Use This Data Center RFP Template
Most organizations use a hybrid data model – a mix of legacy servers, a public cloud infrastructure and private cloud services. This means the migration of even more data than ever to the cloud. In fact, by 2021, it is estimated that 94% of workloads and compute instances will be processed through colocation data centers.
Taking advantage of software as a service (SaaS), infrastructure as a service and platform as a service is becoming the norm for businesses of all sizes. In fact, 89% of companies already use some form of SaaS.
Choosing the right colo data center for your business is an important decision and has broad implications for the future of your organization. You should not make this decision lightly, because data centers have become more than just a secure facility with space and power. They have become a core component of an efficient business operations plan.
The Top 6 Considerations When a Choosing a Data Center
Here are the top six things to consider when evaluating a data center for colocation.
Consideration No. 1: Reliability
Downtime is a productivity killer and is frustrating for employees and customers. It can also be expensive. A recent survey of Fortune 1000 companies showed that the average cost of an infrastructure failure can be $100,000 or more. Unplanned application downtime adds up to more than $1 billion a year. When choosing a colocation data center, reliability is job No. 1. Look for an enterprise data center that guarantees 99.999% uptime and offers 100% uptime service-level agreements.
To provide this level of uptime, a colo data center needs to build redundancy into everything it does. Multiple power sources at each rack should be able to switch sources if one source fails. Fault-tolerant infrastructures should include backup power, on-site diesel generators, automatic transfer switches and systemwide uninterruptible power-supply connectivity.
Consideration No. 2: A Carrier-Neutral Approach
The right colocation data center should be carrier-neutral. In other words, it should allow access from multiple carriers, including your preferred vendor. Single-carrier facilities do not provide adequate redundancy. If the carrier goes down, you are out of luck until it is repaired.
Carrier-neutral facilities also have significantly less downtime, and enable you to avoid “vendor lock” because they offer multiple connectivity options.
Consideration No. 3: 24/7 Year-Round Monitoring
A locally staffed 24/7 year-round network operations center should provide constant security and performance monitoring. This includes on-site technicians to perform maintenance when needed. The best data centers have an in-house remote hands service – employees who work for the company, rather than contractors or third-party providers. During a failure or disaster, you want assurance that the engineers working on solving your problem are working for you.
Consideration No. 4: Data Security
Your data is valuable to you, and it is also valuable to threat actors. A colocation data center will house your enterprise data and applications, so a breach can cripple your business. Ransomware attacks, distributed denial-of-service threats, and advanced persistent threats such as IT and corporate data theft are among the top security concerns for businesses in 2020. A colocation data center needs to take security seriously. This means proactive security measures to manage traffic, prevent unauthorized access and repel hacking attempts.
Consideration No. 5: Physical Security
Physical facilities also need robust security. Biometric secure site access, private access cage availability and 24/7 year-round security monitoring should be standard operating procedures for a colo data center. Security is also important when it comes to compliance and audits. Look for a colocation data center that is a Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements (SSAE) 18-audited facility, is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliant, and has Service Organization Control (SOC) 1 and SOC 2 certification. You will also want to discuss your data storage options and security protocols, depending on whether you require a data hall, multiple racks or a private cage.
Consideration No. 6: Scalability
The right colo data center for your business will provide the flexibility and scalability you need. It should be able to provide you with the services you need right now, with the flexibility to evolve as your business grows.
Producing a Data-Center RFP
When evaluating what you need from a colocation data center, a well-structured request for proposal (RFP) is crucial. A poorly written RFP means that you could miss including key requirements vital to your business.
Download this free data-center RFP template, which provides a collection of best practices from industry experts, including leading data-center and colocation trade journals, research analysts and data-center managers. It includes guidelines businesses should consider when developing colo data-center requirements and evaluating providers.
Before submitting an RFP, it is helpful to have conversations with potential providers to discuss your needs and options. You only get the services you ask for when submitting an RFP, so having better information will help you write a better one.
Learn more about your data-center colocation options in Texas by visiting LOGIX.com.