Searching for a Data Center Partner?
Every organization must consider business goals, opportunities, and economic factors when evaluating whether to outsource their data center operations. Once the decision is made to outsource, you must consider many factors in evaluating potential data center outsourcing partners. These factors include, but are not limited to: the prospective vendors network and infrastructure, security (physical and systems), staffing and support services, as well as the their ability and capacity to deliver quality solutions.
Network, Infrastructure, Security
A professional data center must provide a stable environment for your servers. A stable environment will greatly extend the life of your servers, as well as provide conditions for optimal performance and reliability. The data center must have redundant systems for:
- Power including UPS battery backup, and power conditioning, and on-site generators
- Cooling systems including hot and cold isles and increased air handling capabilities
- Network access including multiple connections to the Internet, more than enough available bandwidth, hot and cold spare routers & switches, firewall services, service & environmental monitoring systems
- Physical access security & remote monitoring with constant video surveillance
- Multiple layers of systems security to prevent unauthorized data access, as well as systems separation and isolation so that one incident does not affect multiple data sources
- A Service Level Agreement (SLA) with guaranteed uptime and service response times
Staffing and Support
A good infrastructure and secure network are not enough. Support services and a knowledgeable staff are required to keep servers running. A well-trained and experienced support staff separate a colo provider from an invaluable partner when it comes to data center services. Networks, servers, and applications need constant monitoring, operating systems need security patches applied on a regular basis, databases need to be backed up, email deliverability issues need to be addressed immediately, and equipment needs to be upgraded and maintained. Professional data center support engineers and technicians must be well versed in not only ensuring the basic equipment is running as expected, but also the applications and clients that use the applications.
Capability and Capacity
All public data centers should offer an extended list options for service. It is imperative that each individual client using the datacenter get exactly what they need to keep their businesses functioning and it is at the most economical cost possible. Organizations also need to be able to scale their service upon demand. If they need to add a server for a special project the data center needs to be able to handle the increased power, bandwidth, networking, and space demand with little to no notice.