Things to consider when choosing a Datacenter [revised]
As per the last thread, I cleaned this up a little more, I welcome more comments as we make this the best it can be!
------------------- Top Ten Things to Consider when choosing a Datacenter
A minimum of N+1 power on critical systems (UPS and Generators) should be an absolute requirement for your business; however this doesn’t mean there aren’t points of failure. Not all power distribution is the same so demand a copy of your provider’s power map. 2N or greater systems is the only practical way to prevent failure. Definitions of redundant power can vary so demand to see a map that shows what it is truly redundant to. True B power should be redundant to the street.
Redundant means more than just N+1 CRAH or CRAC units. If the facility has chilled water demand either a loop feed bi-directional system or a completely redundant pipe. This allows for maintenance on the pipe without taking the system down. Other considerations include redundant chillers, pumps, valves, controls, and electrical.
At a minimum you should require a facility with multiple on site carriers. Competition drives pricing, therefore; by being in a carrier neutral facility with access to multiple providers, you increase your bottom line and decrease risk. Fiber should have diverse entrance paths to the building as well.
The risk of system outage is significantly reduced by placing your servers in a datacenter that is located in a disaster free area. The threat of natural disaster such as tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires can be easily thwarted by choosing a datacenter that does not reside in a coastal or storm centered region. Also consider the cost and availability of power when selecting your location.
It is important to demand accountability from your Datacenter Operator. While two-factor authentication is good, the most secure datacenters enforce three-factor authentication: something you have, something you are, and something you know. Man traps to avoid pass-back and tailgating at all points of ingress and egress should also be high on your list of requirements.
Do not risk your business to an unmanned facility. Require a minimum of 2 remote hands engineers and ensure the datacenter has certified professionals on site at all times. Don’t be fooled by datacenters who hire “button pushers.” Remember that your infrastructure lies in their hands during critical moments.
Flexibility to meet your business needs
Don’t pay for a datacenter that is everything to everyone; in other words, avoid paying for services you don’t require. And do plan for growth, as your business grows, you want a datacenter that grows with you.
Vendors and Partners of the Datacenter
Often times the datacenter operator has relationships established with vendors. Leveraging these relationships can save you time and money compared to working with solution providers.
Be sure to consider any other services the datacenter may offer you with regard to office space, engineering services, consulting services, customer accessibility, remote hands, etc.
The datacenter you choose should be SAS 70 Type II compliant. If your business deals with online payment transactions ensure that the datacenter meets the physical and environmental controls necessary for Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards.