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How to Select a Data Center

Data Center: Location
The physical positioning of a colocation data center is one of the first things to consider when choosing to colocate a company server. A successful data center is strategically placed near key connecting points to ensure the best Internet connectivity available. When researching a facility, a company should discuss this with the data center staff. A poor data center location, could cost a company precious time and Internet service were the center to lose its connectivity strength for any reason.

Data Center: Internet Network
When selecting a data center, it is important to choose only a top quality, worldwide, Tier 1 International, fully redundant, OC192 backbone with additional 10 GigE network connections. This type of connection should be linked to hundreds of other Internet networks to provide the best service possible. Data center staff should be able to tell exactly what type of network they offer. Selecting a data center with a top quality network, as well as an excellent physical location, will help ensure the fastest, most continuous Internet connectivity available.

Data Center: Redundant Service
When thinking about redundant service in a data center, there are two things to keep in mind. One is redundancy of Internet connection; the other is a redundant power supply. A colocation data center should offer both. With redundant Internet connectivity, if one connection fails temporarily, traffic can be seamlessly re-routed through another backbone provider. This is another reason why data center location is so important. If that is well established, a redundant connection should not be a problem.

A data center should also provide an uninterruptible power system (UPS). With this type of redundant power supply, a data center can continue service in either normal or abnormal conditions. During normal conditions, the electricity is supplied through the prime electrical source. However, during abnormal conditions, the UPS can serve the load that was intolerable for the prime source. In addition, a colocation data center should offer redundant A/C systems for proper climate control. Such redundancy is imperative in a data center’s list of features.

Data Center: Technical Support and Physical Security
Just as a company would have on-site support for an on-site server, the same level of care is important when choosing a data center. To ensure absolute technical reliability and security for your colocation service, it is imperative that the data center have year-round, 24/7 technical support. In addition, it is important to find out what type of security the facility offers. Building-wide digital surveillance cameras, card key locks at each entrance and exit location along with an access list, and personal locking cabinets (which are much more secure than an open rack in a shared cage), are just a few features to look for when reviewing a data center.


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Data Center Stability
Two important questions to ask when researching a data center are: 1.) How long has the facility been in business? and 2.) Is the clientele list impressive?  A facility’s longevity gives clues as to its experience and stability in the industry. Because the economy is a fluid factor, finding a data center that has withstood the test of time speaks volumes. Not only that, but finding a colocation data center that has been profitable over the years means it has satisfied its customers. An impressive client list, in addition to many years in the industry, equals stability.

Data Center: Hidden Fees
Most data centers offer the basic features of location, redundant service, a strong network backbone, and 24/7 technical support and security. But there are some elements that aren’t always created equal.  Look for these free features:

  • Remote Hands – often means a faster and more responsive data center
  • Cross Connects – ideally up to 10, cat 5 cross connects per customer cabinet included in the set up
  • IP Addresses – anything but free is a sign that the data center is struggling financially
  • Power – a data center should be a total package, without hidden fees