Planning for a new data center is a daunting task, but considering every angle is vital to prevent costly mistakes or data disasters. There are many important factors to consider, and each can have a major impact on the success of your project. If you’re preparing for a new data center or colocation, here are seven imperatives you need to put on your list.
- Scalability and adaptability
First off, make sure your data center is scalable. Giving yourself room to grow is important so you won’t have to repeat the selection process in a few years. And speaking of the future, be sure to look several years down the road and try to anticipate where your company and industry are headed with data. Are there new technologies on the horizon you should accommodate in your site selection? Will those technologies affect the amount of space or type of equipment you need? This is a great opportunity to engage with colleagues in other areas of your company to find out what trends or needs they see for the years ahead that might affect your selection.
- The perfect location
The location of your data center is vital to its success, both in terms of its physical site and its geographical placement. Of course, choosing a location convenient for you is important in case of any issues, but also consider the data center’s physical structure. Underground centers, for instance, offer many benefits over above-ground facilities, including temperature regulation and disaster protection, that will make a big difference in operational costs and your peace of mind.
- On-site IT support
If you choose a location for your data center that’s not local to you, you want to be assured that there is a highly-skilled team that can address any issues in your absence. Choose a center that offers day-to-day physical services like rebooting servers or devices, visual equipment assessment, hardware deployment and removal, and media, tape and backup rotation. If an event does occur, you’ll want to know immediately so you can resolve it quickly. Look for a data center that offers email and text alerts when thresholds you set are exceeded so you’re never taken by surprise.
- Air-tight security measures
No matter what type of company you have, protecting your data is paramount to your livelihood and success. Security measures like advanced biometrics/facial recognition; linking to your existing HID and key code systems; PTZ cameras; advanced fire suppression systems; and dual-authentication, dual login, in-room motion sensors are just a few of the items you should look for in a data center. This is another area in which subterranean facilities have an advantage — being underground means fewer points of physical entry.
- Top-notch compliance
If your company is required to be compliant with HIPAA, PCI DDS or other regulations, you must be able to show stakeholders like your executive team, investors, customers and industry regulators that you exceed compliance requirements. Look for a center that maintains SSAE 18 SOC 1 Type II and SOC 2 Type II. These certifications ensure that a third-party auditor has examined the center’s operations, security, and financials, leaving you assured that your company will meet its own compliance requirements seamlessly.
- Network provider redundancy and neutrality
Any data center needs multiple points of connectivity to ensure consistent availability of data. As you evaluate data centers, put these items on your connectivity checklist:
• Multiple fiber entrances
• Network-neutral, redundant access to major carriers
• Blended bandwidth
- Uninterrupted power supply
The right data center is one that has strategically aligned with their area’s electricity providers to ensure reliability. Investigate whether your prospective data center is Energy Star Certified and has implemented plans like concurrently maintainable redundant units, on-site fuel storage for protected generators and redundant primary power feeds.