If you are just starting out, selecting a Colocation facility seems simple. Pick a location, rent out space for your servers and that is it, You are up and running. Not so fast, there are a lot of considerations when it comes to picking the right Colocation partner, such as the maintenance and operational plans associated with the facility.
Don’t forget, when you buy data center colocation you are buying a slice of critical infrastructure and ongoing maintenance. Without a robust maintenance program, technology will fail. Look for documented MOPs (method of procedure) and SOPs (standard operating procedure) that are used consistently and improved over time. Make sure your SLA does not exclude maintenance windows or emergency maintenance. Your colo provider should be able to show you their monthly, quarterly, and annual maintenance schedules for all critical elements of the mechanical and electrical systems including chillers, air handlers, generators, batteries, and UPSs. You should be able to observe and even participate in maintenance exercises.
- Facilities – What do they look like, get a tour
- Power – confirm what kind of Power availability and request logs
- HVAC – request for Logs and when it was last tested
- Infrastructure and Maintenance Support
- Physical Security of Data Center – inside and out
- Colocation Space Options
- Rack Options
- Connectivity – Network – Make sure enough bandwidth is available to you and others (depending on you application)
- Cage/Cabinet and Cabling Requirements (cleanliness is key)
- Floor Tiles (some facilities might not have this option)
- Customer Conduct Within the Data Center – Make sure rules in place
- Access List Management – How is list managed, security etc.
- Staging Area
- Shipping and Receiving
- Cell Phone Usage
- Pictures or Videos
- Web Cams
- Audits – What kind of Audits are performed, ask for any available to you
- Cancellation – What kind of notice do you require to provide
- Environmental Sensing Devices – Temp and Humidity are key factors you are looking for.
- Customer Provided Racks – are they allowed or just DataCenter generic.
- Customer Provided Power Strips
- Customer Provided Additional Security Devices
by: Bahram Khandan