5 Data Center Shopping Tips For Cloud Providers3:00 PM EST Fri. Mar. 01, 2013
As some solution providers shift to becoming cloud providers, they often need to find a hosting facility. But looking for the right facility can be challenging, whether an MSP is seeking a partnership or looking to develop its own data center.
Paul Hilbert, owner of Network Doctor, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., offers private cloud services in his own data center, but as his cloud service grows, he's looking for a partner with a bigger facility that can handle more capacity.
Here are five tips from Hilbert on what to look for when shopping for a data center.
One of the attractions of cloud services is the cost savings it offers to businesses to migrate their IT from their internal data centers to the cloud. So the cloud hoster has to keep fees reasonable and, by extension, keep his own costs down.
And to reach low fees, the data center must be efficient, Hilbert said.
"The most obvious step is to reduce costs of everything -- power, Internet, cooling," Hilbert said. That means drilling down on the details.
Is the facility located in a place where you can get to it without effort? Is it accessible? That can be an important issue for a new partner wanting everyday access to the facility.
"Do they have the ability to receive equipment and racks for you?" Hilbert asked.
Is the facility's network security up to industry standards? In addition to a lineup of Web security features, is there traffic analysis, intrusion detection, prevention and analysis?
"Do they have the ability to tell me if my equipment was compromised or my client is spamming out?" Hilbert asked.
Make sure the staff is willing to go the extra mile to do what it takes to ensure constant uptime.
"You want staff available 24x7 to not only monitor the network but act as local eyes when you need on-site help," Hilbert said.
There's no sense getting into the hosting business if your facility is lacking adequate infrastructure to handle large workload demands.
"You want dense power," Hilbert said. "Most data centers give you only 20 to 30 amps per rack. You can maybe power a quarter of a rack on 20 amps. To fill a rack you really need four, 20-amp circuits."