scalable data centerWhen evaluating colocation services, choosing a scalable data center that can support your expanding business infrastructure should be one of your most important criteria. But since most of us can’t predict the future, how do we prepare for the colocation needs we’ll have several years from now?

Even without a crystal ball, we know one thing is certain about tomorrow’s data centers: they will require more power. While servers and storage devices may be getting physically smaller, the amount of power they need is actually increasing. As more businesses incorporate big data and online analytics into their corporate strategy, the infrastructure to support this will require more power in a few years than it does today. Across our Internap data centers, power draw has increased 40% in the past two years alone.

How can you be sure a colocation provider can meet the growing power demands of your business? Here are three factors to look for when evaluating scalable data centers.

High power density
Choosing a data center designed for high power density is key to ensuring scalability for your colocation footprint. High-density facilities allow you to add more power on demand, including additional circuits to support your growth. Without the ability to add more power circuits to an installed footprint or access additional power, you will likely need to migrate your infrastructure to a different facility in the future.

Sustainable data center design
While the term “green” data center was once used to describe facilities with lower environmental impact, this concept has been further quantified by third-party organizations to give buyers detailed information on data center energy usage and sustainable design techniques. Certifications such as Green Globes®, LEED and ENERGY STAR provide criteria for colocation customers who are comparing data center efficiency.

Efficient power usage
Data centers designed to efficiently use power will ultimately offer the most cost-efficient option. With the rise in power usage, efficient cooling methods are becoming more important to maintain reasonable temperatures. Look for facilities with energy-efficient Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) units and even the ability to use outside air exchangers in cooler climates. Data center efficiency can lead to economical operating costs which can reduce your long-term investment.

To learn more, download Colocation: The Essential Buyer’s Guide.