We recently encountered a colo gone sideways. Standards set by the client were supposedly not met by the leasing agent, resulting in a legal altercation (we cannot disclose any further information on this matter!). As a result, it sparked a call to action to provide you with what we hope will be some useful information to consider when making the final decision of finding a suitable colocation for your data centre.
Most businesses' nowadays may prefer to have smaller and more localised data centres at their finger tips, but if you are a bigger business, some may still require a colo if they find themselves running out of space.
For the majority of cases, finding a colocation for your data centre can and should be a relatively low stress process. But behind this seemingly transparent process lies a potential can of worms full of awkward altercations, problems and even legal disputes if left unchecked. Although we do not offer colocation services, we are still going to provide you with some tips to avoid being stung down the line if you were ever to consider moving to a colo.
Choose a good internet provider – this is relatively self-explanatory. Make sure you do your research in finding a super-fast, highly stable and reliable connection that can handle your data transfer. Ideally you want to obtain a minimum bandwidth of OC192, which provides you with up to 10GB of data per second with fibre optic cabling. If this isn’t enough for you, OC768 can provide you with up to 40GB/ps which will have your data moving back and forth at warp speeds.
Choose a suitable and maintainable facility – don’t go with the shack in the back. Make sure you invest both money and time in finding a highly established location with top tier facilities that you can depend on. The last thing you want is your data in jeopardy because the facility you have chosen cannot maintain a certain standard.
Choose a reliable and well-rounded supplier – similarly to the above, make sure you have a reliable supplier that not only offers maintainability, but flexibility also. The last thing you want is a stubborn and rigid supplier that cannot keep up with or refuses your demands (as long as they are within reason). Data centres are constantly and rapidly evolving, so make sure that your supplier is aware of the pace.
Choose a financially stable provider – check your supplier’s track record and prospects. The last thing you want is for your supplier to quite literally pull the plug on your data centre due to problems with financing. Do your research and make sure they are prepared for the future as much as you are.
Consider security – make sure your supplier has top tier security systems. If they are dependant on keeping your data centre 'securely' behind a wooden door with a padlock from B&Q – they are probably not the supplier for you. Data is an invaluable asset to any business; therefore, security should be the top priority when seeking a colo.
Power protection and UPS systems – linking back to reliability and maintainability – make sure that the colo you choose is kitted out with a powerful and reliable UPS with a high amount of back up power. You don’t want a UPS that can only act as a failsafe for 1 minute.
Look into the provider’s prospects – as already touched upon, make sure your provider has a fool proof future plan. If you’re looking to invest in a colo – make sure there is longevity in your agreement. The last thing you want is to complete a large colo project, for the supplier to tell suddenly tell you that they are moving to Alaska in 2 weeks. Make sure you know that your supplier has a 1,3 and 5-year plan that matches your demands.
Know who else they deal with – Finally, make sure you have access to a track record of your potential supplier. Finding a colo is a large investment of both time and money, so if you have the opportunity, ask around to see if any one you know has history with the supplier, or if they know someone who does before you make your final decision.
Ultimately, finding a suitable colo for your business shouldn’t be something taken lightly. Make sure you are relentless in paying attention to detail when finding the perfect facility for your data centre. Don’t look for the bargain, look for the premium – as the bargain is likely to cost more than what the premium ever would in both money and stress if things go wrong.