For growing businesses, colocation can play an important part in their IT strategies and bring financial and operational relief. However, if you’re considering outsourcing your IT infrastructure to a colocation provider, don’t make these common mistakes.
Go Cheap. With colocation, you get what you pay for. Cutting corners will cost more in the long run. Beware of colocation providers that offer deals that are too good to be true. They are probably cutting other operational costs, such as maintenance on data center equipment.
A site visit is recommended. You’ll see firsthand if the facility is well maintained, and get a close look at the security measures in place. Make sure you ask to meet the operations team and technical associates that will troubleshoot issues and be your points of contact.
Take the Provider at Its Word. Don’t just take the word of the data center’s representative that his/her company is compliant with SSAE-16, PCI DSS and other industry standards and regulatory requirements. Audits are expensive and skipping them is one way that less desirable colocation providers can cut corners. Ask distinct questions such as:
- Who is your compliance officer?
- Who performs your audits?
- Are audits performed across your data centers every year?
If there is any hesitation at all, things may not be on the up and up. A reputable colocation provider will be able to quickly provide audit documentation.
View Colocation as a Commodity. Choosing among data center companies is not as simple as comparing apples to apples. Some facilities only offer colocation while others provide managed services and/or consulting services. Ideally, you want a data center services provider who will work closely with you to determine if migrating to the cloud, moving to colocation or a combination of the two services is the best strategy. You also want a partner who will continue working with you after the contract is signed.
Fail to Create a Migration Plan. Physically moving into a colocation facility isn’t something a few people can simply tackle over the weekend. When your business reaches a certain size, moving single servers is no longer feasible. There are applications and systems that require multiple servers working together. It’s important to put the planning and time into understanding which servers impact others, and how to move everything in a way that will have the least impact on end users.
Neglect Disaster Recovery (DR) Planning. Of all the mistakes that companies make, this one has the potential to cost the most. It is a common misconception that moving into a hardened data facility means your data is protected from disaster. There is a difference between disaster resilience and DR. Your business and customer data is invaluable; you have to plan for when and if an outage will occur — even in a colocation facility. You also must consider how you will recover mission-critical data and applications, so you can minimize any interruption to your business operations. An ideal provider will have DR expertise and services, and work with you to create and test a solid DR plan.
To learn more, take advantage of Peak 10’s free colocation resources below.