Six key considerations when selecting a data center

The Internet relies on data to operate effectively. Over the years, the volume of data collected, stored and sorted by servers every day has increased significantly. For this reason, modern data centers are built with the proper technologies to support today’s data handling demands. You must pay attention to how data is stored, secured and accessed in your business, failure to which you risk losing critical business information that could compromise your credibility.

In a nutshell, data centers in Toronto are very significant facilities in any business. We are in the era where people are used to accessing loads of information by just tapping a keyboard or scrolling through their mobile device. With a properly designed and well-maintained data center, organizations can reach their goals. Proper maintenance can prevent downtimes that could annoy customers and result in lost business.

How To Build A Data Center

There are numerous considerations when building a data center. These facilities come in so many shapes and sizes so it’s important to be very cautious when settling for the right features. Work with the right experts to construct an ideal data center that suits your unique needs and day to day operations. This includes designers, developers and even a business lawyer in Toronto to help you understand the legal guidelines involved in the data center construction process.

The 6 areas we’ve covered below should give you an idea on how to make an informed decision when selecting a data center.

Location Is Key

For many businesses, the most important factor is where the data center will be situated. There are two broad options: in-house or off-site data centers. You’ll need to weigh their pros and cons then select the one that’s ideal for your business. In-house data centers are very convenient to manage given that you can easily access your servers right in your backyard. However, you will need to invest a lot of money on the maintenance. In-house data centers can also be a challenge if you lack adequate space in your current facility.

Should you choose an off-site location, expect to overcome the challenge of having to visit the data center. Make sure the location is easily accessible so that your IT staff can get there as soon as possible in the event of an emergency. Choose a location that has power access and consider environmental hazards such as earthquakes. Another key consideration when choosing the location of your data center is the transmission network. Is the area’s network stable and secure? In some locations, the network can traverse in open areas and this compromises the security of your data center.

Reliability

There are several factors that will impact on the reliability of a data center. For a start, you need a reliable power source to operate effectively. If you are not able to provide immediate backup power at the facility, you’ll face numerous downtimes and disappoint your customers in the process. Secondly, the data center should have reliable cooling systems in place. This can be installed during the construction process. Servers generate considerable heat and if you lack proper cooling mechanisms in the facility, the servers will fail leading to downtime. Even more important is whether you have invested in redundancy systems in the data center. These systems are designed to guarantee continuity in the event of an emergency shutdown.

Security

Data centers need to be properly secured from both cyber attacks and physical threats. There are numerous protocols that can be put in place to secure a data center from all forms of malicious cybercrimes. On the other hand, proper security techniques need to be put in place to prevent unauthorized access to the facility, theft, and destruction. This includes having CCTV cameras, highly trained security personnel as well as other forms of infrastructure protection. Some organizations choose to have their data centers in off-site locations where they are kept very discreet to reduce any physical threats. Installing the latest physical security features in the facility is likely to be expensive but would be worthwhile in the long run.

Network Infrastructure Design

Data centers need a proper network infrastructure to maintain the desired speed, reliability and even security. Take your time to select reliable Internet provider to deliver customized solutions for your data center. If the network is not built on a solid platform, the facility may be put at a significant risk. It’s also important to ensure that the data center is scalable, and the network capacity can cater for present and future needs. You may consider getting colocation services from a reputable telecommunication company as your business grows. This means you don’t have to consider getting more bandwidth or data storage. You simply access the network services capacity that your business demands in real time. Colocation also allows your business to connect with partners, distributors and other stakeholders who can bring in a lot of value to the business.

Flexibility And Scalability

The ideal data center facility should be able to grow as your business grows. Choosing a scalable data center allows you to be ready for the ever-increasing demands of a business. You shouldn’t be forced to stretch your resources whenever you need to store, collect or access more data over the years. That’s why it’s very critical to choose a data center that is both flexible and scalable.

Emergency Backup

A properly designed data center has the capacity to properly respond to emergency situations. The data center should function effectively in incidences such as natural disasters or accidents if a proper backup system was put in place. The emergency backup can integrate different systems including fire systems, power generators, and redundancy systems. All these are put in place to prevent business discontinuity in the event of a major disaster.

Parting Shot

With all the above in mind, remember that the most critical consideration when choosing a data center is your business needs. The ideal data center should fit your specific requirements. If you’re having trouble choosing the ideal data center, it’s time to speak to an expert who will provide all the guidance you need to make an informed choice.

Thilan Sibera
Account Manager at CRSC - Data Centre Experts

With more than 25 years of experience as data centre experts, CRSC has designed and built over 300 mission critical IT infrastructures across Canada. We start by identifying your specific needs and objectives in order to determine the best course of action for your business.