Written by Charlotte Green, Tech Writer
Let’s face it, your business is no longer the one-person operation it used to be. It’s expanding and scaling, with a host of invaluable information and data switching hands from employees left and right.
It was hard work getting the wheel turning, and having it all come crashing down would be an absolute nightmare. No longer can you entrust your most important files to a vulnerable hard disk drive and hope for the best. You need to be thinking about long-term data storage and protection. You’ll need a data centre.
Here are some pointers to consider before choosing a data centre for your business.
What does a data centre provide?
A data centre provides a physical space to centralise all your business’s critical data and applications.
Built with secure and dedicated server infrastructure, these facilities provide essential security and storage features to keep your data safe and accessible, as well as various connectivity options to keep you online.
Unlike cloud servers which can be run anywhere in the world, data centres offer in-house servers that make it harder for bad actors to compromise and easier for businesses to manage.
A data centre is also responsible for keeping an enterprise running, from enabling high-volume transactions to managing backup data. They also are integral in empowering key technology initiatives, including cloud computing, big data and disaster recovery planning.
Considerations when selecting a data centre
There are a few things you’ll need to take into account before using a data centre.
Here are some key considerations.
Depending on the scale of your business operations, you’ll want to be strategic when it comes to choosing a data centre location.
If your business is regional, choose a data centre within the same country or continent like data centres with Macquarie Data Centers. This is so that your staff can easily physically access the site if need be, and in the event of a power outage or other emergency, you’re not relying on international connectivity.
However, you’ll also have to bear in mind the socioeconomic factors of your facility’s location. For example, data centres in developing countries may be subject to power outages or poorer internet connectivity. Climate disasters like the frequency of flooding should also be considered when selecting a data centre location.
2) Service level agreements
When considering a data centre, you’ll want to make sure that they offer a tight service level agreement (SLA).
An SLA is a document that sets out the expectations and responsibilities of both the data centre provider and the customer. It should cover aspects like network uptime, power, cooling, connectivity, support and security.
The reason why an SLA is so important is that it protects you, the customer, from subpar service. If you’re experiencing downtimes that violate the SLA agreement, for instance, you can hold the data centre accountable and get compensated for it.
3) Facility security
The security of your data is paramount, so you’ll want to make sure that the data centre you’re using has top-notch security measures in place.
First and foremost, the facility should have a physical security system to deter and detect intruders. This can include things like biometric scanners, walk-through metal detectors, CCTV cameras, and security guards.
The data centre should also have comprehensive environmental controls in place to protect against fire, water damage and other disasters.
And lastly, the data centre should have robust cyber security measures to protect against hacking and data breaches. This includes things like firewalls, intrusion detection systems and encryption.
4) Service and support
Many businesses opt for data centres over cloud services for the sole reason that there’s a dedicated team of IT professionals on hand to manage and support your infrastructure.
When choosing a data facility, be sure that they have a qualified team of IT engineers who can provide 24/7 support in the event of an emergency. They should also be able to proactively monitor your systems, provide support to your own in-house staff, and deploy any systems as necessary for your business to continue operations and scale.
5) Reliability and Backup Power
A good data centre will have contingencies for any eventuality. They will have backup generators and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to keep your systems running in the event of a power outage. They should have 24/7 temperature cooling measures in place to prevent your systems from overheating. This helps prolong the lifespan of your equipment and avoid any data loss.
Moreover, they should have diverse connectivity options for both local and international lines so that your business can stay connected even if one internet line goes down. A good data centre does not make its presence known; it should just run smoothly in the background without any issues.
Lastly, you’ll want to know how reputable the data centre is before entrusting them with your business-critical data.
One way to do this is to check if they’re accredited by the Uptime Institute. This is a global standard-setting body for data centres, and their accreditation is only given to facilities that meet the highest standards of design, construction and operations.
You can also review customer testimonials and see what other businesses have to say about the data centre’s services on Google Reviews and other review platforms.