Data is the most prized possession in the modern corporate environment. Therefore, you need to pay close attention to how you handle your data’s storage, management, and security. Both big and small companies often employ off-site data centers to store their information. But how can you choose the best option when the stakes are so high?
That’s why you need our in-depth data center selection guide. Below, we’ve laid out the most important things to consider when you join the crowded, competitive, always-evolving data center industry.
What is a data center?
Data centers are safe locations for companies and other entities to store their data and network infrastructure. This helps businesses save money on IT by freeing up space in their main office for other uses.
As cloud computing becomes more commonplace, data centers are gradually becoming less of an afterthought for company owners and their staff. Instead, they’re now integral to daily operations and almost an extension of the corporation.
When choosing the right data center, there is no such thing as one size fits all. Their features range widely, much like those of other IT services. Due to the complexity of the current data center market, it’s more difficult than ever to compare and settle on a single provider.
If you consider the following five factors, you’ll have a far better chance of choosing a provider that contributes to your organization’s present and future success.
Data centers are vulnerable to natural catastrophes and technological issues, which can cause costly downtime. Verify if a power backup system is in place at the data center. Inquire about the company’s protocol after a disaster or extreme weather.
Ensuring the server rooms have enough cooling and ventilation is also important. Inadequate infrastructure is a major contributor to outages. If possible, avoid any data center that guarantees less than 99% uptime.
When evaluating possible data centers, location is crucial. To zero in on the perfect spot, consider the following:
- Are finances a priority? A more distant data center will likely be less expensive. If money is a major factor, it may be best to forego the benefits of doing things locally.
- What kind of wire are you using? The distance between your company and the data center will determine the transfer rate. It’s important to remember that copper wires cause a decline in signal strength. This won’t be a problem if your office already has fiber optic wiring.
- How prone is your region to natural disasters? If you live in a disaster-prone area, choose a data center with a power grid. In the case of a broad power loss, this will reduce the likelihood that both your workplace and your data storage will be unavailable simultaneously.
- How accessible should the data center be? Is maintenance and updating something that your IT staff will need to do? Is there another reason why you need access to your server(s)? If that’s the case, finding a data center in close proximity to your office will save time and money on employee commutes.
According to a study, in 2022, 83% of organizations have had more than one data breach. Never underestimate the destructive potential of a cyberattack or security breach on your company. Software, hardware, and other physical safeguards (locks, cameras, and even on-site security guards) should all work together to keep data safe in a data center.
Reliable backup plans
The best data centers know their weaknesses and take every precaution to protect themselves from the hazards they pose.
As previously mentioned, natural disasters and widespread power cuts are big problems. When the main power goes out, most medium- to large-sized data centers include a centralized uninterruptible power supply (UPS) ready to kick in. Moreover, most have generators kept on the premises just in case. Lastly, check that the building has a reliable fire alarm and suppression system. In the event of a fire, less damage will occur as a result.
Companies evolve over time. Their need for data storage expands accordingly. You need a data storage solution that can adapt to the changing needs of your business. The good news is that contemporary data centers often have inexpensive, quick, and simple scalability solutions available.