A data center can be defined as a repository which houses computing resources like servers and routers, firewalls and switches, and supporting components such as backup equipments, air-conditioning and fire suppression devices. The main principle behind a data center is to ensure that data storage, dissemination and management of data for a business are carried out seamlessly. Data centers can be complex when they are hosted using a dedicated building or simple in structure when they are kept on a room which contains few servers.
How does the data center work?
Data centers can be shared, the users are granted virtual access rather than physical access; such data centers are generally managed by a single organization which rents out partitions of this data center to other businesses. The leasing organizations in this case are typically smaller businesses that lack the funds and technical expertise to run and maintain a dedicated data center. So, with this system, these businesses can enjoy specific data center benefits without having to make a huge capital investment. The data center will need extensive redundant supplies for power backup, cooling systems and redundant network connections so that the organization can function optimally. Data center management refers to the act of ensuring the reliability of data center connections and mission-critical data that is stored in it.
Why should you choose a data center provider?
- A data center will ensure that your server is stored in a secure environment which is resilient to power outages. This is because the data center will have huge battery and generator reserves to ensure that power supply remains uninterrupted even when there is a power cut.
- Secondly, data centers are always secure and are typically manned round-the-clock by armed guards and protected with security measures to prevent breaches.
- Data centers will offer high bandwidth and geographically-diverse fiber connections so that even if one server crashes for some reason, the others remain active and functions are not affected. When you host your server within a data center, you can also avail of optimum air-conditioning systems and backup equipments which will protect your valuable data.
How can you choose a data center provider?
Selecting a collocation or data center provider is not an easy decision to make because this can directly influence your business. You will house mission-critical data and applications in another remote facility when you choose a data center provider. This is why it is important to consider certain factors when choosing this provider:
- Location is definitely one of the most important factors for determining a provider. This has a direct impact on how quickly your staff can access that physical location. When you need upgrades this can be a very important factor because it will determine the costs of transferring equipments to the location. Moreover, it is wise to find out what kind of natural disasters the area may be prone to. Although it is true that the provider always takes into account this threat when setting up a data center, it does not harm anyone to be doubly sure.
- You should choose a provider that can cater to your growing needs; different providers will offer different flexibility levels. Those which offer customized solutions apart from standard features are naturally more sought after. You must also inquire about additional space, security and power should your needs expand.
- Your data center provider must be reliable; this is typically measured in terms of network up time. The reliable data center provider should offer 99.99% up time. You should also look into customer feedback, staff certifications and on-site support services.
- You must also find out about how fast you can start installing and running the infrastructure once you have selected a provider. You should inquire into the time period that the provider will need to add extra rack space. Since most enterprises are in a hurry to set up new space, it is important to consider deployment efficiency when choosing a provider.
- When you choose a collocation provider, you have the advantage to connect within shared data center space. Connectivity with distributors or partners will boost your business even further. So, it is vital to find out about availability of connectivity options.
Using these criteria, you should be able to identify a quality data center provider; a good way to know which companies are reliable is to check for the number of providers in that area. The financial stability of a data center provider is also an important consideration because you will not want to invest if a data center is likely to close down after a few years.