brand new London data centre, set for launch in 2021.

The state-of-the-art 13,000 square foot facility will be named Netwise London East (NLE), and will join our existing estate of private and partner on-net data centres next year.

A preliminary facility page is now live on our website.

Exterior front elevation
Exterior front elevation

While we’re not releasing a full technical specification just yet, we can say that this will be a 1.5MVA build, housing up to 256 rack footprints across four data halls.

This will be the third private design and build project in our 10 year history, having completed our first small-scale London South build in 2011, and our 11,000 square foot London Central facility in 2016. The new site will interconnect with London Central, as well as primary points of presence across our growing metro network.

We will continue to push focus on hyper-efficient technologies, opting again to deploy an evaporative system for primary cooling, enabling a design capacity PUE as low as 1.05 – one of the lowest for a colocation facility anywhere in the world.

All energy will once again be purchased from entirely renewable sources, to match energy commitments at our existing London Central facility.

This will be inner London’s first new data centre for several years, continuing the trend of capacity growth inside the capital. We are one of just a small collection of independent facility and network operators investing this heavily in the city’s technical infrastructure.

This announcement comes off the back of a 12-month planning and design cycle, which involved several site options and design iterations being put through their paces. It’s incredibly exciting to finally reach the point of publicly announcing London East, and to break ground on what will be a long but very rewarding build phase.

Matthew Butt, Managing Director

London East will give us private coverage over another of London’s key data centre hotspots for the first time. The new facility is just a short distance from the large Telehouse Docklands campus, which stands as one of Europe’s most important interconnection locations.

This will also be our first foray into carrier neutrality, with NLE being the first of our privately-operated colocation facilities to welcome third party network operators into the fold. While clients will still enjoy access to our wide array of connectivity options, they’ll also be able to connect in with their own carriers on-location for the first time.

To say the entire team at Netwise is excited about the new facility is an understatement. Building bespoke data centres is what we do best, and what has enabled us to grow in the way we have, delivering a range of services to our customers that you simply won’t find anywhere else. London East will again take us to the next level in terms of capability and capacity, just as London Central did back in 2016.

Matt Seaton, Senior Manager

We have several key anchor tenants already in early discussions regarding space options at the new site, however details are being kept highly confidential.

We will be resuming our much-lauded Build Blog throughout the course of the project, detailing developments as works progress throughout the year.

Hard hat tours will be available in small numbers each quarter. We advise interested parties to request more information on when these will be available through the ‘Book a Tour’ function on our website.

Ditching the data closet: why colocation might be a better fit

Do you have an in-house ‘data closet’ that’s becoming too hard (or hot!) to handle? You’re not alone. Companies that are rapidly expanding often find they’re at a crossroads when it comes to managing their on-site data closets. 

Renovating your in-house facility is an expensive option that comes with many hurdles. Depending on your needs, you may find that colocation is a better and more affordable fit.

Read on to learn all about the benefits of colocation, and why migrating away from your cramped, outdated data closet could be the best choice for you and your business.


The pitfalls of an in-house data closet

Although it may feel as though an in-house data closet or data room is the best option, there are many cons that you may not be aware of.

Responsibilities

The responsibilities of the maintenance and security of your servers fall to your in-house IT team. If your business is still growing, you may not have the budget to hire suitable employees in this area. 

Construction

You may not have a big enough space for all of your equipment. You’ll also want to keep in mind the operational costs for keeping your data closet properly cooled and running efficiently. 

Redundancy

Redundancy is necessary to lessen the chance of downtime for your servers in emergencies. However, small and mid-sized businesses may struggle to afford extra connections and emergency backup power contingencies. 


Benefits of colocation

You’ll find that compared to an in-house data closet, migrating to an off-site colocation service provides a host of benefits that you may not have considered.

1. Access

One of the biggest worries to a business owner is that colocation means they’re giving up complete access to their hardware. However, a colocation service still gives you the ability to access your server stacks 24×7. If an emergency arises, you won’t need to jump through any hoops or hurdles in order to gain the access you need. 

