With data volumes increasing exponentially with the use of smart systems, the Internet of Things, and other business intelligence gathering processes, there is a burgeoning need for enhanced business infrastructure that will protect and manage critical data. Colocation services have emerged to become a valuable component of many businesses’ network infrastructure. They offer a secure space to host and process data, and are backed by the power and cooling facilities required to keep your colocation environment up and running.
Selecting the right data centre is very important. Choose the right one so you can have a facility that will grow with you, and offer pricing that will save your business money. Selecting the wrong one, can mean putting your business and your customers in jeopardy.
Why is moving to a data centre right for my business?
When speaking with businesses who don’t have services within a data centre, or are in the wrong one, I often hear the same questions and concerns: My server room is already secure – there’s little value in moving to a data centre; Won’t colocation be more expensive for me?; My business isn’t really big enough to need a data centre; I am already in a data centre and keep losing access to my servers – how are you any better? The commonality of all of these is fit. You need to properly evaluate whether or not any given data centre meets the current needs of your business and has the ability to take you forward.
The driving factor for any business when seeking data centre services is security. Your business and customer data is one of your most important assets, and needs to be protected. Sure, you can lock your office doors at night and alarm your server room, but unless your office is staffed 24/7 you’re still vulnerable to break-ins. Data centres are designed to provide a level of security beyond what any normal business facility will. Most data centres will have a standard set of security features including restricted access, and taped video surveillance. Avoid the ones that don’t. More robust centres will include biometric security entry, man-traps, 24/7 on-site security, live video surveillance, and secure cage availability. Knowing your needs is important. A business who is simply managing a gaming server will have a much lower security need than a business who is managing customer financial or medical records. In these instances, your security needs are likely driven by regulatory requirements within your industry. Finding a data centre that meets these requirements, or can accommodate obtaining the necessary certifications is critical.
Finding a provider with the right level of security is a good foundation, but if your colocation services go down due to power issues, cooling problems, or connectivity drops, your business and reputation will suffer. The resiliency of data centres varies greatly. Small budget Tier 1 type data centres offer a lower level of redundancy on their key systems. More robust Tier 3 data centres will offer a much greater level of redundancy on all of their systems. Most systems in these data centres are replicated and fully diverse, and they may even have power coming from multiple power grids for ultimate protection. Knowing your level of tolerance to downtime is key. If your business has zero tolerance to any downtime, you need to make sure you properly evaluate each provider’s failover plans. As a customer, you should also make sure to seek both A + B power feeds for your rack or cage environment. While paying for a secondary power circuit may seem unnecessary, it is a critical safeguard and commonplace in today’s data centre.
Connecting to a Colocation Environment
Having the proper network in place to reach your colocation environment is very important. Choosing a facility with multiple and diverse transit providers, and a high degree of scalability will offer you varying routing options, and will improve reliability in the event of a network outage. All the best-designed colocation service environments become inadequate if you don’t have the proper network in place to reach them.
Colocation and Hybrid Cloud Solutions
Your business is going to grow, and with that growth comes change. You are going to need a provider who is nimble enough to address those needs, and has facilities that can scale with you. That budget value data centre decision you make early on, will likely fail to keep pace with your growth. Knowing your growth strategy and how data storage and processing plays its part is critical in the decision process.
Many organizations are moving towards utilizing cloud-based applications in a secure environment for backing up and storing sensitive data. Being located in a data centre who offers colocation as well as a robust cloud environment can result in huge dividends. Some data centers, like TeraGo allow users to put their non-cloud infrastructure in the same facility as your cloud systems, making it much easier to move data between the two. It also enables control over your infrastructure while giving the flexibility of rapid deployment and scalability.
At TeraGo, we take meticulous care of our customers end to end data needs. We operate 7 data centres across Canada offering geo-redundancy; all connected by our national access network, and supported by our cloud environment. Contact us today to learn more about how our Colocation solutions can enable your company.