If you have one or more locations sharing the same network, a data center will provide a centralized location to monitor and manage your equipment. A data center generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (air conditioning and fire suppression) and special security devices. Many companies utilize data centers for extra security, to protect equipment during natural disasters or to insure system availability 24-7.
Data centers are located throughout the US. There are many local and national facilities and most provide rack space and/or equipment management and monitoring. Each data center will differ in their product and service offering. The items below are a guideline to help you pick the best provider for your needs.
7 things you must know to choose the right Data Center
- What is included in the monthly recurring charges? This will depend on cabinet size-rack, half rack or cage. What are the cabinet/rack cabling requirements? Is power included in the cost or is it additional? What are the power consumption maximums? Are there any cross connect fees? Will they provide bandwidth and what is the speed and quality? What is the minimum contract term?
- What are the non-recurring charges such as installation and set up charges? Make sure to cover fees for installation of hardware and software, configuration fees and expedite fees.
- Are there any license fees and if so, what are the annual increases?
- Most data centers offer additional services beyond just space, power and bandwidth. Many offer monitoring services in a variety of service levels.
- You may provide your own bandwidth and change providers during the course of your contract. Is the data center vendor neutral?
- You should receive a Service Level Agreement at the time you sign a contract, but while you’re still evaluating, ask about the response time on monitored equipment, the percentage of uptime (should be 99.999%), security monitoring (24-7) and access (24-7 unrestricted).
- The data center should have redundant conditioned power and air, reliable back up power, security and fire safety.