Touring Colocation Facilities for the First Time? Here’s What to Look For

By January 27, 2015 What We DO No Comments

When vetting colocation facilities, it’s important to tour the building before making any kind of commitment. Sales copy and flashy promises can easily be used to hide deficiencies that could negatively affect your business and your data. An on-site visit is the only way to confirm that your colocation provider can safeguard you as well as they’ve claimed. Here are 4 things to look for as you’re touring the facility.

  1. Security. You seek out colocation facilities because they are supposed to be more secure than your office, so make sure your colocation facility delivers on its promise. Keep your eye out for security cameras, secure access points, and on-site security guards. Also, make sure that your assets are protected from others who use the facility, and are accessible only to you inside locked cages.
  2. Staff. Notice how many staff members work in the facility. Colocation facilities are designed to be self-sustaining, but that doesn’t mean that human monitoring, maintenance, and input aren’t essential. The best facilities will have professional staff on site at all times to identify small problems before they get worse, service client issues at any time, and respond to major issues immediately.
  3. Redundancy. Colocation facilities exist to ensure uninterrupted access to utilities and network connections through redundant backups. Ask your tour guide to show you where and how these redundancies have been installed, and to walk you through the procedures that take place should one of them fail.
  4. Flexibility. If your colocation provider can’t scale your offerings up or down as necessary, you’ve only secured a temporary solution. Make sure the facility has options available as small as a ¼ cabinet, and as large as a dedicated personal data center. Verify that each of these options is fully equipped and well maintained.

You can also tell a lot about colocation facilities by the person giving you the tour. It’s never a good sign if they are unable to answer your questions, hesitant to show you parts of the facility, or evasive about the terms of your contract. Never settle for anything less than total transparency and unwavering expertise. To see what an industry-leading colocation facility looks like, plan a visit to SiteB Data.