Choosing a data center isn't a small decision. Renting equipment in a data center -- or moving in your own equipment for colocation -- is a major investment that should serve you for years. You already know that a data center should have tight security, excellent network speed, reliable local utilities and a favorable climate. Have you ever considered a data center's ability to deliver excellent customer service, though? Most data centers have robust security and fast network speeds. However, only a few deliver truly world class customer service. Customer service is the feature that sets the best data centers apart.
A data center outage -- even a brief one -- can be a very costly event. For the companies that rent or colocate servers, an outage can cost thousands of dollars per minute. For some data centers, on-site support isn't a priority. In some cases, a data center may have just one on-site technician who is only at the facility to ensure that the power is on and any on-site colo customers are behaving themselves. If either of those is not the case, the person at the data center calls a more experienced administrator to come in and resolve the problem.
If the only person at a data center is someone who lacks the knowledge necessary to troubleshoot problems when they occur, outages can cause significant downtime and financial losses. That's why we have a 24/7 staff of true admins and engineers -- not watchers. If a problem occurs, our on-site staff can fix it right then and there.
Having on-site administrators doesn't just benefit the data center as a whole -- it also benefits your servers and applications. You can't have a representative of your company in a remote data center 24 hours a day -- nor should you. One of the reasons why companies choose to colocate or rent data center space is because doing so gives them the luxury of having someone else handle server security and availability. You can always use remote access to make software changes on your server.
What happens, though, if the server experiences a physical problem or complete crash? Performing an emergency operation such as rebooting a server or changing out a failed power supply requires physical access to the server. If your server ever experiences an emergency, you'll be glad that you selected a data center with on-site staff who know how to fix server problems.
While having a team of highly skilled sys admins and engineers on-site 24/7 is critical there are scenarios when it is not enough. When one of your colocated servers has a hardware failure you may be offline until that piece of hardware is replaced. In an ideal setting your data center not only has the personnel to assist with hardware failures, but also has a diverse inventory of replacement hardware they are willing to lend or sell you on the spot. This service feature is not common but it is available, typically among data centers that also provide dedicated servers in addition to colocation services.
Secure Equipment Access
Before you choose a data center for server colocation, you should examine that data center's access policies closely. Some data centers offer 24/7 equipment access, while others have limited access hours. Ideally, your IT staff should have the ability to spend as much time with your equipment as necessary.
A good data center should also give your servers as much privacy as is necessary -- particularly if your company needs to conform to data protection regulations such as HIPAA. A data center should not only be providing you with locking cabinets but also have the ability to place those cabinets within a locked cage and further limit proximity and access to the equipment. A good data center can further limit access using technologies such as motion detection and biometric scanning.
At Hivelocity, customer service has always been our top priority. Choose from any of our three facilities and experience Hivelocity’s enterprise level colocation.