Feb 22, 2017
Steve Weaver - Vice President of Sales & Marketing
Making the decision whether to use colocation, or outsourced data center services, is an important one for businesses of any size. Where you house your applications and data has a major impact on your expenses, your ability to scale and the performance of your applications. When making this critical decision, there are at least ten key criteria and benefits of colocation to consider:
- Scalability: Pay for as little or as much space as you need. Your provider should work with you to design the optimal amount of space and spec out the appropriate amount of power required to fit your specific needs.
- Flexibility: Set up a temporary test/dev environment or expand quickly to accommodate growth. Your contract should not be measured by the pound but instead judged on your ability to flex your environment. Too often, users get caught in long-term, static agreements that benefit only the colo provider and fail to recognize that things change over time.
- Reliability and Uptime: Premier colocation providers have the systems, processes, and staff in place to deliver 100% availability year after year and provide uptime SLAs (Service Level Agreements) to back it up. If your data center operator is taking power outages or experiencing internal systems failures, it may lead you to wonder why you choose them. You should demand your colo provider to deliver what you pay for – always up, always on.
- 24/7/365 Monitoring and Support: Sleep well knowing that your systems are humming and that someone is watching over their home. If something does need attention, you should have skilled technicians available whenever you need help.
- Connectivity: More choices are always better. Carrier-neutral colocation providers give you access to a wide variety of public and private telecom services to meet the unique requirements of your business. What’s more, every data center should have diverse fiber entrances so you are not depending on only one egress and access point. Make sure also that your provider offers direct connections to the largest and most popular cloud providers. Most of today’s IT environments need to have access to both clouds and proprietary compute/storage.
- Security & Compliance: Secure access and 24/7/365 monitoring are just the beginning. As the risk of cyber threats increase, so do the consequences of failing to meet the stringent requirements imposed by HIPPA, PCI, and SSAE standards. If a colocation provider is not verifiably compliant across all of their facilities, you will want to find out why.
- Services: Remote Hands are helpful and many data center operators provider these services. However, Smart Experienced Hands are better. Look for onsite technical employees that are available to help with everything from equipment reboots, setup, shipping – you name it. Your colocation team should feel like an extension of your own company.
- Affordability: Colocation can save your company money in addition to turning expensive capital investments into low operating expenses that fit your budget. Of course, you want your suppliers and service providers to make money but should they have climbing walls and Humvees? Outsourced colocation makes financial sense in almost all cases but make sure your provider is pricing competitively.
- Disaster Recovery Preparedness: Colocation facilities are in the business of delivering uptime and are the best choice for disaster backups. Business continuity means business profitability. The so-called “tier II” cities make excellent choices as DR sites. All the benefits of the big metro areas but out of the limelight.
- Expertise: Data center operators provide a relatively short list of services. So they better be experts in delivering power, cooling, security and connectivity. Pick a provider that excels in these attributes so you can focus on your core business.
Let us know if you want to learn more about how your company can reap the benefits of colocation!