How to Pick the Right Data Center For Your Business

{authorName}

Lucy MitchellContent Manager at Current.com.au

Friday, September 9, 2022

A data center is the beating heart of any business - your business depends on your data center being reliable and up-and-running at all times. So, when it comes to choosing the right data center, there are many important factors you need to consider.

Article 6 Minutes
How to Pick the Right Data Center For Your Business

For example, whether to go for a one-size-fits all hosting facility or a custom-built data center designed specifically for your business.

In this article, we'll explore some of the key considerations you need to bear in mind when picking a data center for your business.

1. Hosting service or colocation

The first question you need to ask yourself is whether you want a managed hosting service or a colocation facility.

There are pros and cons for each. Managed hosting services are usually more expensive but offer a higher level of support. Colocation facilities, on the other hand, are often more affordable but you'll need to provide your own support.

So, which is right for you? It really depends on your budget, expertise, and needs. For example, if you have the budget and don't want the hassle of managing a data center yourself, then managed hosting could be the way to go.

But if you're looking for a more cost-effective solution, or you have the in-house expertise to manage your data center, then colocation could be a better option.

Some more advantages of opting for a colocation service include:

  • It gives you complete control to customize your data center, which means you can tweak every single detail to make it just perfect for you. For example, you can choose to cool your data center through a CRAC system rather than a typical AC system. This will result in better air filtration, higher airflow, and better humidity control.  
  • You're not locked into a long-term contract like you would be with a managed hosting service. This will give you the flexibility to scale up or down as your needs change.

You can check out this Macquarie Data Centers colocation price guide to get an accurate estimate of what a colocation service would cost you.

2. Reliable power supply

Power is one of the most important considerations when choosing a data center. After all, your business can't run without it.

When it comes to power, you need to make sure that the data center has a reliable and robust power supply. The last thing you want is for your data center to go offline because of a power outage. Remember, your data center going offline can be really costly!

Ideally, you should look for a data center that has multiple power feeds from different utility providers. This way, if one feed goes down, the other can keep the data center running.

Another important consideration is the type of power backup system the data center has in place. There are two main types of emergency power backup systems: diesel generators and UPS (uninterruptible power supply).

You can also look for a data center that is already fitted with Power Distribution Units (PDUs). PDUs help to evenly distribute the power load, which can improve the overall efficiency of your data center.

3. Connectivity 

There are a few things you need to bear in mind when it comes to connectivity.

First, you need to make sure your data center has enough bandwidth to support your business' needs. This is really important. According to SWEOR, slow-loading websites cost retailers $2.6 billion in lost sales every year!

You can avoid data center bandwidth issues by making sure that your bandwidth is more than enough for your needs.

The second connectivity consideration is latency. You need to make sure that the data center you're considering has low latency.

If your data center has high latency, it can lead to a number of problems, including:

  • Slow loading times
  • Poor video quality
  • Poor VoIP quality

Finally, you also need to consider redundancy. Some of your prospective data center’s redundancies might be totally unnecessary. If you find such redundant servers, don't get rid of them.

Instead, consider splitting functions between them. For example, you can use one for storage and the other for processing. This way, even if one server fails, the other can still keep things running smoothly.

4. Security

Another key consideration is security. Your data center needs to be secure both physically and digitally.

This may sound like a no-brainer but when it comes to physical security, you need to make sure the data center has measures in place to deter and detect intruders. This could include things like CCTV, access control, and 24/hour security guards.

Digital security is also important. Your data center should have robust firewalls and enterprise-grade DDoS protection in place to protect your data from cyber-attacks.

Having a data center proxy in place will add another layer of security to your data center. These proxy servers will act as a go-between for your data center and the internet, filtering out any malicious traffic.

Finally, it’s a good idea to think about who will have access to your data center. You should give access to only the people who absolutely need it, and make sure you have a process in place for managing user permissions.

Why is this important? Well, a study by IBM revealed that human error is the main cause of 95% of security breaches out there. When you restrict human access to your data center, you automatically reduce the risk of a security breach.

5. Location

The location of your data center is also important. Ideally, you want to choose a data center that's physically close to your target market. This way, you'll reduce the number of networks the data passes to reach the visitor on your website. And this will ultimately increase the speed of your website by increasing your latency.

You will also need to consider the climate. The temperature and humidity levels in the data center need to be carefully controlled to prevent problems with your equipment.

For class A1 data centers, ASHRAE recommends a temperature between 15 and 32 degrees celsius at 20-80% relative humidity.

So, by looking for a data center in a relatively cooler locality (to avoid the need for extra cooling), you can further reduce your operating costs.

Some data centers are even located underground, which can help keep things cool and protect them from extreme weather conditions. 

6. Expansion capability

Your data center needs to be able to accommodate your future growth. That’s why you need to make sure that the data center you're considering has enough space to house your future server requirements.

Does the data center have enough storage space to accommodate your future needs? And what kind of growth are they expecting in the coming years?

You should also consider space for any technical upgrades you're planning to do.  For example, if you're planning to upgrade your network infrastructure by installing Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS), make sure that the data center has enough space to accommodate the new equipment.

And finally, you need to make sure that the data center can physically expand. This means that they should have enough land to build new data halls as and when required.

7. Customer service

Last but not the least, you need to consider customer service when choosing a data center. The data center provider you choose should have a team of experienced and knowledgeable engineers who are always available to help you with any problems you might have.

You can do this by ensuring that the data center provider has a good reputation (by reading online reviews or asking for recommendations from people you trust).

Lucy Mitchell

Content Manager at Current.com.au

current.com.au

Lucy is the content manager at Current.com.au. From Sydney, Australia, Lucy specialises in tech and finance writing. She loves staying up to date with industry news so she can bring well researched, timely and accurate information to her readers.

Comments

Join the conversation...