How to Get the Most from Your Colocation Data Center

Mar 10, 2021 | Colocation, Data Centers

Colocation data centers are an effective way for businesses to reduce capital expense by sharing building infrastructure, physical security, and mechanical equipment. That said, all those experiences aren’t created equally. (Curious on what makes one data center different from another? Here’s a blog we did on what to look for in a reliable colocation data center.) For you to have the best possible experience, there are some things you need to do first.

While colocation data centers are responsible for the data center as a whole, individual tenants are responsible for their deployments and shared spaces activities. Every deployment makes up the larger data center ecosystem, and tenant behavior can affect the ecosystem as a whole. By following best practices, your company can get more out of your data center footprint while contributing to a better data center experience for everyone. It’s this basic idea that informs how our Texas 2 Colocation Data Center works.

Consolidate and virtualize so you know what to expect at your new colocation data center

It’s best to consolidate and virtualize servers before looking for a colocation provider so you have a better idea of how much space you’ll need. While space is one area that is obviously affected, it’s by no means the only thing that you’ll see an improvement. Using a colocation data center, you’ll also see efficiency gains in power usage, so it’s worth noting a baseline for where you’re at now in terms of your power needs.

If you haven’t consolidated your servers, develop a consolidation plan when hardware refreshes come around. It’s also important to revisit this when you’re about six months away from the end of your contract. Consolidation will give you a better idea of how much space and power you will need down the road. It can also help you plan ahead on the data usage you’ll need in the future. It’s important to be aware there is such a thing as over-consolidation, so keep business continuity in mind. Don’t back yourself into a corner with a hundred workloads running on one physical machine with no failover plan. That’s a recipe for disaster.

Keep your space clean

Most colocation data center providers have a strict policy for cleanliness. At our Texas 2 location, we pride ourselves on it. (Curious? Schedule a tour and see for yourself.) The importance of keeping your environment clean can’t be overstated. There are reasons you must keep your deployment clean and free from boxes and packing materials. Lint, dust, and fibers can damage IT equipment over time. These seemingly benign particles can become static-charged and interfere with servers causing data loss, erroneous commands, resets, and other issues. Most importantly, many packing materials are flammable, and therefore should be removed as soon as possible to avoid any sort of tragic mishap. That’s needed, especially if you’re to get the most out of a colocation data center.

In addition to keeping your deployment spotless, it’s important to keep common areas clean. Break rooms, conference rooms, presentation rooms, hallways, and shared workspaces are benefits for all tenants to use. Treat the shared areas of a colocation data center as if it were your own office. You wouldn’t want to show one of your best clients around a cluttered office, and so it should be the same with your data center. If you need somewhere to work and stage equipment, let the colocation provider know. We can help. No seriously, our Texas 2 colocation data center has won awards for customer service. We like helping.

Consider airflow management when racking and cabling

Well-thought-out cabling and placement of equipment could have a significant impact on cooling efficiency. Your colocation provider can help you set up equipment with floor tiles, blanking panels, exhaust chimneys, hot aisle/cold aisle containment, and other solutions that will allow you to take advantage of a data hall’s design to make your footprint as efficient as possible.

Know the security policy

ISO, PCI, and HIPAA-compliant data centers will follow strict security policies to ensure that they and their tenants remain in compliance. This is why your colocation provider should be aware of security policies. Our Texas 2 data center is built with security in mind. Eight layers of security are just the start. Want to know more? We’d love to chat.

Keep up with notifications from your provider, as you can miss important notices about security policy changes or important questions about access to your deployment. Be sure to keep your list of contacts permitted to enter your space up to date. Security maintains a list of these contacts for each data center. If your employee or contractor is not on your list, they will not be permitted to enter the facility. In most cases, a new contact can be added or removed immediately, but check with your provider to be sure. Security policies and procedures may seem inconvenient at times, but remember, this is what keeps your equipment and your data safe, and it’s why you’re paying for a colocation data center in the first place.

Take advantage of your little-known colocation data center services

If you don’t have cabling and infrastructure experts on your team, it would be wise to leverage your colocation provider if they offer these services. Having an optimally cabled deployment provides greater efficiency in cooling and networking. Rather than manage multiple vendors, you may be able to leverage multiple solutions through your colocation provider including networking, cloud services, network security, and remote hands.

We walk through any potential clients for our Texas 2 Center by providing them an audit to see where their system is at now — and plan ahead on where they need to go next. If your colocation data center isn’t doing that — then you need to start asking questions on why they aren’t.

Read your contract with your colocation data center

Most colocation contracts are set for 36 months, so you’ll want to make sure your company is aware of and comfortable with all aspects of the contract. Make sure the SLAs meet your company’s standards for availability. Know when your contract comes up for renewal so you can plan accordingly. Re-evaluate your business goals and the IT requirements necessary to meet them months before your contract is up. Your colocation data center should be upfront and honest about how these terms work. It’s how we do things at our Texas 2 location, so you know we practice what we preach. Interested to learn more? We’re always willing to show you around or talk out our process. We love talking shop.

Schedule a tour or get a quote.