Selecting the right data center can and should be a big decision for your company. After all, you’re placing your trust in the security and reliability of another facility to keep your most important data and mission-critical information safe. It’s especially important for large content providers, including financial services, government agencies, oil and gas, and top-tier e-commerce companies, where the right data center selection has a huge impact on the health of their business. To give you the confidence and knowledge you need to make that important decision for your business, here are five considerations to help you choose your data center wisely.
If you’re a Fortune Global 2000 company, unplanned data center outages can be incredibly expensive. Even one minute of downtime is out of the question. Gartner reports that network downtime costs an average of $5,600 per minute; so, imagine just one hour of down time at this rate and you can see how those little hits here and there can add up quickly.
Tier IV data centers are the most robust option and, overall, less prone to failures than Tiers I through III (Tier I is the simplest, serving small businesses or shops). If you’re looking to guarantee 100-percent reliability and uptime of all critical resources, keep this scale in mind when choosing your data center.
We all know that location, location, location is a critical component to selecting a new home. But what about the real estate for your data center? In an era of global business, you must ensure that your data center’s connectivity has the international reach you need without the latency you don’t. If your business has the option, you can even consider data centers located in e-commerce free fiscal zones with low profit taxes—and no customs tax once your IT equipment has been imported to the facility. That option offers attractive savings for your business.
The facility is of importance as well, as it can provide additional security and further protect your business and valuable data from manmade or natural disasters. Give yourself extra peace of mind by selecting one with superior risk mitigation from disasters, whether it’s earthquakes, lightning strikes or hurricanes. Many businesses learned that lesson the hard way after flooding from Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on data housed in New York City and New Jersey.
A data center might look good to you on paper now, but will it meet the needs of your company in the years to come? You want your data center to grow with you, offering different levels of flexibility to meet your changing needs—from additional space to power and even connectivity.
Whether you’re looking at physical colocation, private-cloud services, managed services or other options, don’t pigeonhole your business with a provider that can’t offer all of the above, or one that’s unable to change and scale with you. Otherwise, you’ll quickly return to square one and have to choose another provider!
Some data center facilities may be limited to one or a few network carriers. Look for a carrier-neutral facility that can give your business access to multiple global carriers. Carrier-neutral facilities allow you to have a direct connection to the network provider that best suits your business operation.
In addition, keep in mind that a data center with a massive and diverse network of submarine cables can open up the doors for increased connectivity for your business, as well as delivery of a broader variety of available services from network providers.
You’ve already taken the weather patterns into account when it comes to the data center you’re considering. But what about its overall security and accessibility? If you can, consider a data center in a location that offers robust data-protection legislation for added privacy.
But at a minimum, look for a data center that can clearly demonstrate and explain its security policies, including how it handles on-site personnel access as well as access for each of its customers. Will the data center open its the doors to just anyone from your company, or does it require that individuals be authorized? Are armed guards or other security personnel on site around the clock? How many days of preclearance do visitors need before gaining access to the data center building? These questions are important to determining which data center has the right security infrastructure and policies to meet your needs. And if you’re considering managed services, go a step further and look for important security and performance-management tools such as load balancers, virtual firewalls, and intrusion detection and prevention services. You’ll appreciate the added security for your business as well.
Choosing a data center strategy—and the right one for your company—is a process. It requires careful planning, research and collaboration with your staff. Consider reliability, location, scalability, connectivity and security very closely when making this important decision about which type of data center will help you to achieve your company’s goals. If you invest the time and energy now, you’ll have confidence in the health and success of your business down the road.
About the Author
Ton van den Berg is general manager for Blue NAP Americas, which offers a comprehensive portfolio of data center solutions including physical colocation, private-cloud services, business continuity and managed services. Having more than 30 years of experience in sales, marketing and information communication technology operations, Ton is skilled in various stages of the organization life cycle, such as acquisition/divestment, strategic sales development, international positioning of market solutions, operations, services and reorganizations.