Many companies realize the importance of having a dedicated space where they can keep and operate most of the company’s ICT infrastructure. The relocation or migration of a company’s data center is a massive responsibility, and one that requires careful thought and planning. The data center solutions market is saturated with so many players that the IT manager of any company may have a hard time choosing the right service provider. This post will give 5 simple steps to ensure companies choose the right data center for their business.
Research the Threats Associated with the Data Center Before Making a Final Decision
The selected host should be able to facilitate not just the adequate storage of the data, but the company’s IT team should be able to carry out their operation in a seamless manner. This includes the management and dissemination of the company’s data and information.
Conducting research, and taking some time to learn and understand the natural and man made threats that will come with the data center locations under consideration can greatly minimize any risk to the company. You can use the information provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on natural disasters to aid your research. The information provided by the agency lists the disasters by state and year, going all the way back to 1953. It is advised that IT managers use the information to determine the nature of weather stability in the location they plan to use as their data center. The frequency and the severity of natural disasters in that area can have a great impact on your operations. You do not want to store the company’s critical data in an area that is susceptible to states of emergency and natural disasters. Opt instead for centers in that are located in areas that are less likely to experience shutdowns or other events that can lead to loss of data. These locations can prove to be costly for smaller companies.
For man-made threats, you want to research the likelihood of having to deal with the effects of accidents such as chemical spills, plane crashes, acts of terrorism and civil unrest among others. The U.S. Department of Transportation supplies a wealth of information on the history of such occurrences. It is harder to research and predict international treats such as terrorism and sabotage, so it may be best to meet with the risk management professionals of the company to discuss related issues.
Get Information on the Leasing or Licensing of the Space
As with all business transactions – read any documents carefully before making a final decision. Some data center locations may have a clause in the agreement that gives them the right to revoke the use of its space at will. It is best to get a lease, as that will allow you to have more legal rights to the property, and remove the uncertainty that you could lose the space unexpectedly. You also want to check the service level agreement (SLA) for certain clauses that will work in your favor if the data center becomes a non-performer. If you are entering a contract, look for the inclusion of an out clause for non-performance, and also one that commits the data center to providing reimbursement or a reduction in charges in the event of them not performing up to standards.
Find Out the Tier of Services Offered by the Company
The tier of a data center signifies its reliability and how it is equipped. The services they offer are divided into four tiers. The tier you select will be influenced by your company’s needs, size and budget. Tier 4, for example, is a full-service data center and comes equipped with reliable server access, cooling systems and compartmentalized security.
How Will they Deal with Security Risks?
You will be placing your company’s sensitive information in the hands of a data center for safekeeping. If this information is compromised and gets into the wrong hands, it could spell disaster for your business. The data center you select should have safeguard measures and backups to deal with the any incidents of cyber threats. Hackers and malware issues pose a real threat to a business’ sensitive data, as they could access and infect the data center through cloud computing or shared networks.
Find Out about Connectivity Limits
Geographic areas that pose a challenge to the range of connectivity you will have to networks should be avoided. You need to be connected 24/7 and be able to access the network you need when you need it. Limited connectivity may make it difficult for you to access a network, and that will affect your ability to function as you should. A data center that is built close to a communications hub is ideal because there is no limit on the number of network options available to you. This will play to your advantage, as there will be more competition among the network providers, and this generally leads to increased efficiency and lower costs.
It is also important that the company you choose to do business with is one that provides good customer service, and speedy technical support when needed. Try to speak with the management of the data center as well, and definitely avoid companies where management is inaccessible or uncooperative.
Ted Romberg is a data security consultant. His articles mainly appear on digital security blogs. Visit onr.com for more data solution ideas.