Need a Data Center? What to Look For Credit: Data center image via Shutterstock

Companies are amassing increasingly more data, but with so many data centers now available to businesses of all sizes, deciding which one best fits your needs can be a difficult process.

"Shopping for a data center seems like a daunting process — and it really can be — but if you know what to look for, you'll find the right place in no time," said Andy Pace, chief operating officer of SingleHop, a provider of hosted IT infrastructure and cloud computing. Pace said that whether it's for a brand-new company or a business that has outgrown its current servers, there are several factors to consider when searching for a new data center:

  • Retail vs. wholesale: Choosing between retail and wholesale leasing spaces is an important component to consider. Getting a retail space within a data center will probably make life easier because all the power and trimmings are already in place. The only downside is that it costs more per square foot, including the cost of utilities. When leasing a wholesale space, however, you get a section of the data center to build out. The cost is cheaper overall, but you have to design all of your own networking and power considerations.
  • Location: Businesses don't want to pick a place that's prone to natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes or earthquakes. In very specialized cases, you might need your data center located right in the middle of the city, but be aware that prices are much higher in those locations. Businesses should also consider the data center's location relative to the local telehouse, which provides the connectivity for the data center's network. Businesses that are too far away won't be able to get a good connection, which ties right into carrier neutrality.
  • Carrier neutrality: "Carrier neutral" means that the data center can connect to a bunch of different providers and networks, depending on the distance from the local telehouse. Odds are, you already have a relationship with certain carriers, so make sure the data center can connect to them. Being in a carrier-neutral data center adds to the overall robustness of a network.
  • Design: The design of a data center is extremely important. It's critical to have network concurrent maintainability, which means that anything in the data center can be shut down and kept down for a period of time without affecting any ongoing processing. That will ensure that maintenance does not cause any interruption to customers' service.
  • Reputation: The reputation of a data center can really make or break a deal. The best providers generally have the best designs and best quality. They also have the most facilities, which is important to consider if your company ever expands.

Once business owners have considered all of these factors, Pace recommends hiring a broker who can narrow down the list of data centers that fit their requirements.

Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.