What to Look for in a Data Center Supplier

Illustration showing the corridor of a server room.If you’re in the market for data center services today, you’re far from alone. As businesses have increased their reliance on cloud solutions in the past year or so due to the pandemic, demand for data center space has shot up. In fact, the skyrocketing interest in this area has led to new construction, and some clients have pre-leased data centers that aren’t standing yet, according to the Data Center Frontier article “COVID-19 Pandemic Drives Data Center Leasing to Record Heights.”

Although the current public health crisis threw fuel on the fire, data center and colocation services were already becoming increasingly popular before the pandemic as businesses found themselves dealing with huge amounts of data and facing pressure to safeguard it against cybercriminals.

Partnering with a third-party provider for your data center needs can come with plenty of significant advantages. However, selecting a supplier that supports your company’s specific pain points, needs and objectives is vital. If you’re wondering what to look for in a data center supplier, here are some key characteristics to keep in mind while you shop.

1. Advanced physical and virtual security.

You’ll want to ensure your supplier has extensive physical and cybersecurity measures in place to protect your data. The physical element should include guard stations, perimeter features like fencing, and barriers to accessing server rooms such as retinal scans, according to the Technology article “Top 10 considerations for selecting a data centre provider.”

For cybersecurity, be sure to ask what measures the provider has in place to prevent data breaches (such as proactive monitoring). If your organization must adhere to any industry-specific regulations like HIPAA, it’s also imperative to select a compliant data center supplier.

2. A detailed written Service Level Agreement (SLA).

The SLA should include info on uptime guarantees, bandwidth, physical security and other significant details, according to the TechRepublic article “10 things to look for in a data center.” Other important elements to look for in the SLA include what will happen in the event that the supplier fails to deliver the promised uptime or service.

3. Adequate and conveniently located physical space.

Before you select a data center service provider, you should tour and evaluate their physical location, according to the ComputerWeekly.com article “Data center services vendor assessment: The essential checklist.” Some factors to consider include airflow, the amount of aisle space for server maintenance, and whether the servers are freestanding, rack-mountable or shelf-mountable.

4. Redundant power sources and cooling systems.

You’ll want to consider the details of a data center provider’s redundant systems, according to TechRepublic. They should also have reliable auto hardware failover and backup internet.

5. High-level customer support.

Your data center supplier should have techs and engineers available to provide support at all times, TechRepublic advises. Another key feature to look for is internal break/fix and maintenance services to keep your servers in optimal condition.

If you need help figuring out which data center supplier is the best fit for your business, our trusted technology advisors would be happy to guide you. We have extensive experience working with numerous data center providers in our partner network and can save you a significant amount of time and money by leveraging our knowledge to streamline the shopping-around process.

We also have an app that lets you virtually tour data centers around the world to thoroughly assess each one’s strengths and drawbacks. To learn more, feel free to send us an email at sales@stratospherenetworks.com or give us a call at 877-599-3999.

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