5 factors to consider when choosing a data centre provider

1 Mar 2017

Image: Sergio Foto/Shutterstock

Interxion MD Tanya Duncan talks through five key considerations that business leaders should take into account when evaluating data centre services.

Data centres contain some of your company’s most valuable assets, and selecting a data centre or co-location provider is a big decision for your business.

Before you make a selection, there are a number of factors you should take into account. This list isn’t intended to be the definitive list of questions for every business, but it does provide a good starting point for an organisation reviewing their data management.

‘You want your provider to be able to meet your needs now and for at least several years following your selection’

1. Location

Location is one of the most important factors involved when selecting a data centre, for several reasons.

The first thing to take into consideration is how easily someone from your company can get to the data centre to carry out routine maintenance or upgrade your equipment. Then ask, does your data centre have onsite technical support services and how quickly can they be deployed?

Secondly, how is your data centre powered and is this in line with your own energy policy? Find out what steps your provider has taken to reduce their carbon footprint and ask about areas such as energy sources, sustainable design and location-specific steps taken for improvements.

Finally, enquire about access to markets beyond your domestic market. How easy is it to access global markets from your data centre provider’s location? This is an important consideration for extending your reach into new domestic, regional and international markets.

2. Flexibility

As your business grows, so too does the amount of data you create and your need to store it in a data centre. You want your provider to be able to meet your needs now and for at least several years following your selection. How quickly can they scale your space and, within your contract, what can you expect from them from a service-level agreement point of view?

3. Security

It is important to recognise that moving to a co-located data centre alters an organisation’s IT delivery risk profile and, as such, security is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing the right data centre provider.

What layers of security does the data centre have and what are their security policies? Is this in line with your own policies and do they meet industry standards in terms of storage management?

Tanya Duncan, Interxion

Tanya Duncan, managing director, Interxion. Image: Interxion

4. Reliability

Reliability is another important factor to consider when choosing a data centre provider, and is measured as uptime in the world of data centres.

Within your data centre provider, the availability of space or power as you grow is an important consideration because you do not want to lose your data or have a power outage at a mission-critical time. For any organisation looking to find a new data management partner, ensuring they are credible and consistent is a must.

5. Customer service

The final important factor to consider is to select a data centre provider with a responsive and dedicated customer service team, because issues can arise and you need a provider that is available to you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

By Tanya Duncan

Tanya Duncan joined Interxion in 2001, where she held a number of positions before becoming managing director in 2005. With almost 20 years in the ICT industry, Duncan began her career in the telecoms sector and has extensive experience in the management of complex customer environments, capital-intensive projects and strategic business development.