When a company is choosing a data center provider, there are important things that should be considered. This is the place that will house a company’s mission-critical infrastructure. Selection of the data center should be given all the time and attention it requires. It should be considered a long-term investment.
According to an article in Inc. Magazine, “Before starting to look for a new data center, it’s important to understand the type of IT environment a company has relative to their infrastructure and applications — in other words “what they run and what they run it on.”
It is essential for a data center to be easily accessible. It should not be so far away that it takes several hours to get to it. Another consideration is how vulnerable the area is to natural disasters. If the proposed data center is a tall building in a tornado prone area, it may be cause for concern. There is a good chance the data center may not experience any problems with natural disasters for many years. It only takes once to cause serious harm to a company’s infrastructure. If a location has more than one data center provider in the area, it is a good sign that the location is a good one. It may also indicate a reliable utility providers, network connectivity and more.
When choosing a data center, it’s important it have a record of being constantly operational. This is often measured in the amount of up time a data center records. A reliable data center will have an up time of average of 99 percent or greater. Anything less, and a company is leaving itself open to possible operational challenges.
It is important to choose a data center provider that can grow, as a company expands its operations. The data center should be willing to provide flexible terms to meet a company’s individual needs. Knowing the data center’s policy on additional power, connectivity and data space is essential.
When choosing a data center, a company should know their financial stability. Deciding on a data center that has had several different owners in a short period of time, is not a good choice. If the data center is part of a public company, much of their financial data should be easy to obtain. Knowing the history of a data center will also provide insight into its stability.
A data center should be able to have company’s infrastructure up and running in a short period of time. Timelines need to be clearly communicated between the company and the data center. In order to get a sense of a data center’s deployment efficiency, current and past customers may need to be contacted.
A data center need to know when a company must meet legal security standards. This could require the data center to have specific certifications and meet certain safety standards. A data center should also be in compliance with all required governmental safety regulations. Proof of this should be easily accessible from the data center management.