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  1. #1

    Choosing a Datacenter

    We're in the process of choosing a data center for colocation. I'll like to get your ideas on areas we should ask questions on and the appropriate service/response we should expect.

    We're looking to start with one or two servers and gradually grow to about 50 within the first year.

    Also, if you have any suggestions on great data centers in the washington, dc area that would be great.

    Thanks.


    Anthony.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    2,410
    Hi Anthony,

    I would recommend you check out Peer1 for your colo needs. They have 8 data centers within North America. Check them out at http://www.peer1.com/infrastructure/network.php As far as questions, I won't be able to help you out. They have a pretty reliable netowrk. Good Luck!

    All the best,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    The Woodlands, Tx
    Posts
    5,962
    I'd say check for ones within driving distance to you. You can find a bunch on http://www.datacentermap.com . From there you can come here with the list of ones that interest you and ask for experiences with them.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Biddeford, ME
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by dailyrazor View Post
    We're in the process of choosing a data center for colocation. I'll like to get your ideas on areas we should ask questions on and the appropriate service/response we should expect.
    The usual standard items, power (types, backup, etc), security, fire suppression, uplink redundancy. The answers you should expect depend on the importance and the level of risk you're willing to accept for your servers vs cost.

    Hosting engineering simulation servers for a Fortune 100 company is definitely a different equation than hosting a website about collecting bottle caps.

    Vern

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by vburke View Post
    The usual standard items, power (types, backup, etc), security, fire suppression, uplink redundancy. The answers you should expect depend on the importance and the level of risk you're willing to accept for your servers vs cost.

    Hosting engineering simulation servers for a Fortune 100 company is definitely a different equation than hosting a website about collecting bottle caps.

    Vern
    This is pretty much spot on. It all depends on how absolute "mission critical" your servers are to you and what kind of money you lose per min/hour that they are down and what kind of exposure that would leave you open to.

    There's everything from top flight locations like Equinox to local ma and pops... but you pay for what you get, and what you get should depend on what you truly need.

  6. Provide a bit of information about your target market and you can get an even better response from WHT members.

    Offering dedicated servers to people in South America? Host the servers in a location with the best traceroutes to that area to please that client base.

    Aiming for low end server types? Look for low priced hosting with only so-so bandwidth blend to save on money.

    Need access to your servers regularly and at odd hours? Make sure you pick a datacenter close to you to access to them often.

    You could also provide your short list of datacenters here and ask for opinions to have you narrow it down.

    good luck.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota
    Posts
    23
    Regardless of where you are, be sure to ask:
    1. Send me your SLA's in writing, do not just verbally tell me what they are.
    2. Provide a history of actual customer impacting outages over the last 5-7 years.

    These are considered very fair questions among the larger more established colocation centers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    211
    If you are in the US you might check out colo4dallas. Been with them for a little while and highly recommend them. They are pretty highly recommended on this board as well.

    John
    Great Plains Web Hosting
    Providing Small Business Solutions
    Hosting For Your Small Business

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    51
    Power and Network design should be your main concerns. In this day and age being close to your servers isn't always necessary or prudent. Most facilities offer remote and hands and eyes and some will even setup the whole rack for you if you drop ship the equipment. Unless you like to eat your lunch on your equipment, there really isn't much need to be close to them anymore. Most DR plans would prefer you be further away in the first place.
    Last edited by CoreXchange; 09-11-2008 at 02:31 PM. Reason: spelling error

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by dailyrazor View Post
    We're in the process of choosing a data center for colocation. I'll like to get your ideas on areas we should ask questions on and the appropriate service/response we should expect.

    We're looking to start with one or two servers and gradually grow to about 50 within the first year.

    Also, if you have any suggestions on great data centers in the washington, dc area that would be great.

    Thanks.


    Anthony.
    I just did my first colocation too.
    I was close to a large urban center that had lots of local datacenters that were pretty tested by large companies.

    I called around and searched around for a while locally. I found three. I asked around about resellers, but found one really good datacenter that would lease me out 2u's of space without going through a reseller.

