Recently revealed plans for a new data centre in the capital are proof that colocation in London is growing in popularity. But with such a large array of facilities to choose from, how can you make sure you pick the right data centre for your needs? Read through our checklist of the most important things you need to consider.
Is your business based in west London or do you have lots of international clients? If so, a centre in Heathrow may be best. If you’re closer to the financial district, a centre in the Docklands area might suit you better. Location is key, so check to see which parts of London are most suitable for you.
Some of the older facilities in the capital may not have the ability to deliver as much power to each rack as the newer built centres. So make sure you check what power density the centre can offer, or you may find that you end up with half-filled racks.
Does the centre have on-site technical support, or will you have to attend your racks yourself for any problems or repairs? Knowing there are trained experts on hand to deal with any problems can provide you with peace of mind, and also save you or your IT team having to visit the centre for minor issues.
Do you need a top tier ranked data centre, or will a lower ranking suffice? Depending on your individual data requirements, you need to ensure that the facility is up to standard but also that you’re not paying for a level that you don’t really need.
You may need a set number of racks now, but is your business likely to grow? Consider the future, and should your needs increase, does the centre offer the option to increase your capacity? Relocating to a new centre can be costly, so if you’re likely to need more space in the future choose a centre that can provide it.
Can you choose which connectivity providers you use, or does the centre only allow you to use their preferred partners? And if there is a choice, how varied is it? The option to choose and change providers means you can compare tariffs and potentially make savings. So check what wiggle room there is.
Check the local travel links. Is the centre close to local rail or bus routes? Is it close to major roads, and is there on-site parking? You need to make sure your chosen centre is easy to get to for those times you need to attend to your racks. A two-hour trek filled with multiple changes on public transport will be a pain, and will take up valuable working time.
Your data is highly important, so you need to make sure your data centre can keep it secure. So check what levels of security they have. Do they have CCTV on-site, and 24/7 security guards? What insurance measures do they have for unexpected power outages, and what is their plan for disaster recovery?
Does the data centre offer bespoke services, or do you need to fit your requirements around their set data packages? If your business needs don’t fit in with a centre’s set packages you could end up paying more than you need to, or be tied to services you don’t use. So make sure you’re only paying for what you need.
With such variety in the capital, it really pays to speak to people who know the landscape and who can offer advice on exactly what will meet your business requirements. So before deciding on a data centre, talk to an independent colocation expert who can offer impartial advice on a range of centres and services.
What are your experiences of shopping for data centre services? Leave a comment and let us know
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