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Volume 30, Issue 4

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Tuesday, 03 February 2015 06:00

Running Down the Data Center Checklist

Written by  Ramya Raju

In the Internet world today, data centers hold a very important position. You cannot opt for a hosting service in a hurry. You need to give it thorough thought because there are many factors you need to bear in mind before you start looking into a data center.

Assessment of your data needs

The first step you need to take before you choose a new data center is analyzing the type of IT environment your company has, vis-à-vis the applications and infrastructure. That aside, you must also take into account your data needs. You may look into hiring consultants to help you make these analyses and find the optimal combination for your company.

Customizing your bandwidth at a minimal cost

Make sure your provider does not have bandwidth limitations that can come in the way of your company’s growth. Arguably the greatest benefit of collocation is the fact that you can quickly increase or decrease your bandwidth as per your needs at a minimal cost.

Multiple and fast servers

Web hosts or companies that own servers and lease the server space to customers also provide to their customers connectivity and a data center. When choosing your Web host, opt for someone with multiple servers so that if anything goes wrong you do not risk losing your data. Some of these companies also make available an interface or control panel that allows you to manage the Web server. Also ensure that the server is fast when you select a Web host.

High level of security

The volume of critical and confidential data stored, processed, and distributed through the data center is enormous. Keeping the importance of this data in mind, security is one factor that cannot be compromised. You need to ensure the hosting company provides strong security for your data. Along with online security, many people end up ignoring hardware security, whereas keeping physical servers secure from thefts and disasters is just as important. So you must choose a data center with a high level of security.

Reliable network uptime

If a consumer attempts to visit a Website and faces network outage, he or she is bound to become frustrated in a jiffy. Even a seemingly insignificant downtime can have an adverse effect on your profits. Always look for a provider who can assure you reliable network uptime. Pay attention to the proposed maintenance plans, frequency of service interruptions, or other factors that can have an impact on uptime.

Check power supply

To ensure the hardware performs at optimal levels, a data center will make it a point that it doesn’t run out of power and will be stocked with ample HVAC capacity. Other than this basic requisite, you must also check about their power cooling density to determine the area in square footage that will be cooled at maximum capacity by the center. Also find out about back-up power supplies and the frequency of their usage.

Responsive customer support

It makes a lot of sense to business owners to have their collocation provider in another town so the risk of losing important data during a natural disaster is minimal. Of course, this also means the service provider must give extremely efficient customer service via the telephone and e-mail. Customer service should be adept at helping their customers add and remove data to the server and operate a helpline 24/7, especially during emergencies.

Reputable companies and their contracts and agreements

Don’t rush into signing on the dotted line. First make sure the company running the data center you are zeroing down on is reputable. Review their contracts and service level agreements thoroughly before committing anything. There are innumerable data centers to select from, and they all vary significantly in their services. If you want to know whether a company would meet your service expectations, check if they agree to penalties for flouting the service levels. A company that is unafraid of agreeing to a penalties clause will stand by its promise of delivering well.

Assess the charges

Check about the remuneration and be sure to know all about the price, hidden charges included. Compare the fees of at least three providers and opt for the most balanced one. If you opt for cutting on costs, remember that cheap ones could pose a lot of unwanted problems. There will be different plans for services, and every plan will have specialized features. Determine what your plan covers and does not cover, and you should choose a company that is most compatible to your requirements.

Conclusion

These are just a few things to consider when you are narrowing down your search for a data center to host your servers. Based on these parameters, do your own research. A company running a data center should willingly help you appraise the infrastructure they provide. If you manage to find the perfect data center to host your servers, your business will benefit, so be choosy and settle for the right one.

Raju-RamyaRamya Raju is a freelance writer/Web designer from India. She writes on varied topics such as data centers, SEO, Web design, mobile, marketing, English courses, and more. Raju has eight years of experience in content writing and has worked for many top blogs and Websites.