I think it would be fair to say that many businesses that choose colocation generally have the staff, skills and IT to setup and look after their own environments, the difficulty is that on-premise facilities are typically restricted, either by budget or capacity. As the demands of big data become greater and compliance becomes more important than ever, organisations need to look elsewhere for long-term support.
Unfortunately, not all colocation facilities are created equal. The cost of the service is often looked at as the ultimate deciding factor, but this is very short-sighted. You need to drill down on what’s provided, what underpins the service being offered and consider all your options that support both your current and your future business plans. Will it scale as your business evolves?
We’ve created a list of 10 questions that we consider to be the most important for you to ask your existing partner as part of your next review or for potential new partners as part of your RFQ process when putting new business out to tender. I’m only going to cover 5 of the questions in this blog but you can read the full list in our guide – What to Demand from Your Colocation Provider.
What staging facilities are available?
To reduce the risk of making changes in the live environment it is extremely beneficial to have a staging area where you can build, develop and configure solutions offline.
What security measures have been put in place?
It’s not just all about online security, you must consider the physical security of the site’s location. Ask questions about things like CCTV, access control and even better look for a provider that operates to a specific standard such as ISO27001.
What are the network and connectivity options?
Two considerations here: Firstly, you want to minimise any single point of failure, so having resilient port availability to the rack and dual network connectivity to the server is key. Secondly, what are the connectivity options to the data centre itself? Selecting a data centre provider that is also a networking provider is a great value add, often offering different options for connectivity that will deliver the best price/performance.
Is it a futureproofed solution?
Your journey to the cloud is made simpler and risk is reduced if your colocation provider also offers Infrastructure-as-a-Service and Virtual Data Centre services. This will enable you to scale your colocation environment into a fully managed virtual cloud either retaining a private environment or as a hybrid environment utilising the rapid flexibility of public cloud services.
How will you work together?
This may, in fact, be the most important question. Is the partner in question simply offering a facility, or will they be a true partner? If you value expertise, advice and support around your cloud strategy then you should look for someone who will take the time to understand your business needs, someone that can add value to your business thinking and truly become part of your IT operations team.
If you would like to pick our brains on your options for colocation or want to explore one or more of the points raised above, please get in touch or give the amatis networks team a call on 0118 321 9944.
And remember, for further information you can read the full guide – What to Demand from Your Colocation Provider.