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How to Choose the Right Colocation Data Center

Use this Data-Center RFP Template Choosing a data center is a big decision for a business. The colocation data center you pick will be storing and maintaining the mission-critical infrastructure on which your business depends. Analyzing Your Needs Before beginning the selection process, take a moment to think about your needs. Consider your current requirements and the amount and types of data you expect to handle in the future. Develop a firm understanding of how you want to store data and whether you need to replicate, back up or archive it. You should also take a good look at your growth plan. You will need to make sure that any data center you work with can accommodate your extra space needs, and that they offer enough power to adapt and evolve as your business grows. Here are some of the biggest things you should take into account when choosing the right colo data center for your business. Reliability and Redundancy Reliability and redundancy are probably the two most important aspects of a colocation data center. They go hand in hand. The right colocation data center for enterprise-level businesses will offer at least 99.999% uptime and the availability of a 100% uptime service-level agreement. It should be backed 24/7 year-round by a network operations center that continuously monitors operations. To maintain optimal uptimes, a colocation data center needs to have robust redundancy. This will include fault-tolerant infrastructures and redundant power feeds. There should be backup power systems, including an on-site generator and transfer switch, and multiple power sources to each equipment rack that can be switched in case of a failure. Connectivity Colo data centers should connect to multiple carriers. Look for a carrier-neutral facility that gives your business access to multiple enterprise-grade carriers and dedicated bandwidth options up to 100 GB. In-House Remote Hands Besides 24/7 year-round monitoring, a colocation data center should provide technicians on-site to manage operations. The best data centers offer in-house remote hands service, which means that the facility is staffed by employees who work for the company instead of contractors or third-party providers. During a failure or disaster, you want assurance that the engineers working on solving your problem are working for you. Security Virtual security and physical security are both important when using off-site data centers for your business. This means proactive security measures to manage traffic, prevent unauthorized access and repel hacking attempts. The physical facility should also be secure, with 24/7 year-round monitoring, biometric secure site access and private access cage availability. Businesses should also consider requirements for compliance and auditing concerns. Look for a Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) 18-audited facility that is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliant, and has Service Organization Control (SOC) 1 and SOC 2 certification. SOC 1 facility reports will be accepted by auditors and regulators as displaying the proper controls for financial reporting. SOC 2 reports cover additional controls, such as privacy and security, for risk management. High-Density Environments A large amount of floor space does not necessarily mean a better data center. High-density environments are capable of fitting more equipment in a smaller footprint, which can reduce your operating costs. Flexibility and Scalability One of the big advantages of a colocation data center is that you are only paying for what you need. Whether you need a data hall, private cage or multiple racks, you can get what you need now with the flexibility to scale rapidly as your business evolves. Customer Service When there is an issue, you deserve stellar customer service. You should be able to reach someone at any time of day or night. If possible, find a colo data center with a local or regional customer care center. In an emergency, you do not want to be talking to someone halfway across the country or even overseas. Create a Strong Data-Center RFP When evaluating data centers, the request for proposal (RFP) process is critical to make sure you select a data center that will meet your needs. A poorly written RFP could cause you to miss key requirements that are important for your business. Download this free data-center RFP template, which provides a collection of best practices from industry experts, including several of the largest enterprise data-center providers, leading data-center and colocation trade journals, research analysts, data-center managers and enterprise information technology experts. It includes guidelines for businesses to consider when scoping out colo data center requirements and evaluating providers. LOGIX Fiber Networks Colocation Data Centers LOGIX Fiber Networks provides robust, reliable and redundant data centers in Austin, Houston and Dallas. This geographic diversity assures reliability and simplifies disaster recovery. With 300,000 fiber miles of dedicated and owned fiber, LOGIX connects nearly 80+ third-party data centers, 3,000 enterprise buildings and 10,000 demanding Texas businesses. With a flexible and highly reliable infrastructure, robust connectivity options and customized solutions, LOGIX colocation data centers are an enterprise-class solution. Contact LOGIX today for more information about colocation data-center operations.