Two critical pieces of any company's IT infrastructure are high availability and fast service. Their users need to reach critical assets when they want them and without delays caused by slow data lines or overloaded servers. Many companies struggle to provide this service within their own infrastructure due to budget constraints; thus, they are turning more often to modern data centers to provide this critical piece.
The Components Needed for High Availability Service Delivery
Within most companies, there are mission-critical systems that cannot go down or become unavailable. Those systems keep the business running day-to-day. Many companies support an internal data center to house these systems. The problem is that most internal data centers cannot handle the demand of a growing enterprise and that can affect staff performance and customer happiness. That is why it is critical for a company to have high availability service delivery.
A data center designer keeps all of those requirements in mind in order to provide clients with high availability and fast service. That means having redundant power systems, data providers, and security systems. It means securing the premises from human invaders as well as electronic ones. It means locating in a building designed to withstand most natural disasters and providing redundancy to other locations to keep systems going. It means having experienced data center managers in place along with the right staff.
Most internal data centers cannot handle these demands without massive increases in budget. Choosing a third-party data center often is the most cost-effective, efficient solution. They can provide high availability service delivery, which reduces downtime and makes securing and managing IT infrastructure much easier. It also reduces internal infrastructure requirements, which, in turn, reduces staff costs and with capital expenditures.
Selecting the Right Data Center
Before signing a contract with any data center or colocation provider, it is important for a company to do some research up-front. Every data center is a bit different: they have different buildings, different infrastructure, different procedures, and different managers.
Here are a few questions a company needs to ask when trying to find the right data center to meet its high availability service delivery needs:
• Where is the data center located, and why did they select that site?
• What are the data center's plans for power and Internet service redundancy?
• What does the data center's space for equipment look like? (Take a tour if available.)
• How is physical security handled at the facility?
• What Internet security measures are in place to prevent unauthorized access from the outside?
• How would you or members of your IT team access the facility to inspect or work on company owned assets?
• What services does the data center provider offer?
• How long has this data center service provider been in business?
Getting answers to these questions offers companies insights into the provider's approach to data center operations and service delivery. The answers will show if the provider pays attention to the details and if there is a disciplined process in place. Those insights allow companies to select a provider that meets their requirements for high availability service delivery.