It has been estimated that there are over 400 providers of colocation services, often referred to as “colo” for short. The colocation concept has really taken off because of the numerous benefits they provide. Colocation services are usually able to cater to a wide range of needs, providing cabinet, cage and dedicated services for small to large businesses.
There are numerous data centers in Texas and across the US
I was recently asked by an Austin based enterprise owner if there were some good options to choose from regarding Austin data centers. The good news is that there are numerous Texas Colo services located in that area. Choosing a data center in Austin Texas or anywhere for that matter is a big decision. Despite the desired geographical location that you are interested in, there are some critical questions that need to be asked before an intelligent decision can be made on which service provider to use.
Make the right choice the first time
Since these questions pertain to data centers in general, this information may be helpful to any company shopping for a colo service. Your IT infrastructure is a significant asset for your enterprise. Changing your data center provider is expensive and time consuming, so identifying the right data center partner is very important.
On the surface data centers appear to be the same
Unfortunately, many of the different competing data centers don’t make it very easy for you to differentiate between them. Most of them claim they are “secure” and “highly available.” All of them show you their generator farms and their battery quarters and they show you their security vestibules protected by bullet proof glass. On the surface, there don’t appear to be too many differences between vendors.
Not all data center providers provide the same quality of service
The truth is that there can be significant differences between competing data centers. If you fail to recognize them it can cost you more in the long run than the savings you might enjoy by choosing a low-cost provider. I’ve listed a few questions you should ask data centers as you evaluate the different ones and make comparisons. Hopefully you will find this list helpful and thought provoking:
Potential questions to ask
- Which of the various components within the data center facility are fault tolerant and also concurrently maintainable?
- How are the different cooling zones within the data center provisioned to maintain consistent and appropriate operating temperatures during maintenance and failures of the CRAC/CRAH units?
- What research has been done to identify the highest risk natural disasters for the geographical area the center is located in? What has the facility done to mitigate the effects of those disasters in the event they take place?
- What is the minimum skill set of the remote hands and eyes personnel?
- Does the data center maintain numerous redundant sources of fuel and water? If so, where are they?
- How does the data center record and track SLA compliance, and what is their track record? Ask to review their failure reports?
- Ask for references from at least five of their clients and ask who their top three clients are.
As you can see, asking good questions will allow you to see under the surface. Another consideration is their financial stability. Find out what percentage of their revenue their top three clients represent. By asking good questions, you will be able to identify the best colo data center in your area.
image via OLIS Computer Consultants