Colocation is perhaps the highest rung of all hosted environments in terms of both importance and financial outlay. Finding the right colocator is a must, as the solid provision of such services can be pivotal to a companys success. So what should you be looking for in a colocation service provider? This short article will summarise some of the key factors our clients consider most important in their service, so that those new to 'colo' can benefit from the experience presented here.
Know Your Host
Reputation says a lot about a business in any field. Look at who your shortlist of potential colocators already provide services for, and whether they have any recommendations. This does not mean the biggest hosting companys are the best. Trying to enter a data centre alongside businesses like Google and Facebook may be the wrong move, unless you are of a similar standing. Smaller, more bespoke providers are often better suited to clients not looking to take out private suites housing many thousands of servers. If a company on your shortlist provides colocation services for leading businesses like your own, and have a company mantra/image you can relate to, they are often the best choice.
The technologies in use at each facility will vary - something to keep in mind. Look for IPv6 support for future proofing your connectivity, competitive provisioning of top-level core services/utilities, and green initiatives in line with current Government policies. Keeping your outsourced IT services green is a positive step towards reducing your own businesses overall carbon footprint. Reliable, brand name hardware is also something to bear in mind when considering longevity and consistent performance.
Buy from People, not Businesses
Meet with your shortlist and get to know the people at the helm of each companys operations. Its always best to buy from people, and not to rest all hopes on buying from a brand you think you know. A personable, well-meaning team who show a real interest in you will take good care of your account for years to come. Building solid, long-lasting business relationships is good practice with all suppliers, and that includes your data centre provider!
Location Location Location
Location location location sits at the heart of every property consideration - and a data centre ostensibly follows the same set of rules. Where you are located will not only affect the level of core services feeding your deployment, but will also say a lot about your business should its location be made known. If you are in the UK, or even Europe, London is the place to be housing your data. This does throw up a number of issues in itself - namely cost and accessibility - however smaller, more 'boutique' providers are now offering services in the London area; Netwise Hosting included! You are always better off arranging a London locality over a countryside data centre miles from the nearest major trading hub.
Naturally, deciding upon a colocation provider is a sizable decision with many hundreds of unique factors to consider; but hopefully those described above offer a good starting point from which to develop your own points of interest. If you need help in understanding colocation in more detail, or to see how Netwise Hosting successfully fulfil all of the above requirements do contact us for more information.