Copyright (c) 123RF Stock PhotosNot every company can host its own web server and have an entire team of IT professionals dedicated to managing and designing the site. However, smaller companies that want some of the features of having a larger IT department can consider colocation.

If a company decides on colocation, there are a number of questions that it should ask when choosing between prospective colocation providers or data centers.

What type of security does the data center provide?
The physical location of a company’s server should be as secure as possible. The following are some of the security measures that data centers should have:

  • All data centers should be housed in stand-alone buildings, thereby allowing security protocols to be applied throughout the entire building.
  • There should be a fence built around the perimeter of the building, and the perimeter should no less than 20 feet wide.
  • The data center should not be right next to the office of the business it belongs to.
  • There should be guards that check photo IDs by at least two different positions in the building.
  • There should be security cameras on premise.

How virtual is the data center?
Companies should ask about the ratio between virtual servers and physical servers. The more virtual the servers are, the more cost-effective collocation will be. Data centers should have at least four times more virtual private servers than physical servers.

How environmentally friendly is the data center? 
Companies should take this seriously: not only does environmental sustainability have an effect on the environment, it has an effect on potential cost savings as well. The more energy efficient the data center is, the less the energy costs are.

What are the disaster recovery plans?
How will the companies be effected by potential disasters such as a blackout? What type of plan has been put into place to prevent potential disasters? Many data centers have backup generators; look into how well they are maintained.

How will cooling be accomplished?
Every server in a data center should be in a room that is between 68 and 75 degrees in order to prevent severs and other hardware from overheating. Data centers should have sensors that monitor the temperature to keep the building from getting too hot or too cold, which can be bad for the equipment.

How will the equipment be handled?
If the company has equipment that needs to be moved into the data center, then the company will want to make sure the equipment is handled as safely as possible. The following are a few safety questions companies should ask about the handling of their equipment:

  • Could there ever be any issues with the weight of the company’s servers or the height of the data centers racks?
  • How wide are the data center’s aisles?
  • What are the guidelines for properly aligning the equipment?
  • What type of lifting system will be used for the server?
  • How many people will assist in moving the equipment?

Companies that are considering colocation should make sure to ask these questions and more to make sure they choose the data center that suits them best.