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Today, companies have many options for data center. Data centers can be built on-premises, hosted in various cloud models, or staged at a colocation.

According to Market Research Posts, housing a data center in a colocation is growing in popularity, with the market predicted to increase by 13.2% each year between 2020 and 2026. Cloud data centers continue to present a great option due to their agility and cost effectiveness.

No matter which option your company chooses, you should look for certain criteria before making a decision. Your company’s data center needs to meet your data storage capacity and security goals. Supporting technologies and resources should align with your business strategy and goals for digital transformation.

Here are 6 things to look for in a data center: 

1) Reliability

A reliable and highly available data center is crucial. The data center should maintain business continuity with 99.999% availability. A data center should limit both planned and unplanned downtime.

Data center downtime is expensive. Statista calculated the average cost of downtime for a quarter of businesses as between $301,000 and $400,000.

Beyond the tangible costs, data center downtime damages a company’s reputation, making it appear unreliable, unavailable, and untrustworthy. Downtime hinders an organization’s decision-making capabilities by denying it access to real-time information.

data-center-location-is-important-for-access-and-protection2) Location

The location of a data center is important because of the need to readily access and protect data. While an on-premises data center may seem like the means to data accessibility, much of today’s data is being generated at endpoints. POS systems, IoT devices, and mobile devices may be located far from the company’s primary data center.

A colocation or cloud provider may have many geographically dispersed data centers. One or more of these data centers may be close to an organization’s endpoints. Geographical diversity in a data center also prevents data from being lost or compromised after a disaster.

3) Security

Data security is at a premium with cybercriminals becoming bolder and staging more sophisticated attacks. A data center should have robust physical security along with digital security solutions.

Monitoring should be carried out 24/7. Both the network and the perimeter should be protected with a firewall, intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, and security incident and event management (SIEM). Data must be protected while being transmitted and while at rest.

network-support-with-firstlight-solutions4) Network Support

A data center must be supported by a strong network so data can flow in and out of it quickly and reliably. The network is crucial because today’s data centers are connected to multiple branch locations and endpoints. A secure network guarantees data will reach its destination safely and uncompromised.

The network needs to supply enough bandwidth to accommodate peak data traffic. The data center network should be high speed with low levels of latency. Low latency ensures optimum user experience, delivering real-time data, jitter-free audio, and crystal-clear video.

5) Scalability

A data center must scale quickly and easily to meet increasing data capacity needs. Today’s data centers need to scale to accommodate data being generated by more sources than ever, including connected IoT devices and social media.

Capacity growth is difficult to predict, resulting in over- and under-provisioning. Cloud data centers and colocations offer the agility companies need to respond to data growth and lay a foundation for data analytics.

the-human-factor-with-firstlight-solutions6) The Human Factor

A data center is only as good as the people behind it. If your company chooses a colocation or infrastructure as a service (IaaS) for data center, you want a partner that has a team of certified and experienced experts in charge.

The team that manages and maintains your company’s data center should be responsive and available. The team members should be accountable and clear about how they will meet your expectations. 

Exploring Data Center Options

Choosing where to house your data center is a big decision. If you choose an off-site option, you want to work with a partner that will help you make a seamless migration and provide ongoing support.

FirstLight can help your company with its decision-making process, data center transition, and support. We offer a wide variety of data center options. We own and operate over a dozen highly secure data centers across the Northeast.

FirstLight is also a cloud service provider, delivering IaaS and disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) to companies of all types. All our data center solutions are supported by our own high-speed fiber optic network.

Interested in partnering with FirstLight for data center? Reach out and we’ll follow up with you.