When choosing a data center provider it is important to consider all the factors that lead to reliability and cost that ultimately affect the selection. It is important to look for providers that are comfortable with change and growth as technology is changing every 3 to 5 years. There are several key factors to consider when making your data center selection:
Location of the provider’s data center. Obvious things to consider are environmental factors. Is the data center in a flood plain, is there risk of tornado, and are hurricanes a threat? Ideally the location would be free of these risks. Even better does the provider have multiple data center locations that might allow for disaster recovery/high availability that is geographically separate?
Cost per kWh from the local utility company is the cost to run your equipment. After location this is probably the most important factor. Data center providers pass this cost on to the customer and then charge the customer for the redundant backup features like UPS and Generators. Looking for low cost and also utility providers that use renewable energy sources such as wind and solar are important factors.
Clearly without high speed, highly available telecommunications, the data center wouldn’t matter. When looking for a provider it is important to understand what telecommunications companies have a presence in the data center. If the provider is vendor neutral you can take your pick of the telecommunications company you prefer to work with. Additionally, if the data center provider has multiple locations, confirm they are connected via a fibre backbone.
There are many types of data centers in the industry. Some are retro fit buildings that weren’t designed for the unique requirements of a data center. Look for facilities that were designed from ground up to be a data center. Cooling becomes very important as data centers begin to fill up. Things like raised floors, hot/cold isles make a difference in how efficient a data center can be, thus keeping cost down for you.
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