2. Security

Security is also a huge point of concern. However, many colocation providers have high-end security features for their facilities that in-house data centres typically can’t afford. They can also provide mirrored data centres for disaster recovery, along with redundant internet and power connections for increased up-time.

You can expect to use key cards or biometric security features in order to gain access to your servers. Camera surveillance is also common, so you can be sure nobody is tampering with your servers. 

3. Controlled conditions

You probably already know that your servers need specific cooling in order to run optimally. These are conditions that you don’t need to worry about constantly monitoring, because these facilities are monitored by in-house professionals. Since you don’t need to pay someone extra to monitor these conditions for you, this can save you a good deal of time and money. 

4. Customer service

One of the best features of a colocation data centre is that you don’t need to pay a full IT team to get help and support you need. These facilities offer exemplary customer service, so when something does go wrong, you’ll have an expert to turn to. Besides monitoring conditions and security, they also maintain up-to-date industry certifications.

Even better, colocation facilities offer a select handful of specialist services. This means that the people who work there are experts at what they do and can provide a level of service that exceeds those of a general IT department.

5. Scalability

Server colocation is a great option if your business is continuing to grow and evolve. This is because you’re able to scale up and down easily when you’re renting space in these facilities. You’ll be paying for space and power only when you need it. Here’s an example of some of the choices you have:

  • 1U, 2U, or 4U colocation
  • Quarter rack
  • Half rack
  • Full rack

The best part of colocation flexibility is that you’re not locked down to a certain size or plan. For instance, if you’re predicting a new launch of a product or service, you can scale up your deployment as and when required. Afterwards, you can scale back down in line with demand.

6. Marketability

Last but not least, investing in a colocation service as opposed your own data closet is great for marketability. The enhanced security features that you’ll enjoy with colocation is an optimal selling point for customers who want to be sure their data won’t be compromised.

It’s also tangible proof that your business values data management and security protocols, which boosts your reputation with potential customers. 


Growing your business with colocation

Now that you know all the benefits of colocation, you can see why opting for a data closet instead can seriously limit your growth, and even put you in dangerous situations. Colocation provides total convenience, because it offers you the ability to access your servers 24×7. As your business grows, you can pay more to increase your rental space.

Better still, colocation offers you enhanced physical and digital security to keep your critical information secure. And in the case of emergencies, colocation facilities offer redundant internet connectivity and power so that you won’t incur any downtime. 

Founded in 2009, Netwise is one of the UK’s leading colocation service providers. Interested in migrating to colocation? Get in touch with us today and book a tour of our world-class data centres!

What are data centre solutions?

Who do you trust to store your critical company data?

Gone are the days of businesses storing all their records on-site. Even self-contained computer systems can’t cope with today’s networking needs.

Enter the data centre.

Data centre solutions offer storage, collection, processing, and distributing huge volumes of data. The service runs 24/7 with ongoing support. Customers range from small businesses up to large enterprises.

It’s estimated that the number of internet users is to grow to 5.3 billion by 2023. Transferred data will climb to 3.3 zettabytes by 2021. Data centres lie at the very heart of this global communication infrastructure.

As new technologies emerge, like the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G, it’s essential to choose the right solution for your business.

This guide examines what to look for when hosting your data. How can you save money, increase productivity, and take advantage of ‘the cloud’?

Read on to find out more about data centres and how they can help your business.


What are data centres?

Simply put, a data centre offers a dedicated place to store your data.

Emails, customer files, reports, orders, and communications need to be saved somewhere safe. Traditionally this happened on-site at your business premises. A small server would be hooked into your local network and data simply flowed through it.

But what if you got bigger? What about larger firms needing remote access? What about physical and digital security? And who was going to manage it all?

New data centre technologies don’t have the limitations of old local area networks.

Data is centralised and distributed as required. A good facility is hooked directly into the backbone of the internet to offer high-speed access every second of every day. Your records are always accessible and kept secure from digital and physical attacks.


How does a data centre work?

