There are already over 7,000 providers of data centres across the globe. It is difficult to make an accurate comparison between these businesses because many of them, including some of the top players, concentrate on diverse market strategies, such as hyperscale, wholesale, colocation, retail, or managed services.

In this article by Yogesh Malik, Senior Solutions Architect at Equinix, he talks about how knowing what to look for can help you find the best data centre partner for your company’s needs now and in the future. Here are seven things you should think about.


  1. Location

You may need access to multiple data centres in different strategic locations for large IT deployments, business continuity/disaster recovery, or to be closer to employees, customers, and partners. If the environment and economy are good where a data centre is located, this can mean less overall risk and better efficiency. It is also important to have stable energy sources, network connections, and business partners in the same data centre or campus.

  1. Power and cooling

According to the latest data center survey by the Uptime Institute, a single outage can cost more than $1 million, and power loss is the most common cause of outages. [ii] Data centers can also get very hot, so it’s important to make sure that they have the right cooling systems. Some questions to ask include:

  • What are the primary and backup sources of power and cooling for the data center?
  • How clean and renewable are the energy sources?
  • How is power redundancy established and tested?
  1. Connectivity, neutrality and ecosystems

According to IDC, the best colocation providers “will offer a wide range of network providers, internet exchange (IX) facilities, and access to major cloud providers. With so many connectivity and cloud options to choose from, it’s easy to set up hybrid multi-cloud infrastructures that don’t lock customers into one vendor. Key questions to ask include:

  • How is this data center connected to where I do business?
  • How are the data centers interconnected on a metro, regional, national and global scale?
  • Is there direct access to global subsea cable routes?
  1. Security and facility access

Data centers are at the heart of the modern business, and protecting the data and equipment within them is of the utmost importance. Advanced security measures could include layered security zones, biometric access, and camera and surveillance systems. Be sure to include questions such as:

  • How does the data center provider keep its data center secure?
  • How are access logs maintained?
  • Are security cameras installed at all major entrances and monitored 24/7?
  1. SLAs, uptime, compliance and certifications

When vetting potential data center partners, one of the most important things to consider is the service levels they commit to as well as their track record. Service level agreements (SLAs) of 99.99% are common but the data center may track too much higher uptime. Key questions to ask include:

  • What are the data center provider’s SLAs and what remedies are offered if the SLA is not met?
  • How much downtime has this facility experienced in the last five years?
  1. Support, services and monitoring

Once you have selected a data center partner, you may need help with the installation, implementation or migration of your equipment and IT services. And, once you’ve deployed your IT infrastructure, you will need to monitor and maintain it. Areas to cover include:

  • What kind of support is available for my installation and ongoing maintenance and is it available 24/7/365?
  • What kind of training and technical qualifications/certifications do the site engineers have?
  • What services do they provide, for example, can they procure and install parts?
  1. Scalability and innovation

As your business grows, your IT infrastructure needs to grow with it. Think about how the data center can meet your current space and power needs and how quickly it can grow to meet your future needs in the same place and other places. Make sure to address areas such as:

  • What do you need to deploy now and how will that change over time? (Capacity, power, cooling)
  • Is the data center operating at capacity or is there room for expansion?
  • How quickly can the data center provider scale meet my requirements?

MDXi Data Centers are carrier-neutral, Uptime Institute Tier III facilities built to TIA942 Standards. They are certified with ISO 9001, ISO 27001, PCI-DSS and SOC2 Audited. Our regional data centers in Nigeria, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire are designed to meet the most demanding requirements for safety, compliance, dependability, and environmental responsibility.

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7 Things You Need to Know When Choosing a Data Center Partner