Choosing the right data center is crucial. These centers are designed to store critical data for corporations of all sizes and industries. As a result, information is protected not just from hackers but also from power outages and other disasters.
What Is a Data Center?
A data center is designed to keep stored data safe. Within a full-blown data center or collocation site are various sections. These centers boast precise temperature settings, very specific fire suppression systems, redundancy, locked Web server cages, POP rooms where the heart of technology resides, underground fiber cables, on-site 24×7 security guards, surveillance cameras, complex alarm systems, and more.
With everything in place, threats from outsiders and hackers are thwarted. Breaching a server is nearly impossible, but as mentioned, these centers also provide protection from accidents and natural disasters. As an example, if a Web server goes down because of a serious storm, that business owner starts losing significant money immediately. However, having the server stored in a data center offers protection. Because these centers have major redundancy, rarely does an outage occur. If it does, servers are up and running within seconds or less.
Obviously, protecting data and keeping a server up and running are what equate loyal customers and revenue. Therefore, the process of selecting a data center should be taken seriously. After all, the operation of a successful business depends on a reliable and stable IT infrastructure. In addition to the information provided below, an abundance of information pertaining to data centers is provided by Data Center Knowledge.
- Location – The main priority of a data center is to keep the facility up and running with little to no downtime and low operating costs. When looking at your options, the best center will be in a location deemed low risk for natural disasters as well as a rich business climate, lots of technology talent, and low risk of terror acts. A data center or collocation site does not have to be in the same city or even state as the business in order to provide optimal protection.
- Security – As mentioned, there are many different types and levels of security associated with a data center. In addition to the exterior of the facility being secure with guard access, strong outer fence, and solutions that monitor the perimeter for any intrusion, the interior needs to be loaded with security features, such as an on-site guard, biometric measures, keyed areas throughout, mantraps with interlocking doors, and so on.
- Redundancy – It is also critical to choose a data center that provides redundancy on all utilities, including electricity, gas, water, and network. Any center being considered should offer independent, scalable, reliable, and resilient power to the facility.
- Reliability – It is imperative to choose a data center that provides 100 percent reliability so any points of failure are eliminated. Based on high-tech electrical, power, and cooling capabilities, the center should have a proven record of operating seamlessly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
- Network – The number of carrier options and network availability are also critical considerations when searching for the best data center. This allows high levels of network redundancy, optimized traffic, and (with a network provider) better contract negotiations.
- Scalability – Something that some businesses overlook when considering a data center is potential growth. Any center should have the ability to grow with the customer’s current needs and scale for changes in the future.
- Staff – The right data center will be staffed by highly trained, experienced, and dedicated staff members. Unfortunately, reports show that about 50 percent of data centers located in the United States remain understaffed or staffed by under-skilled workers. To accommodate, many data centers have turned to a remote hands type of service, which allows customers to depend on personnel not physically on-site.
- Ownership – One final consideration when choosing the right data center is the owner. The goal is to go with a center owned by a corporation that is invested for the long haul, as opposed to someone looking to make upgrades, sell, and walk away with a profit. For instance, Sprint has several upscale data centers located throughout the country.