In today’s business environment, data is arguably the most valuable commodity. How you protect, store, and manage your data should, therefore, be a top priority.
Typically, businesses small and large house their data in an off-site data center. But, when the stakes are this high, how can you decide which is best for you?
That’s where our comprehensive guide to choosing the right data center comes in. Below, we’ve detailed the top benefits and considerations to make as you begin to navigate the complex, saturated, ever-changing data center marketplace and reinvent your data center strategy.
It’s time to knuckle down and buckle up. Let’s jump right into it.
“Data matters to any company, regardless of size, sector or type. In fact, data is one of your biggest business assets, alongside your products, services, intellectual property, and people.”
What is a Data Center?
Traditional Data centers are secure facilities where businesses and numerous organizations house large amounts of business-related data and their network. By doing this, companies save valuable storage space in their primary workplace, which can help cut IT costs.
With cloud-based storage fast becoming the mainstream, data centers are no longer disparate entities that business owners and employees call on every now and again. They have become critical players in day-to-day operations – extensions of the company itself.
These developments, paired with the increasing importance of data, have made choosing a data center one of the most significant, make-or-break decisions businesses have to make. The right data center can improve productivity, increase storage, unlock business opportunities, and save you money. In addition, advanced data center solutions give organizations an accurate analysis of the total cost to own their critical facilities. A bad one, on the other hand, can wreak havoc on organizations and can put your data – and reputation – at risk.
The Top Benefits of Using a Data Center
When making such an important decision, it’s essential to weigh up all the pros and cons. To help you out, we’ve put together a list of some key benefits of using a data center:
Data centers are designed with security in mind. They have robust physical and digital security measures in place to protect your data from theft, unauthorized access, and natural disasters.
Data centers are designed to be reliable and efficient. They have redundant power supplies and backup generators to keep your data safe in the event of natural power outages. They also have strict environmental controls to protect your equipment from dust, water, and temperature extremes.
A data center can help improve your company’s productivity in several ways. First, it frees up office space by storing your data off-site. Second, it provides you with 24/7 access to your data, so you can work whenever and wherever you want. And third, it gives you the peace of mind knowing that your data is safe and secure, so you can focus on your work without worrying about losing important files.
Increased Storage Capacity
Data centers have the space and resources to store large amounts of data. They also have the infrastructure in place to scale up storage capacity quickly and easily, without compromising on security or performance.
Six considerations to make when selecting a data center
Data centers are not one-size-fits-all solutions. Just like other IT services, their capabilities vary drastically.
With so many variables at play, comparing and selecting a suitable data center has become more challenging than ever before.
The following six considerations will help you fine-tune what matters to you, giving you the best chance of selecting a product that helps your business thrive now – and in the future.
Downtime can be extremely detrimental, and data centers are not immune to natural disasters and hardware failure. Check that the entire data center in question has a backup source of power. Question the data center service provider on their procedures following an emergency or severe weather event.
It’s also worth ensuring the internal server rooms have ample ventilation and cooling. Improper data center infrastructure is another leading cause of downtime.
Ideally, avoid working with a data center that boasts an uptime of less than 99 percent.
Location is a significant factor when comparing potential data centers. To determine the ideal location, ask yourself the following questions.
Is budget a top concern?
You will most likely save money by opting for a data center that’s located further away. If budget is a top concern, it could be worth forgoing the competitive advantage of keeping it local.
What type of wiring am I working with?
The distance between your business and your data center will affect speed. If you have copper cables, keep in mind that their signal strength will drop. If your business premises has fiber cabling, this isn’t an issue.
Is my area prone to natural disasters?
If you’re located in a region that’s prone to natural disasters, the safest option is to find a data center that operates on a separate power grid. That way, your office and your data storage are less likely to experience simultaneous downtime in the event of a widespread power outage.
Does my data center need to be easily accessible?
Will your IT workers need to perform upgrades and maintenance? Do you need access to your servers for another reason? If so, a closer data center will save your team from having to travel long distances.
Cyberattacks are not to be taken lightly, and a security breach could result in disaster for your business.Data centers should use a combination of software, technology, and physical (locks, surveillance, even on-site security personnel) measures to protect the data housed in their facility.
What’s more, hackers are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and threats are becoming even more rampant – cyberattacks are expected to
Emergency backup storage systems
The best data centers have identified vulnerabilities and have done everything possible to mitigate associated risks.
As we mentioned above, natural disasters and regional power outages are significant threats. Most medium- to large-sized data centers implement a centralized uninterruptible power system (UPS) that starts up when the primary electrical power source is cut. In addition, most house on-site backup generators.
Finally, make sure the center has installed a robust fire suppression system. That way, if there’s a fire, the risk of damage is reduced.CONSIDERATION #5
Businesses change over time. And so, too, do their data storage needs. As your business operations evolve, you need a data storage service that’s flexible enough to evolve with you. The good news is, most modern-day data centers offer fast, easy, and affordable scaling options.CONSIDERATION #6
Word of mouth should always play a role in your research into data center services and products. Read online reviews and testimonials. Examine the pros and cons outlined by past and current clients. Even ask fellow business owners and managers which data centers they use, and whether or not they’d recommend them.
Making the right decision takes time
Yes, there is a whole lot to consider before you can feel confident that you’ve found a suitable data centre. But, if you take the time to examine your options from every angle now, you can rest easy knowing your data is safe, secure, and accessible. Contact Us so that our data center experts can answer your questions and inquiries.