Ask the right questions when you choose your data center

By: Pravin P Mohite, CEO at Olive Data Center

 

Pravin P Mohite, CEO at Olive Data Center

Pravin P Mohite, CEO at Olive Data Center

Choosing a new data center is an overwhelming decision. Organizations look for a secure, scalable and available IT infrastructure, all this without increasing the costs and with minimum complexity in networks and systems. So, where do you begin? Asking the right questions is a good way to start as it can save your business significant amount of effort, time and money. There are many elements that come into play; running a robust and secure data network requires constant planning, investment, management and support. Taking a decision to outsource your data center requirements requires a complete understanding of your organization’s cost-benefit value proposition including tangible and intangible benefits, risks and benefits. Analyze, understand and draft out the outsourcing roadmap; Are you doing this for rapid change and acquiring new business lines and newer revenue streams? Or is it to expand internal IT skills to better drive business growth objectives? Once you have your answers, compare potential outsourcing providers and find out various options and models they provide to handle your business operations efficiently.

Here are some guidelines that will assist you asking the right questions and help you turn this decision into an easy process:

Security: Consider the security measures are taken to prevent unauthorized personnel from accessing n include security surveillance, passcode entry to servers and security checkpoints, along with physical security to include multi-factor surveillance. Evaluate the disaster planning in case of intruder penetrations and natural disasters. If your natuyour data. This care of business falls under a regulated industry – like healthcare or BFSI – ask for documentation on security compliance and compare your findings to your industry’s regulations.

Ecosystem: The data center’s environment should be able to support and protect its servers. Get more information like, if they have enough back-up generators, how they intend to maintain all servers at the maximum capacity, if the data servers are adequately spaced to allow for cooling etc. Make sure that you physically go to the data center site to ensure that the facility fits your organization’s needs. A good overall indicator for anyone looking for data center or colocation space is to get an idea of how many providers are present in the geographical area. If you find many providers, it often suggests that the area has good network connectivity and reliable utility services to provide power and water.

Scalability: Ask your potential data center if and how it is prepared to create a scalable solution that will accommodate your company’s growth. You want your provider to be able to meet your needs for a few years from now. Data center providers offer different levels of flexibility as some provide flexibility in the form of customized solutions, while others stick to traditional offerings. Get information on your ability to scale in the future and check what fits your requirement. By foreseeing your future requirements, you won’t hinder your business by choosing a provider that can’t scale with you over time.

Reliability/ Uptime: In the world of data centers, reliability is measured as uptime. A data center must be reliable at least 99.9 per cent of the time. You can look for this information by finding out the provider’s staff certifications, customer feedback, reviews and on-site support. Study your potential data centers and their company histories and identify the ones that have positive reputations, memberships to credible professional organizations, and employ skilled and experienced workforce. Do your research. Also, make sure you select a data center that holds up to their contracts and Service Level Agreements (SLAs). Find out from the provider about maintenance schedules that can impact uptime and access to your services and 3 equipment. Review all the contract conditions and ask how new service requests or unused services are handled once a contract is initiated.

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