A colocation hosting provider is not hard to find when you know the features you should be looking for. Colocation solutions are found to be preferable for smaller businesses because they help to cut down on your capital and operational costs. Maintaining on-site data centers turns out to be quite a costly proposition for most businesses. But, when you can get a colocation provider, you can focus on your core business rather than managing and securing your servers. With colocation, you get to enjoy a higher degree of flexibility and you can get access to additional resources as and when the need arises.
Things to look for when choosing a colocation hosting provider:
When choosing a colocation provider, you need to choose one which can offer you power supplies to support both the existing future technologies. Power density is on the rise as more and more technologies are coming to the surface. Many clients need as much as 10kW for their cabinets but not all providers have the capacity to offer this. Incidentally, many of these data center facilities had been established prior to the technology boom and they do not have provisions to offer more than 4kW for each cabinet. So, high-density environments can only be supported by companies which can offer you additional space, power and cooling systems.
Another important point to consider when choosing a colocation host is its Service Level Agreement. You should understand the terms of this agreement well before signing up for it. You should engage in discussions with the vendors to know what you will be entitled to in the package.
When choosing colocation hosts, your job is to identify those which have multiple telecommunication partners. When you get a facility which is carrier neutral, you can choose from a variety of providers. Moreover, you can also get the benefits of competitive pricing because of the prevalence of multiple carriers.
Just because the facility is big does not indicate it is better. When you can enjoy efficiency even in a limited floor area, you can successfully lower your operational costs.
The location of the data center is of utmost importance when choosing a colocation provider. You need to decide how far you can stay away from the data center. When the distance is too great, you may have to bear huge transportation costs to send your men or materials to the facility for conducting upgrades and repairs. Likewise, you need to make sure that the facility is not in a region which is prone to floods or earthquakes and other disasters. Selecting a data center nearer to your business facility makes sense because disaster recovery is faster in that case.
When you choose a colocation provider, you have a duty to check for the physical security measures in the facility. There should ideally be many levels of security both within and outside the facility to protect data from unauthorized access. So, before signing up for colocation, you must find out what areas are covered by security cameras; whether there are sufficient security arrangements to stop hackers from stealing data.
When you find a colocation host, you must check to see whether the cooling systems, power supplies and networking systems are superior to what you have in your private data center. Only then can you be sure the host will keep your site up and running even during outages. Besides, colocation providers should also have the knowhow to help their clients with testing of their DR solutions.
While you will come across many providers who claim to offer the highest uptime guarantees, you need to check their Tier classifications and certifications. The facility should ideally be SSAE16-complaint and the host should also be willing to provide audits for no extra costs.
Given the fact that technologies evolve rapidly, it is very important for your colocation host to offer scalable solutions. Your job is to find a provider which will let you expand seamlessly and offer you additional power or space as the needs may be.
Finally, you must check for the prices of hosting plans before you sign up for these. To see if the prices are worthwhile, you need to assess whether your business is actually benefitting from colocation or not. Power is typically the biggest cost in any data center and you must realize that costs for power supplies will also depend on multiple factors. The provider’s charges will depend on power source, regulatory environment, size of the data center etc. The final prices will also have to cover labor costs, real estate prices and construction costs. Since such costs also vary from region to region, businesses in different parts of a country are likely to have different colocation charges. High redundancy levels automatically imply higher prices.
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