The Red Flags of Selecting a Colocation Provider

Mar 6, 2013 | Data Centers, Insights

Colocation providers are eager to help you make the right choice in selecting a data center (hint – we all believe our data center is the right choice). Most colocation providers will supply you with a checklist to make sure you understand all of the features we think you should evaluate in order to make an informed decision. This is good stuff and actually quite useful!

In the end we are all trying to make sure your IT infrastructure will have a happy home in our data center. It’s like when your child leaves home for college; you want to make sure he/she will have everything needed to thrive – from a safe and secure roof over their head to a reasonable diet to roommates they can trust. We essentially want the same thing for your IT infrastructure while it is under our roof.

Let’s examine some potential red flags for selecting a colocation provider:

  • The Tour: Would you send your child to a college that you didn’t visit first? Putting your IT infrastructure in a data center without first seeing it is very similar. Red flag if your company is considering a data center that no one in your organization has visited.
  • 24x7x365: Make sure it really means 24x7x365. Some data centers require appointments in order for you to visit your IT infrastructure, especially if you want to do this after hours. By the way, most of your work is likely to be done after hours so this could be a major red flag. Data centers like this, known as “dark sites” typically have people on-call so when you need to work after hours they send someone in to unlock the doors and turn the lights on. Red flag if the facility doesn’t have on-site staff 24x7x365.
  • Network Services: Performance and availability are of paramount importance to your success so your colocation provider should offer a blended Internet service that provides access to a minimum of four carriers at once. Ideally you’ll want carrier-neutral access to your choice of network carriers in order to have the most flexibility possible. Red flag if your colocation provider is not carrier-neutral.

The Bottom Line: You’ll want to pay attention to the red flags listed above in vetting colocation providers to make sure your IT infrastructure is safe, secure, and provided with the nurturing needed to thrive. If you are betting your business on your IT infrastructure you should use a colocation provider that is as passionate about their business as you are about yours.