Years ago, businesses handled their data storage and management needs on their own, with a full-time in-house staff and a sizable budget. Since then, rising IT infrastructure costs and a growing emphasis on lean budgeting has driven more and more companies to relocate their data to third-party colocation facilities.
Many business leaders tasked with relocating data already understand the potential advantages that colocation offers. However, there are several lesser-known issues that a company must consider before moving their data.
#1. Stability Matters
Nothing lasts forever – and the same can be said for IT companies. Providers come and go, and in a volatile arena like IT, it pays to know where a potential colocation facility stands and how long they plan on standing. Any potential candidate for colocation should have a solid history as well as a solid reputation among users.
Candidates with a large customer base are also preferable – a large space is usually a sign that the company isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. The company’s financial state should also be up for consideration, since a company that’s bleeding money is a much shakier bet when it comes to longevity – and longevity matters when it comes to relocating data.
#2. So Does Security
Security is one of the most important aspects to consider when relocating data. Various regulatory compliance measures such as HIPAA require a high standard of due diligence, and keeping up with the latest security practices is often a full-time job. It’s important for companies to carefully consider how a third-party colocation facility manages their customers’ security needs before proceeding with any data relocation plans.
Most colocation facilities are wellversed in the latest in regulatory compliance and security practices. These facilities may even offer their own suite of security tools and compliance expertise. Any good colocation center should always keep security at the forefront of their operational plans.
#3. Keeping Data Network-Neutral
Although there are scores of Internet service providers that are more than willing to provide colocation services, a network carrier-agnostic third party is often the best choice for businesses. The centers often have proven cost-effectiveness in comparison to their non-agnostic counterparts, creating greater financial incentive for third-party colocation.
In addition to promoting healthy competition among data centers, there’s also another reason why businesses come to them for their colocation needs:The inevitable outage does not negatively impact a business that relies on carrier agnostic services as it would for those dependent on an ISP for their data needs.
#4. Convenience and Customization
Many colocation facilities are more than capable of handling routine maintenance tasks on behalf of their customers, saving them from the unnecessary hassle of dispatching their own IT personnel to the physical plant. Colocation candidates should always have these outsourcing options available.
#5.Planning for the Unexpected
Extended power outages, natural disasters and even equipment breakdowns can put a company’s data in jeopardy and the company itself on edge. It’s easy for a company’s technology infrastructure to dissolve in the face of a disaster overnight, which is why colocation candidates should always have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan in place.
For additional insurance, companies looking to relocate their data should also consider full remote mirroring for their data. Having redundancies in place before disaster strikes allows for a quick and effortless recovery afterwards.
Keeping the above five points in mind can help make the transition to a third-party facility a smooth and seamless affair.