Selecting A Colocation Facility

by | Colocation

How To Select A Colocation Facility?

Data Center And Colocation Selection Process – Many companies are faced with moving their data center into a colocation, hosting facility or they are looking for a disaster recovery site. This can be for economic reasons associated with the cost of building a new data center or growth issues like power or cooling with their current data center. Whatever the reasons are, when you finally make the decision to move your equipment into a colocation facility, what are the things you should look for?

While there are many factors to consider when you are selecting a colocation space, there really is no short list since it varies by your specific company’s requirements. The first step in the process would be to identify your present and future requirements. Specific things to look for in a colocation facility can be grouped in several categories like economics, security, fire protection and suppression, power and HVAC, data connectivity and contracts.

Here are some of the key factors to help select a colocation facility:

Location – How important is the proximity of the colocation facility to your IT staff? Can managed services help offset distance to your equipment?

Location vs. Power Rates – Pricing for colocation space can vary tremendously. Some areas offer low-cost power and colocation space and some areas offer sales tax incentives.

Data connectivity – While pricing for Internet access is fairly consistent from data center to data center, you can save an additional 25-50% by selecting the right colocation facility. Another consideration is whether the colocation facility is bandwidth neutral or not. This allows you to buy services directly from the carriers without a markup from the data center.

Access Control and Physical Security – Review staffing hours of the data center. What type of security monitoring systems do they have in place like card access, cameras, cabinet or cage locks, biometrics, external doors, perimeter walls and roof composition?

Fire prevention – Review emergency exits, safety procedures, smoke/heat detection systems, Emergency Power Off (EPO) systems and fire suppression systems.

Power back-up – Make sure you thoroughly understand how your equipment is supported in the data center. Do you require multiple redundant UPS and diesel generator power systems?

Watts per square foot – Data centers are evaluated based on watts per square foot as it relates to cooling and power service delivery. Try to select a data center facility with slightly higher watts per square foot than you require for future growth. If your power requirements per square foot are low and you are in a data center that has a very high power per square foot ratio, you will probably pay a lot more for that space because of the ROI requirements of the data center are much higher.

Reputation – Make sure you check with existing colocation customers and ask how well they are treated at the data center. You might be surprised!

Financial stability – Ask for financial information from the data center.

Special requirements – Do you have PCI, CISP, ISO, HIPAA and SARBANES-OXLEY compliance requirements? Make sure the colocation facility can meet your current requirements and any requirements you might have in the future.

Natural Disasters – Various areas of the US have natural disaster issues. If they are significant, you might want to consider another area or make sure the data center has mitigated most of the concerns by putting things in place of offset them.

General conditions – Age of facility, expansion space, lighting, staging areas, cleanliness, office space and “green power” initiatives should be reviewed. This can tell a lot about the data center provider.

Contracts and SLAs – Make sure you review the contracts and Service Level Agreements carefully. They vary considerably by data center especially when it comes to penalties for not meeting certain service levels.

This is only a partial list but will help you start with the decision process. There are well over 1000 data centers to choose from in the United States and projects like this can take many hours to evaluate so set enough time aside to get this done properly.

To schedule a no cost colocation site discussion, please call (619) 365-9236.

About DataCenterAndColocation: Our data center consulting company represents approximately 3000 data centers and colocation centers across the US. At no cost to our clients, we identify specific space, power and security requirements, solicit proposals, professionally analyze them, compare the strengths and weaknesses, negotiate pricing and deliver highly competitive bids for colocation. Whether you are moving your existing colocation site, adding data center sites or establish a disaster recover site, our service is your best solution to reduce costs and free employee valuable time. Our specialty is identifying very high quality and low power cost data centers.