In today’s world, your business depends on information technology for survival. You exchange data over the internet, store it on your computer or local network, and use it to reach your customers and refine your strategy. When your business’s data needs exceed your existing space, you need a data center to maintain control of your information 24 hours a day.

However, not all data centers offer the same products and services. When you decide to make the move out of your workspace and into a data center, you need to find the center that caters to your business’s budget, data needs, and location.

The following tips will guide you as you choose a reliable data center.

Understand Your Data Needs

Before you outsource your data, take inventory of your company’s needs. Evaluate which of the following factors will impact your everyday work the most, and rate potential data centers based on those factors.

Security

Today, protection for your digital information matters just as much as protection of your physical assets. When you outsource your data storage, make sure your provider has undertaken security measures to guarantee your information stays safe.

Tour the facilities before you make the final decision. Many data centers employ passcodes and locks to keep non-employees away. Others use video surveillance throughout the facilities. Above all else, ask yourself if you feel comfortable entrusting this company with your most sensitive information.

Location

The storage site’s proximity to your business influences your ability to oversee the storage and powering process. Look for a data storage center close to your employees and IT staff so you have the option to make regular visits.

The location of your data center should also protect your servers from natural disasters. When you visit your chosen location, make sure the building’s structure can defend your equipment from inclement weather and prevent fires that pose a threat to your data security.

Facilities

The physical buildings that house your data need to accommodate your company’s size requirements. Ask yourself how much space you need in the building’s interior, and check the measurements of the data center for your desired square footage.

The building’s features will also influence the efficiency of your data storage. Calculate the amount of power you’ll need per square foot, and ask your provider about the capabilities of the data site nearest you.

Scalability and Cost

As your company continues to grow, you want the assurance that your data provider has the capacity to handle your needs. Before you reach the tipping point, however, you want to select a company that can adjust their services for your company’s size.

Ask your data center if they have customized options for small or midsized companies so you only pay for the precise services you need. Then project out how much additional floor space, power, and connectivity you’ll need in the next three to five years and plan accordingly.

Reliability

What resources does your data provider have to recover your data in the case of an emergency? What will they do if the server goes offline?

When you encounter problems with your storage or accessibility, make sure you have a contact person who can update you on the server’s status. Don’t overlook the hours of operation at your offsite facility because they affect how often you can personally visit the site in case a problem arises.

Speed

For the safety of your company’s data, and for your own personal peace of mind, you want to choose a data center that can install your equipment as quickly as possible.

You also want to ask about the deployment efficiency of your chosen site, since the speed of your infrastructure will influence your day-to-day interactions with your data.

Explore Your Options

Colocation

Colocation centers provide a viable option for companies that have the necessary storage equipment—but need a bigger facility to house it. If you want to outsource storage of your own data servers, or if you want to pay another company for the power and HVAC requirements, ask your tech company about a nearby colocation center.

If you choose this option, don’t forget to ask your provider if they offer 24/7 power supply. Otherwise, your servers will shut down during the weekend hours when the offsite facility closes its doors.

Meet Me Room

Inside a colocation center, a meet me room designates a separate space for companies to connect and exchange information in one facility. A single connection brings data from the meet me room to your servers in the rest of the data storage center.

Typically, telecommunications companies and other related industries prefer meet me rooms for the convenience of networking data with high bandwidth and low costs.

Cloud Computing

If a physical data storage center doesn’t fit your company’s parameters, you might find cloud computing a feasible alternative. Like a data center, cloud computing stores your information offsite—but uses internet storage rather than a physical facility. IT personnel usually outsource management of cloud services to a third party.

Cloud computing may appeal to your company if you want a more hands-off approach to your data storage and want a scalable option that fits your company’s needs. Keep in mind that unless you have established a private cloud on your business’s network, your resources will reside in the public cloud with those of many other internet users.

 

Whatever your company’s financial situation and IT services, you can find the data storage solution that’s right for you when you keep these factors and options in mind. Contact your IT specialists for more information on data storage and security.