An alternative view on what companies should look for in a Data Centre partner.
There have always been a number of points to think about when migrating your infrastructure to the Data Centre. Security, location, availability and connectivity are usually drivers to migrate in the first place, but let’s face it – if you are moving the crown jewels, you will only choose a Data Centre that ticks those boxes to help you sleep at night!
Let’s assume your Data Centre needs to be a Tier 3 facility with all the trappings that comes with this. You have your power and cooling capacity with redundancies; the facility security and fire detection / suppression systems boxes are ticked, and the Data Centre is in the right place. So, what other areas should you be considering before signing up to a partner?
1. Managed Support Services
Most Data Centres provide some level of support services including remote hands and eyes, but do you need more than this? Is it an advantage to have trusted IT staff, fully trained and certified, based on site? Do you need 24/7 active monitoring of your solution, and should that monitoring go beyond the hardware level? If so, you need to know that your provider can provide the levels of support you want, including true OS and application monitoring and remediation services – and that they have the right people, on-site, 24x7x365.
2.Managed Network Services
One of the main drivers for migration to the Data Centre is the ability to link up with the right carriers to guarantee availability of services. Of course, no single carrier can deliver 100% uptime, so if your application needs five nines, a provider that can deliver a managed (and 24/7 monitored) network comprised of multiple carrier networks, over multiple routes, is a big advantage. Make sure to ask your potential providers about their services and how they are delivered.
If you have a significant infrastructural implementation, it may mean that you will have IT professionals spending days at a time in the Data Centre. Knowing that your provider can provide amenities such as alternative working areas (where food and drink are permitted), office space, fresh coffee and tea facilities and local cafes etc. can be a big plus for your staff.
Sometimes your solution requires something a little different from a simple cabinet or line of cabinets with a given amount of power provided to them. Sometimes you may require levels of adaptation around higher power units, custom cooling systems and airflows or open cabinets in private suites. You may have a security requirement where you need private local closed circuit camera installations. Make sure that your provider demonstrates the flexibility, not only to cater for your current solution, but also for potential customisations that may come down the line.
5. Green Energy
This may or may not be a consideration for your business, but its impact affects us all, so it’s worth checking out how your potential Data Centre partner powers its facility. When all else is equal, choosing a Data Centre that can demonstrate that it is powered by 100% renewable energy will give you the comfort that you are doing the right thing for the environment we all share.