Six Considerations for Choosing a Colocation Provider

Asking the right questions can make choosing a colocation provider a little less confusing.

An enterprise choosing a colocation provider may find the search a bit challenging due to changes happening in the industry. From shifting technology requirements to the impact of bigger public cloud providers consuming data space and then needing more, colocation centers are dealing with a lot of change.

Not the least of these factors is the increasing competition between colocation providers, with more entering the market and driving prices down. While competition is generally good for both innovation and the customer, it can make it more confusing for enterprises trying to choose a provider. Here are six considerations to keep in mind when evaluating colocation providers:

Evaluate their level of transparency. You need as much visibility as you can get into your provider’s operations. For instance, do they employ an incident response team, and does that team conduct emergency drills? You should also learn as much as you can about their regular hardware maintenance, including viewing recent maintenance reports. If a provider seems hesitant about any of this information, move on.

Look at capacity management. Find out how many other tenants will be able to affect you, how many people exist on a shared resource, and whether or not they oversubscribe power and cooling resources. Learning how the provider manages capacity, whether through a generator or a utility transformer, is important information for your comparison.

Determine latency concerns. In short, location matters. Find out how your colocation provider’s physical location impacts your connectivity and latency. Evaluate latency related to the different types of solutions you use, because it will help you make decisions about which workloads will be negatively affected.

Understand your network requirements. Before deciding on particular colocation requirements, take time to huddle with your network engineers and see what is necessary for your data flow to operate unimpeded by congestion or other network problems. You need to know which providers are linked to large public cloud environments.

Consider sustainability. Most large enterprises have sustainability goals, and because a colocation provider can significantly impact your power consumption, you should know how their practices would impact your objectives.

Prioritize customer support. When you’re in the evaluation stage, you should keep track of how long it takes the provider to return calls or deliver the information you requested. If there are any delays, you should take this as a foreshadowing of things to come. If they aren’t responsive when they are trying to make a sale, they certainly won’t return calls when you’re an existing customer.

When you need unbiased advice for your technology decisions, contact us at Compass Solutions. We can help you evaluate colocation providers and any other managed services you’re considering for your enterprise.

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