Turning to a colocation provider is often a decision made after an extended period of deliberation in which companies realize they can save substantial amounts of money by purchasing hardware and renting space in a third-party facility. However, a recent Data Center Knowledge report said making the transition from having decided on colocation to choosing the right vendor can be challenging.
To overcome this difficulty, the news source explained that companies should consider many of the tangible elements of the facility that will host their servers. While cost and supplementary details of the colocation plan are important, the actual building also plays an integral role in the success of any strategy.
When touring a prospective colocation facility, the news source said water should be a major focus. To begin, check out all of the pipes around the data center. Most facilities will have plenty of water pipes running through the facility to handle fire-suppression, cooling and similar functions. If these pipes seem leaky or unstable, it could be a sign that your servers and other hardware will be at risk. It is also important to evaluate the quality of water at the data center, as the news source said illness among engineers is often caused by bad water provided by the local system. If you are outsourcing to a colocation provider, having to equip your technicians with bottled water everyday can become tiresome.
Housekeeping also needs to be considered, the report said, because the attention to detail in everything from keeping the parking lot clean to maintaining neat cabling infrastructure is a sign that the vendor cares about maintaining its facility as effectively as possible. Organizations also need to consider the availability and reliability of the gas line, as this often serves as the key source of power if the electricity goes out and generators become the primary source of energy.
These tangible concerns are key when seeking a colocation provider, as businesses need to look at the complete picture when outsourcing their data functions. Colocation has the potential to dramatically reduce costs, improve security, ease IT management burdens and improve a company's environmental efficiency. But these gains can be lost if organizations do not choose the right vendor for their requirements, making a holistic approach to provider evaluation a critical consideration.