All data centres are not created equal. Some offer unacceptable security measures. Others might not provide adequate failover ability. Others might store your data offshore, which breaches federal, state or industry privacy regulations.
Vetting a data centre is, simply put, one of the most critical IT decisions your department will make, one that affects nearly every business unit. Ideally, your data centre will provide a secure, central locationso your organisation can access, store and use data that’s available anywhere. As you research data centre providers, whether it’s for Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud or disaster recovery, keep these things in as top priorities.
1. The data capacity to meet your organisation’s evolving needs: Consider how your business planning may affect data needs over the foreseeable future. For example, is your business planning to launch new products or services that will require operational changes? Can you think of a handful of departments yearning for a data solution to solve their problems? What is the data transmission capacity? Your provider should ensure it can properly forecast capacity to prevent issues with rapid scaling and make it easy to scale from both technical and financial perspectives.
2. Multiple hosting and storage options and room to grow: The rack space you need on Day 1 of your data centre service contract likely won’t be the same as on Day 403. Your data centre should allow room to expand and offer a range of hosting and service options to enable business growth and agility. This might include an ability to go from co-location to a fully-managed cloud infrastructure environment if you wish, or setting up a disaster recovery or production site.
3. Support 24 hours a day, every day: How would you feel if your data was essentially abandoned after hours? A critical test of your prospective data centre provider is whether they provide hands-on maintenance monitoring around the clock to protect your infrastructure and applications.
This extends beyond simple phone support to encompass a 24×7, purpose-built data centre facility with backup power generation, uninterruptable power supplies, and redundant systems for cooling and telecommunications links. And the operations team doing the monitoring support must be actual IT professionals, not security guards. A data centre provider with local, accredited IT technicians who can maintain and troubleshoot the data centre environment will help you sleep better at night.
This list many not cover the gamut of data centre options potential providers must meet. But if they can’t pass these initial tests, they’re in the wrong class.