5 Tips for Choosing the Right Data Center
Choosing a data center is a decision that can either boost or cripple your business. After all, you are putting your trust onto someone else’s facility to keep your critical information safe. Making the wrong choice may have repercussions for a long time down the lane, to help you avoid these bad decisions, we have drawn on our experience through the years to compile a list of tips for choosing the right data center:
Location, location, location. The iron rule in the world of real estate can be applied to the process of choosing a data center too. There are some considerations when choosing a suitable data center location. One is whether the location is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes. At the very least, you should choose a data center with enforced facilities and disaster recovery plans in case of such unpredictable events. The other is how accessible the data center is so that you are able to respond quickly enough to any issues.
Ensure that the facility has rigid security policies and the necessary physical security measures in place. These include:
- Tight security checks to ensure only authorized personnel access to the facility.
- All access points and strategic locations should be monitored and guarded by security personnel; with the aid of CCTVs.
- For managed services, look out for the availability of tools such as virtual firewalls, load balancers, detection and prevention services.
Certain industries also have their own security standards to meet. Be sure to check on your industry’s requirements on top of the above measures.
Ideally, you should look for a carrier-neutral facility, i.e. interconnection within a shared data center space. This means your business can have access to multiple global carriers which can help to improve content delivery performance and cut down on transit costs.
Check the Service Level Agreement (SLA) when evaluating the data center’s reliability. A reliable data center needs to be able to guarantee maximum power service, temperature stability and network uptime of at least 99.995%.
Apart from being able to meet your needs now, you will also want your data center provider to be able to scale based on your future business requirements. Look out for a provider with additional space, power and connectivity. In addition, you may want to factor in the flexibility of their hosting plans as well.
The most practical advice we can give is not to make a decision based solely on information provided by the vendor. Have a checklist ready and make the effort to visit the data center personally to make a thorough ‘investigation’ of the location and the facilities available.