    Either way, I liked the idea of having the computer near me, so I could just drive over and fix something if it broke, or install my second computer when I can afford it in the other U space.

    I looked on forums and reviews for anything really bad.
    I looked at their set up, what kind of backups, building, etc do they have?

    Asking dumb questions is the perfect test too. If the sales or tech guy you are talking to just deflects the questions and does not answer them, that red flagged them for me.

    I wanted someone who at least semmed to care.

    I like security guards.

    I also looked for the shared cabinet security. Since I am sharing space with others, I do not want them in my stuff. So, the company that leased for me allows me to be there...but they do all the connections and no one except the tech people are allowed in the shared cabinets.

    I got a direct line to the internet through their router...and am loving it so far.

    It did take months to search to make sure I made the right choice for me. So far, no problems and they have been great at fixing things I have messed up....for free.

  11. #11
    CoreXchange is right. Power and network are key. Without those nothing else matters. You still need to be sure about the local service, even if you are close by the last thing you'll want to do is stop whatever you may be doing to go reset a server. It's a real pain. Many shops say they have on-site, good service but not many do. Some depend on contractors or call out techs. You want them on-site 24x7. I could even make an argument you don't want them super smart, they just need to follow directions. Everybody will have good stories and bad, some from the same providers. Bottomline, you need to come up with what's good for you and your situation.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Eden Prairie, Minnesota
    Posts
    23
    hostdfw is right on the money in his advice to you. The other thing that is important is asking if you get free "hand and eyes"
    so you never have to drive in for a reset or a CD eject. The really smart data centers make these services (within reason) free for colocation customers.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    3

    * Colo providers

    I would suggest contacting corexchange - dnagel@netstake.com; he'll give you a great deal on space, power and bandwidth. They are out of the INFOMART in Dallas, TX.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    1,022
    Quote Originally Posted by dailyrazor View Post
    We're in the process of choosing a data center for colocation. I'll like to get your ideas on areas we should ask questions on and the appropriate service/response we should expect.

    We're looking to start with one or two servers and gradually grow to about 50 within the first year.

    Also, if you have any suggestions on great data centers in the washington, dc area that would be great.

    Thanks.


    Anthony.
    Anthony,

    There are several wonderful datacenter in Washington DC. I recommend one that is close to you. Datacentermap.com will be a good place to start. You can also contact Bob Spiegel from QuoteColo.com to get more quotes. He is very resourceful and will help you explore the options you have nearby.

    I wish you all the best!
    Reyner Natahamidjaja | GIP Networks Inc
    SSAE 16 SOC 2 Type II, HIPAA Audited and PCI Compliant with 24/7 Dedicated Onsite Staff
    Protecting Businesses Against Power Outage and Down Time

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    75
    I would suggest the following questions as a basic;

    What square footage is your datacenter? (sorts the players from the mom & pops and cage resellers)

    Do you own, lease or share?

    What is your power configuration (UPS, On site Generators etc) and what percent usage are you designed around? (If they can't provide continuous power your 'uptime' is in jeopardy, if they use power circuits any greater than 80% they don't know how to manage power)

    How much unused power is there in your facility now?

    What is your cooling capacity and what is your power capacity? (you can run some quick calculations to determine if they have sufficient and redundant cooling capacity)

    Describe your network; capacity, edge routing, switches and suppliers? (if the network is not top notch, you can be slowed way down)(if they are all tier 2, go someplace else)

    Is my bandwidth exclusive, or do you oversell? (if speed is not critical it doesn't matter, but if they connect 24 100Mbps lines into a switch with a 100Mbps uplink you're not going to be happy)

    Decribe your fire supression systems.

    Describe your data center layout. (doesn't necessarily have to be hot aisle cold aisle throughout, but if it is really haphazard there can be significant hot spots)

    What is your 'Uptime Institute Rating'? (see uptimeinstitute white papers to see what this means)

    Do I have 24/7 access, and do you have 24/7 actual onsite support?

    Just an introduction?

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