The relationship between you and your colocation center is invaluable.
A good relationship means fast and simple access to your data. A bad relationship can actually be a business-killer, particularly if you’re selling a software service, or you’re otherwise dependent on the fastest possible connectivity and uptime.
Of course, budgetary restrictions are always going to be in play and you’re always looking for fair pricing across data center vendors when comparing them. Price is always going to be a big factor.
However, price should never be the determining factor in choosing a colocation center. Instead, focus on these three things.
Location, location, location. The physical and geographic location of a data center remains one of the most important differentiators when sizing up candidates.
You want your data center to be geographically far enough away from you that the same natural disaster or outage won’t impact both you and your data center. This would somewhat defeat the purpose.
It’s also important to remember that certain states are better for operating massive energy-consuming facilities like data centers. For example, Virginia offers both tax incentives to data centers and relatively low commercial energy usage fees. This is what makes the state one of the leading areas for colocation centers.
Of course, any center you speak with is going to promise the highest level of security. Their marketing materials may boast about industry-leading security.
However, at the end of the day, how many barriers are there between your business’ crucial data and would-be hackers? And how is the physical security at the actual siter? What type of security personnel and security cameras are on site? These are things to make note of when taking a tour of a potential site.
The Uptime Institute’s tiered system is still the most trusted and recognized bar for the quality of a data center’s facilities. It’s a stamp of approval that you need to look for and insist on.
There are less costly colocation centers out there that may promise you “Tier 3 quality” or “Tier 4” quality performance, protection, and uptime. That’s a red flag that they haven’t gone through the actual certification process.
This certification process is extensive and costly for a would-be data center. If they haven’t gone through this process, they either can’t afford it or they don’t see the value in it. In either case, you should move on and focus your attention on recognized and accredited facilities. There is simply too much at stake for compromises.
The best possible price is only a good price if you are getting value from the provider. Only judge a colocation center’s price based on how well they stack up in the categories we have explored today. The less expensive site doesn’t hold any value for you if you have to make compromises when it comes to the physical location of the center, the security offered, or their certification.
Remember, when making the business case for each potential colocation site, focus on the value of keeping your data secure and accessible. This is your business’ most valuable asset, and you simply can’t afford to go with the cheapest provider.