Things to Consider When Choosing a Data Center

The Internet Age coupled with smartphone usage has generated enormous amounts of data. Today, no matter what type of business you run, it relies on the power of data to sustain itself and even grow. 

The value of data is tremendous and as such, it entails effective storage and handling, with adequate security and protection measures. All these data management activities and needs can be deftly handled by the right type of data center. 

So, in essence, choosing the right data center for your needs is paramount to meeting your business’ data-driven demands. But how should you choose the right data center? And what data center considerations should ideally drive your selection? deep-dives into the factors that can help you pick the right data center that perfectly meets all your business needs.   

Data Center Site Selection Checklist

Let’s begin by answering the basic question, “What is a data center exactly?” A data center is a dedicated location for housing data with the help of computer systems, servers, and other technological components. Typically these systems are connected to the internet to allow businesses to retrieve, process, and store additional data, anytime and from anywhere. There are many types of data centers, ranging from big to small, owned directly by a hosting provider or rented on an as-required basis. 

As a business that opts for data hosting solutions, it is in your best interests to understand what type of data centers your hosting provider owns or uses. There are many types of data centers with varying capabilities and features that you can pick and choose from, to perfectly fulfill your unique needs. As a starting point, start with the following top 3 data center considerations:

1.  Location

While your data center serves your data needs virtually, the location matters for several reasons. Choosing a center that’s in close proximity will allow easy access, in a quick and convenient manner, if the need arises. For instance, if your staff needs to perform maintenance activities or upgrades, it’d be timely and cost-efficient for them to travel to a nearby location rather than hundreds of miles away.

More importantly, to enjoy great connectivity, it’s important for the data center to be located close to an internet hub. Of course this depends on the wiring and type of internet technology used by your hosting provider. For instance, fiber can provide great connectivity better performance and is much faster than copper cables. Lastly, in terms of the geographical location, is the area that your data center is situated in prone to flooding, earthquakes, hurricanes, or other natural disasters? In such an event, is there a contingency plan to ensure zero loss of data?

2.  Power Redundancy

The reliability of the power source of your data center is another critical factor that will determine its suitability. Is the data center consistently backed by an uninterrupted sources of power? In times of natural disasters or emergency events such as power outages or blackouts, is the data center backed by a power backup? The answers to such questions will largely determine the continuity of your business’s operations at all times. Along the same lines, ask yourself if it is equipped with the appropriate cooling or ventilation systems.

3.  Security

Another major data center consideration is security as it plays a major role in protecting a business’s confidential data that also may include its proprietary knowledge, client data, financial information, or any other type of sensitive data. The security capability of your data center, be it physical or digital, will determine how protected your data is from cyber threats, data breaches, and other malicious attacks, which can prove to be really costly for your business. Digitally speaking, what security protocols does the data center leverage to protect its clients’ data? Does it use multilevel security protection measures? In terms of physical security, is the site under camera surveillance? And does it have adequate security arrangements like a robust door with a fool-proof locking system, advanced access control, and security personnel?

Hopefully, our guide to how to choose a data center will help you zero in on the perfect data center that meets all your data hosting needs. Also keep in mind that although these are the top three data center considerations when choosing a data center, there are a few others such as scalability and space that will help you fine-tune your choice of data center as per your specific requirements. 

A scalable data center can easily adapt to your growing needs in the future so you can expand your data storage without any major hurdles, should the need arise. In terms of space, it’d be good to consider the operating cost per square footage instead of targeting a bigger space. In this way, carefully analyzing what you should look for in a data center will take you several steps closer to finding the most suitable data center for your needs. 

If you have unique data needs, contact us for a customized technical solution!

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