CyNexLink Blog • December 11, 2017
The average U.S. data center is 18 years old, yet many businesses still rely on them for the storage of their valuable data.
These organizations are relying on infrastructure that was constructed when 16 MB RAM was deemed substantial storage capacity. These dying data centers are inefficient and eat up a lot of cash to maintain.
Conversely, owning a data center carries its own burdens, requiring consistent upkeep and repairs. Like owning a car, failing to maintain the center puts the organization at risk if equipment fails.
In response to these issues, many businesses are seeking the services of colocation facilities, which are data centers where equipment, bandwidth and space are available for rent.
There are many benefits to storing data in a colocation center. For one, businesses are freed up from having to maintain their own data center. Considering most companies don’t consider the upkeep of a data center to be part of their core goals, it seems desirable to rely on external services to free up time to focus on supporting the business and customers.
The presence of physical security at colocation properties also is usually more stringent than a privately-owned facility.
Once a business has decided to move data to a colocation facility, it’s incumbent on leadership to perform their due diligence. Here’s a few things to consider before choosing a colocation data center:
- Master Service and Service Level agreements: Business leaders need to make sure they engage in a contractual and SLA agreement that addresses the business’s needs. In general, contracts are crafted to favor the provider of services. A vendor should be chosen that is willing to be flexible in initial contractual negotiations to cater to client needs. Do not wait until the vendor is chosen to address this flexibility. It should be a part of the criteria while seeking vendors.
- Efficient use of space: Operating costs can be reduced for a business if they seek out vendors that utilize floor space in an efficient manner. Just because a location may have more space doesn’t mean it will be a better data center.
- Location: While choosing a vendor, the proximity of the location to the business must be addressed. Networking costs are lower the closer the data facility is to the company. Being closer to the center also makes it easier to respond to problems.
- Security: As mentioned earlier, security is generally greater at colocation centers when compared to privately-owned facilities, yet it varies among vendors. It’s important to inquire about the physical security of each colocation center being considered. There should be multiple levels of security on the interior and exterior of the center.
- Level of compliance: It’s important to remain skeptical when questioning vendors about their level of compliance with standards. Some may claim they are Uptime-certified when they aren’t. The Uptime Institute is a professional services organization that certifies data centers based on a tiered standard. If this claim is made, verify it independently. Facilities should also support third party audits and be compliant with SSAE 16, which is a regulation created by the Auditing Standards Board of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants for defining and updating how service companies report on tenets of compliance.
With the right data storage program and IT infrastructure, you can boost your firm’s organizational and productive capabilities. Take a look at our portfolio to see how we’ve helped our clients enhance their business efforts. Contact us and find out how our IT specialists partner with you to accomplish your business’s goals.