It is important to choose a colocation provider to host your company’s servers and IT infrastructure. The right provider can ensure your systems remain online and accessible, while the wrong one can lead to costly downtime. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting a colocation provider:
One of the most important considerations is the location of the provider’s data centers. You’ll want to choose a facility geographically close to your business and users to ensure fast network connectivity. Additionally, consider locations less prone to natural disasters and extreme weather events that could cause outages. Tier 1 cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Dallas are popular colocation markets.
Reputation and Reliability
Look for an established provider with a solid reputation for reliability. Examine their uptime track record and determine what redundancies they have to maintain operations during power outages or internet disruptions. Read reviews and ask for references from their current customers. A dependable provider will be able to demonstrate a history of keeping their clients’ servers online.
Physical and network security should be top priorities. Look for robust security features like 24/7 surveillance monitoring, multi-factor access control, and smart card systems. The provider should explain the security protocols and protections to safeguard your infrastructure. Restricted access, video monitoring, and environmental controls are something you want potential vendors to demonstrate.
Connectivity and Bandwidth
Ensure your colocation provider has reliable high-speed internet connectivity and redundant connections through multiple Tier 1 carriers. They should have ample bandwidth to support your company’s growing needs. Ask about bandwidth caps and overage fees to avoid surprise charges. Testing upload and download network speeds are also recommended.
Find out what technical support and services are offered. Many colocation providers offer remote hands services for basic on-site support. Look for additional managed services like hardware procurement, operating system installation, software support, and patch management. These services can help with ongoing maintenance and administration.
Consider the provider’s capacity to scale along with your company’s growth. Can they offer larger spaces and increased power densities as your needs evolve? Finding a colocation partner that can grow with you will prevent the need to switch providers down the road.
Pricing and contract terms are important factors. Evaluate the basic monthly costs for the required space, power, and internet connectivity. Also, understand what additional charges, taxes, and fees may apply. Get quotes from multiple providers and negotiate the best rate possible. Ensure the contract offers flexibility to scale bandwidth and spaces as needed.
Data Center Infrastructure
Tour potential facilities to evaluate critical infrastructure firsthand. Look for state-of-the-art electrical and cooling systems that offer redundancy. Ensure they meet industry standards for uptime and have emergency backup provisions in place. Also, examine physical security protections at the premises.
For environmentally-conscious companies, choosing a green colocation provider is worth considering. Look for data centers leveraging renewable energy and implementing efficiency measures to reduce their carbon footprint. Sustainable facilities demonstrate social responsibility.
Making the right colocation choice requires vetting providers’ capabilities, reliability track record, security protocols, and infrastructure redundancies thoroughly. Following the criteria above will help surface the best option to entrust with your IT assets.
Be sure to get customer references, conduct on-site facility tours, and negotiate contracts that allow flexibility. With mindful planning and evaluation, your company can find an ideal colocation partner to meet current needs and future growth.