Data centres offering colocation services are becoming an even bigger business with more and more companies realising the advantages. A recent report by TechNavio forecasted that the data centre colocation market in the UK is to grow at a CAGR of 14.43% in the next five years. In this environment, choosing the right data centre with the best colocation services for your needs is a critical decision.
The last thing you want is to make a choice and then realise six months later that it was the wrong one. There are important factors that you need to consider when making your decision because not all colocation data centres are created equal. So what should you be looking for?
- Connectivity - one of the most important factors to consider is connectivity. You should ask to see a list of carriers but more importantly, look for carriers that actually have a dedicated fibre connection to the building. Also make sure you ask about carrier neutrality. It means the data centre is not aligned with any one carrier bringing connectivity into the data centre, which means that any customer is free to negotiate and contract directly with the carrier of their choice.
- Location - remember the mantra of property gurus: location, location, location. Colocation centres based out of town or in remote areas boast about their superb transport links, connectivity and accessibility but there really is no substitute for a location that is quick and easy to access.
- Power - for many this vies for importance with connectivity. A data centre should take dual feeds from different substations to provide true resilience. The level of resilience we offer on power supply should serve as a good guide: a diverse 33kV power supply of 9.6MVA, from two independent substations on the national grid (and then our own backup generators).
- Engineering, equipment and design - the best data centres will be fitted out with state of the art equipment and built to the highest standard, and the decision is to select the facility that offers the resilience and quality that meet your needs.
- Security - security should be 24 hours with formal access control procedures and CCTV monitoring in a dedicated control room. There should be no access to the centre without prior notification and if you’re given a pass as a customer it should only allow you access to your floor – nobody else’s. You should also ask about the physical security of the building – for instance, does it have bomb blast protection or is it surrounded by perimeter fencing?
- Flexibility - when you make a decision about a data centre you’re not just looking at what you are getting there and then, you need to know how the operator’s services can change to support your growth strategy over the next five to ten years.
There are enormous benefits to be had by locating within a state of the art colocation data centre. Ask as many searching questions as you like, any reputable operator will understand and take time to respond to your needs. For more information on how to choose the right data centre for your business, download our “10 questions to ask when choosing the right data centre” eBook using the button below.