Every business knows that as it grows, a reliable and trusted system is required to house all the necessary hardware and equipment to keep the company running smoothly. And when a business gets too big to manage IT in-house, an external data centre could be the solution to provide the levels of data backup and recovery required. 

When choosing where your IT systems, software and services will be housed, it’s vital to do your research to get the right data centre for you. And to paraphrase George Orwell, “All data centres are equal, but some data centres are more equal than others. So what should you be looking for when choosing your data centre?

  1. Location: It’s all about location, location. Ensure that the location bears a low flood risk, isn’t on a flight path and isn’t prone to natural disasters – although it’s unlikely someone would build a data centre by Mount Etna or near Dorothy’s house in Kansas.
  1. Scalability: You need to make sure you choose a data centre that meets your needs today and long into the future. If you’ve got big plans to be the next Steve Jobs, your dreams could be crushed if you’ve outgrown your available rack space within a week or two. So choose a data centre that matches your ambition.
  1. Reliability: Trust can take many years to build but can be destroyed in moments. Look for a data centre provider that offers the stability and reliability to protect your company, including service-level agreements and data centre tier classification.
  1. Security: By this we don’t mean armed guards or Mission Impossible style laser protection, well not necessarily anyway. However, your data centre should provide a level of security which gives you peace of mind. In the ‘real’ world this could include security surveillance, passcode entry etc., or cloud-based protection that would prevent a data breach on the scale of the recent Ashley Madison scandal.
  1. Connectivity: Whether you require internet connectivity for cloud based applications or links to a private WAN, this is a key issue for data centre users and consequently has become a priority for data centre providers. Before committing to a data centre, ask the question about colocation and whether the data centre will allow you to utilise shared data centre space. And remember, once your data centre is in place it’s a lot more difficult to add physical connections so get it right first time.

When looking for a new data centre, you must take into account the needs of your employees because they’re the ones who will need to know it inside-out – checking, maintaining and updating their systems. So if you take their needs into account and base your selection on the five points above, you’ll be well on your way to getting a data centre that meets the needs of your business too.

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