5 Tips for choosing your datacenter wisely

By Lori McConvilleBlog

All datacenters are not the same and each one brings something unique to the table. Each datacenter must be able to stand out from its competitors, and they usually do so based on their location, specialty ecosystems and their ability to serve their customers’ immediate needs. In most cases, customers are forced to either choose from a datacenter with a good carrier list or the reliability and security they need. But, what if you could have both?

Choosing a carrier-neutral datacenter or colocation provider is an important business decision. And when it comes to housing your mission-critical infrastructure within someone else’s facility you should know that all datacenters are not created equal. A truly carrier-neutral datacenter is one that is independent of the companies collocating in the datacenter and isn’t serving the entire infrastructure. Customers are free to contract directly with the transit providers of their choice, which is the right choice for any business.

Many carrier-neutral facilities provide a great blend of providers as part of their standard transport offerings. When you collocate into such a facility, you will have access to the best blend of routes possible because even if you have a close relationship with your current carrier, things happen. Most likely, a carrier-neutral datacenter will provide you with options in case your current relationship doesn’t work.

Here are five reasons to choose a carrier-neutral datacenter over a carrier specific datacenter:

Reliability is very important when choosing a datacenter or colocation provider. Power, cooling, connectivity, and security are all crucial elements in reliable datacenter infrastructure and in a carrier-neutral facility. Reliability is measured in uptime in the world of datacenters and a reliable provider should perform at least 99.999% uptime. Don’t settle for inferior connectivity in order to get the other components right.

Datacenters that are dedicated to one carrier have limited options when a problem occurs with the network. Various carrier options offer multiple ways to incorporate a redundant vendor network design. IT best practices typically require that at least two carriers be used to connect crucial systems to the Internet, so if one fails, the other carrier will continue to function and your mission critical systems will stay connected. Your choices for alternative carriers in a carrier specific facility may be severely limited.

You want your provider to be able to meet your needs now and for several years to come. Every carrier’s network is different and you should place your mission-critical systems in a facility where all carriers are available to you. This means you can take advantage of the specialized routing and feature sets offered by each of the competing carriers at any time. You should also find out the availability of additional space, power and connectivity. Choose a provider that can scale with your needs over time.

Competition drives down prices and the more options (carrier providers) you have to choose from, the better. You should always ask how many options are available to you should you choose a carrier-neutral facility. If you choose a carrier-specific facility, you will be locked into that carrier’s product offerings for bandwidth for as long as you remain in the facility. Since moving can be difficult and costly, this means you will probably pay more for bandwidth in a carrier specific facility over time.

Consider how fast you need your infrastructure up and running? Most businesses want their new space set up as quickly and efficiently as possible. Once you make a significant investment in time and money moving your business’s web servers to a datacenter, you probably will not want to make the move again. However, we all know things happen in relationships, so no matter how much you may like them today, problems with your carrier provider could force you to make a change sooner. In a carrier-neutral facility, you can make a carrier change when needed because you are not locked into a relationship with only one carrier.

Want to learn more? Enseva helps companies accelerate business performance by connecting them to their customers and partners inside Iowa’s most networked datacenter. Now businesses can choose from a broad range of network services from over 12 carrier providers (including blended performance connections) with connections to backbone service providers in major network peering locations, making Enseva the preferred colocation center for customers all across the Midwest.

With increased reliability, redundancy, flexibility and deployment efficiencies, outsourcing data storage needs to be carrier-neutral is something all companies should consider. There are many benefits to using a carrier-neutral datacenter and if you would like to learn more about Enseva, please contact us at 888-851-6281.