Every data centre is comprised of similar core components, including:

  • Resilient power infrastructure (at least A+B)
  • Resilient network infrastructure
  • Efficient cooling systems
  • Highly secure rack space
  • 24×7 on-site technicians

Everything is housed in a secure, closely monitored environment. Data is routed in and out of the facility by carriers and ISPs, and processed on systems within the data centre. Security of the information is paramount, so system administrators and engineers are constantly monitoring the network and facility infrastructure.

Our London data centre is 11,000 square feet and has capacity for two-hundred racks. We are qualified Cisco specialists and offer a best-in-class 40/100GigE network.

The facility is deployed in a two data hall configuration. We use N+2 CREC cooling units to make sure client hardware is kept cool. Power is regulated through dedicated UPS infrastructure.


How can data centre solutions benefit my business?

Customer’s who have made the jump to data centres say the service is now critical to their business functions.

Here are some major benefits for you to consider:

  • Reduced operations costs – kit is looked after for you off-site
  • Dedicated support – on-call day and night
  • Colocation – rent dedicated space for your systems
  • Modern infrastructure – faster, more powerful technology
  • Fully protected – physical and digital security
  • Fewer overheads – no air conditioning and power bills on-site
  • High up-time – business systems keep going 24×7
  • Monitored data flow – resilient, high-speed internet connection
  • ISO 27001 – certified information security

Don’t just take our word for it. Check our client success stories to read how we helped benefit their businesses.


How to choose the right data centre

From server colocation to how to set up data centre security systems, what do you need to consider when choosing a provider?

Space

Data centres are sometimes called server farms because they host multiple computers. They are stacked into racks and the greater the square footage the greater the volume of servers.

Question what the size of the data centre is. How much to rent a rack? Are there discounts for renting extra space, on longer term agreements?

Power

Data centres use a huge amount of electricity every year. How is that generated? Is the energy renewable and green? 

Our flagship data centre in London relies on 100% renewable energy. We were awarded the Best Green Business by SLBA and are committed to reducing our carbon footprint.

Connectivity

Latency, or the delay in transferring data, impacts how your business applications work. The lower the delay, the faster your software can communicate with users, for example.

Connectivity includes speed and reliability. Has the data centre got a good track record delivering these? Do they offer specialised services such as P2P circuits and leased lines?

Security

Major security concerns include ransomware and DDoS, but not all threats are digital.

A good data centre also considers physical threats. With the increasing likelihood of an attack happening on a data centre’s premises, how effective is their security?

Support

Ticketing systems are the gateway to support requests. What is the average time to respond to a ticket? Will you be speaking to the same person on the next important call?

We have an average response time of just 2 minutes. Our network status page highlights any downtime and upcoming events.

Additional Services

Some industries require a specialist service. For example, companies storing chemical substance data must conform to the format of OECD and REACH.

We offer a dedicated IUCLID 6 hosting plan. Data remains private and scales on an enterprise-class platform.


House your data in a data centre today

The benefits of data centre solutions are clear.

Take full advantage of the latest technology for your business. Be it colocating your servers or buying a dedicated hosting plan, our facilities are purpose-built for you.

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements. If you live nearby feel free to come in for a cuppa and a tour.

We’ll put the kettle on!

Netwise turns 10

Netwise was first incorporated on the 8th December 2009, making December 2019 a time of celebration – 10 years in business, doing what we love!

On the 13th December, we got together with friends, family, customers and suppliers to honour the occasion at Swingers West End, with great food, drinks, and of course a round of mini-golf!

This is quite the milestone for Netwise, a venture which started life in its earliest form way back in 2005, in the loft of Matthew’s family home. Not an ideal location of course, but it’s where the chips would begin to fall in favour of the organisation becoming a reality just a few years later.

In commemoration of the 10th birthday event, we’ve put together a gallery of photos from the evening, which you can browse below:


We hope everyone in attendance enjoyed themselves, and we look forward to welcoming you back to our future milestone celebrations as we continue to grow and evolve in the coming years.

Our guests on the night also got first eyes on our anniversary picture book, which gives an overview of the last 10 years at Netwise. Be sure to ask for a look when you’re next in at our London Central data centre!

We also have a video of the night coming in January, so keep an eye out for that on our socials.