Buyer Beware: The 5 Critical Questions You Need to Ask When Choosing a Data Center

It’s time to move your infrastructure into a new data center.  That’s no small matter.  The core of what your company does – your intellectual property – has to be protected and preserved.  But how do you go about selecting a data center?  How do you even get started?

Unfortunately, companies that handle the data center selection process on their own often have too little time and barely enough resources to find the best solution for their unique need. It’s an all too real situation that happens time and time again, but ARG is here solve your problems before they ever start.

By working with ARG, we are able to provide an unlimited amount of experience, resources, and knowledge to your data center conquest, all at no cost to you. With hundreds of data center selections completed and many more in our pipeline, working with us as your trusted data center advisor is undoubtedly your best option.

To give you a glimpse into what ARG will bring to your table, ARG’s Data Center and Colocation Specialist, Justin Praske, has pulled together the five most important questions you should be asking during your selection process. And better yet, he’s explained why they are top-five important.

How reliable is the data center? (IE: uptime)

                Justin:  It often seems that data centers spend more on marketing than they do on their power or cooling costs.  This can lead to a lot of claims about how great their facilities are, who they serve, and what types of customer should expect to receive specialized care from them.  But at the core of the matter, a data center needs to reliably keep your equipment powered up and running smoothly in a safe and protected environment.  It doesn’t matter how fancy the data center is if they are going to suffer outages.

How secure is the data center?

                Justin:  “Security” is a loaded word.  Everyone sees an un-scalable fence, biometric locks, and armed guards – and feels that their data center is more secure.  But what about process and procedure?  Does that armed guard prop the door to the data center floor open when he goes out for a cigarette break?  And while there may be five or more layers of security back to the data center floor, is the shipping/receiving bay a glaring hole in the system?  We want to make sure that we consider all aspects of security.

Is there flexibility and scalability? (IE: additional space, power, and connectivity; opportunity for growth)

                Justin:  Change is inevitable. Over the past few years in the realm of technology, servers and other equipment have gotten smaller and more power-hungry.  Our demand for processing and storage has also increased exponentially.  All of this has led to an increase in power density requirements that outpace, in many instances, the ability of a data center to power and cool the equipment housed inside.  It’s vital to know that you can not only physically fit your gear in the facility, but that you can reasonably power and cool it without the need for unexpected costs as you grow.

How quickly can my infrastructure deployed and working correctly?

                Justin:  Not every infrastructure deployment is a fire drill.  But when we’re dealing with standing up the backbone of a company in a new location, we know that the alternative of not having your equipment up and running smoothly can mean lost business and ultimately lost money.  Some data center providers are better and faster than others at deploying.  If speed is a priority, you’ll want to know that up front.

Is the facility carrier-neutral? (IE: are there connectivity options?)

                Justin:  There aren’t many issues more important than connectivity.  You are housing the brains of your company in these facilities.  If you can’t connect to your infrastructure, it might as well be on the moon.  Many data centers have been built with no consideration paid to connectivity options – or they force their customers to use a single connectivity provider (often imposing severe penalties for bringing in alternative fiber providers).  We recommend starting with questions about these priorities.  What do you need to connect to?  What are you trying to accomplish?  Who are your preferred providers?  Questions like these can drive where you start looking.

And now you know. Vital, understandable information that will be invaluable to any data center selection process.

BUT, while Justin’s top five are pivotal to selecting the right data center for your business, they are far from the only questions you should be asking.

By working with ARG and Justin while selecting a data center, you’ll not only know you’ve made the best choice for your company, but you’ll have the confidence to prove security, flexibility, reliability and more to the most skeptical people in your office.

There’s not much more you could ask for.

Set up a time to speak with Justin, ARG’s resident Data Center Authority, as soon as the words “data center” are mentioned. You can reach Justin at jpraske@myarg.com or through info@myarg.com.

Look for our upcoming article on the Top Five Question to Ask When Considering Mobile Device Management in the next week.