Most businesses are in a dilemma when they have to decide whether to build their own internal data centers, lease servers externally or go for yet another option, which is colocation. A colocation data center helps by providing server rooms where enterprise clients can install their own equipment safely as these colocation data centers are managed professionally. To make things easier while deciding, here are 7 important questions you need to ask yourself while shopping for a data center colocation service provider.
1. SLAs focusing on Uptime
Around-the-clock access to your servers is of critical importance as any disruption in service can prove to be catastrophic. Service Level Agreements, abbreviated as SLAs, address the standards and remedies in the event of a service level outage. The advantage with signing up with data center colocation service providersis that most of them offer guaranteed uptime 24/7. SLAs mostly cover uptime for power, environmental cooling/humidity and data connectivity. Having a professional understand the terms and pitfalls in contractual SLAs is important to resolve and address future issues like security, manpower response times and delivery of various services. Including financial penalties for interruptions of service is a vital part of a service level agreement.
2. Managing Power Resources
Colocation companies depend on utility companies for consistent power delivery.. Blackouts and brownouts are a common occurrence and can be responsible for server downtime. Most inhouse data center facilities have UPSs installed though they never serve as backups. They only help hold power on until the systems are shut down safely. However, a colocation data center has solid backup in the form of multiple UPS systems and power generators that are installed onsite. Although purchasing and maintaining power generators is an expensive affair, almost all data centers realize the importance of backup and have them in place as well as emergency contracts for additional diesel fuel.
3. Data Protection
Enterprises are constantly worried about their data being well protected and safe. Data centers have hardware and software tools in place, which help in protecting the systems from any sort of malware, DOS attacks and other intrusions. However, all this costs a lot of money, hence is more affordable only by established colocation centers. Established colocation data centers have the advantage of economies of scale and do not find any difficulty in protecting the data entrusted with them.
Physical security is another major concern and enterprises find it easier when they contract with data centers for protecting their servers and equipment. Colocation centers have surveillance cameras installed at strategic spots and deploy security personnel around the clock, which enterprises find it expensive to install at their own premises.
4. Natural Disasters and Fire Hazards
The threat of destruction by fire is a constant danger that IT equipment face and the fire hazard systems installed in most offices are often quite inadequate. Standard smoke detectors are not quick enough to prevent damage to costly equipment. Moreover, the very systems meant to protect sensitive equipment in case of fire are known to cause damage.
Colocation centers have state-of-the-art smoke-detection and fire-prevention systems that help protect the equipment during a fire emergency. Moreover, most colocation centers are built to withstand earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and damage through floods, which a regular in-house data center cannot afford.
5. Efficient Cooling
Data centers, especially the ones functioning in-house are great power guzzlers most of which is used up for cooling purposes in high density applications. The cooling systems installed in-house are often inefficient and are pushed far beyond their cooling capacity.
Colocation centers are intelligently designed to maximize cooling efficiently with redundant cooling systems. There is less energy wasted during the cooling process resulting in cooling at a much lower cost and helps extend the life of the equipment housed within as well.
6. Efficient Human Resources
Most enterprises make do with the available IT staff and are often hard-pressed when it comes to finding efficient employees. Under-qualified or unqualified staff members are not very adept at keeping things in control. Experienced data center staff can be costly for inhouse facilities.
Colocation service providers ensure that their centers are manned by qualified, continually trained and experienced support that are available 24/7 X 365. These facilities have well defined and documented standard procedures of operations for every facet of operating a data center.
7. Tax Savings
While selecting a colocation facility, significant savings can be achieved by choosing the right location. Some states or counties offer tax incentives when purchasing electronic data center equipment. Dramatic savings with zero tax or lower tax rates on newly purchased equipment can often offset a considerable portion of the colocation costs.
To sum it all up, it is becoming increasingly difficult for enterprises to manage their in-house data centers efficiently. Colocation centers offer the best solutions at affordable costs. The highly professional as well as secure services offered by colocation centers can hardly be matched by their poor in-house cousins.
DataCenterandColocation is a free professional and non-bias service provided to clients for selecting the right data center, colocation, managed hosting or cloud facility for their requirements. DataCenterandColocation is one of the largest colocation site consulting firms in the United States. They represent approximately 3000 data centers and colocation centers in the United States and Canada. At no cost to clients, they identify specific space, location, power and security requirements, solicit proposals, professionally analyze the responses, compare the strengths and weaknesses of each facility, negotiate pricing and deliver highly competitive bids for colocation. They also perform comparative analysis of in-house vs. design build services, wholesale data center space and data connectivity.