The era of big data is at our doorsteps. The global digital report of 2019 shows remarkable signs of big data entering our day to day practices. The report predicts:
- By 2020, more than 2.1 MB data will be created every second per person
- The total amount of data will be 48 zettabytes expanding from the current volume of 23 zettabytes
The increase in user-generated data has resulted in a more significant number of organizations opting for scalable and secure colocation data center services. These organizations look to store, manage, and replicate user data to identify usage trends and customer insights using big data.
If you too are considering migration to a colocation facility, here are five metrics that would help you make a choice.
Just like choosing a house, the location of a data center should be the top consideration. The ideal location has a significant impact on the working, well-being, and security of the data center’s assets. If the co-location data center is situated at a good location, it improves the;
- Connectivity: If the data center is located near to bandwidth provider, there will be a lower downtime
- Latency: Data takes time to travel from one place to another; therefore, the location must be near the customers
Seismic history, weather pattern, easy accessibility to essential infrastructures such as main roads, airports are somethings that must be checked.
Besides, there are some countries whose regulatory compliances prohibit the location of data centers across the borders.
- Power Supply
The second most important thing to consider is the robustness of the power grid infrastructure. If the business is hosting mission-critical information, even small power outage can cause problems.
According to research, an average data center outage costs around $9000 per minute. It can impact the equipment’s functioning, corrupt data, and cause hours of downtime for the businesses.
Before migrating, check which “N scheme” of redundancy the provider has in place and demand the specifics. Many providers claim to have (N+1) redundancy levels, but they are only covered by UPSes (Uninterruptable Power Supplies) and do not have a failover plan.
Moreover, while selecting a co-location provider, it is also essential to check if there are more than one sources for power supply in the center.
- Cooling Processes
After power supply, proper cooling processes are an indispensable part of any co-location space. Being a tenant, the majority of the times one has to pay for the power consumed multiplied by the PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) factor to account for the cooling processes.
Always search for a provider who has the latest cooling technologies with ample cooling redundancy. This will help in:
- Maintaining the quality of your equipment
- Reducing the downtime caused due to over-heating of the systems
- Infrastructure Management
As data centers have a ton of sophisticated technologies, managing them can sometimes be problematic. Often, the software systems used for the management are not compatible with the operational software.
Enquire the colocation service provider about their DCIM (Data Centers Infrastructure Management) competencies. Ask them:
- If their sensors are monitored through software
- If they can generate dashboard reports on the floor, rack and cabinet levels
- If they have integration in other ITSM (IT Service Management Tools)
When choosing a co-location data center provider, inquire about their multi-site footprint, the capability to enable availability over a distributed network, and dynamic load placement.
Moreover, your provider should be able to assess different sustainability-focused metrics in the data center, such as toxic waste, water scarcity, energy mix, and the availability of public transit.
It takes several components to run a data center efficiently, from cables to IT hardware, sensors to cooling units that need to be refreshed regularly. And to improve sustainability, it is imperative to minimize this toxic laden equipment that ends as landfills.
The co-location provider must have a proper understanding of material inflow and outbound flow of goods and services. The provider should have an idea of the material that is repurposed, recycled, reclaimed, or disposed of as waste. It helps in reducing the carbon footprint, improving instrument efficiency, and reducing the environmental impact of data centers.
Sustainable data center strategy also helps in:
- Reducing the operating costs
- Assists in capacity optimization
- Creating a differentiation for customer demanding green solutions
- Certifications Are Also Important
While these steps are just the beginning, things such as physical security and standard certifications must also be checked. It is mandatory for the colocation data center facility to have specific certifications, which in turn, helps bolster their credibility.
Before going for a co-location space check if the provider has accreditations like
- ISO 27001: It is an international information security standard that provides the specification for an information security management system (ISMS). It is designed to help data center providers their information security process while optimizing costs.
- ANSI/TIA-942-B:2017 Rate – 3 Certification: This rating is provided to a co-location data center that has capacity components to handle redundancy and multiple distribution paths that serve the IT equipment. It also means that the center has protection against most physical events.
One can always choose leading co-location providers such as STT GDC India, who are not only accredited with these certifications but also have the IGBC’s LEED Certification.
Today, more and more companies are migrating towards co-location data centers as they serve to lower operation costs and lessen the pressure on in-house IT. Also, co-location spaces provide multi-layer physical security, carrier-neutral services, better scalability, and superior data center parameters.