Here’s part 2 of our Top 20 questions to ask your colocation provider, originally published by colocationprovider.org
11. What Size of Internet Connections Does the Colocation Provider Utilize (T3, OC3, OC12, OC48, OC192), Realizing OC192 is Ideal? – There are many colocation providers out there, some even set up in garages where only a few T1’s or a T3 is utilized. Make sure that the provider you choose is a legitimate colocation facility that can deliver the technical reliability and security your business deserves. Look for a provider that has the ability to provide you with the best connectivity and redundancy for fast delivery. An OC192 offers the best connection available and will eliminate latency issues that you will find with smaller infrastructures.
12. What Kind of Security Does the Colocation Facility Offer? – For you to feel completely secure, it is highly valuable to find a provider that has invested in state-of-the-art security, whereby digital surveillance cameras are throughout the facility, card key locks at every entrance and exit within the facility exist with an enforced access list, and personal locking cabinet(s) are provided. It is important to note that individual secure locking cabinets are much more secure than an open rack in a shared cage.
13. Does the Company Specialize in Colocation or Something Else, (i.e. Phone Service) and Sell Colocation on the Side? – When deciding what provider your business would best benefit from using, make sure that you research the origin of the company’s services. If the company specializes primarily in phone service, web hosting or dedicated servers, then their colocation service will likely be more costly and you will be getting less service for your money. A company that specifically sells colocation is technically built to handle its necessities: maximum Internet speed via the largest backbone and network connectivity, expansive space opportunity and equipment security, along with the appropriate technical support necessary on a 24/7 basis.
14. Does the Colocation Facility Have Redundant Power? – The provider you choose should have continuous redundant UPS and generator backed electrical power where back-up battery banks are always online to keep the power on until prime source type of back-up generators take over if ever there was an outage within the city. This would protect your business from being harmed from outside factors and allow Internet business to sustain regardless.
15. Does the Colocation Provider Use a Standard Back-Up Generator or a Prime Source Type of Generator for Back-Up Power? – A provider that utilizes standard back-up generators is not capable of sustaining power over 4 hours in an outage situation. Therefore, it is important that you choose a facility that has continuous power, which can only be provided by a prime source type of generator. (Prime source generators are rated to run indefinitely, if needed, as the primary source of power).
16. Is the A/C System in Each Section of the Colocation Facility Redundant? – It is crucial for the provider to maintain an especially cooled environment for all of the servers it houses on a continual basis. Heat is the enemy of servers and network equipment. Having redundant A/C systems means that if any of the A/C systems fail, another A/C system is already helping to cool each separate colocation suite and can therefore take over as the primary cooling system. Choose a provider that has a state-of-the-art A/C system that provides air in each section of the facility redundantly.
17. Consider the Cost of Future Needed Internet Bandwidth Upgrades – A profitable colocation service provider is going to handle upgrades fairly. Research the pricing structures for future upgrades with various providers to know how you will be charged for additional Internet bandwidth as you grow. Ask how much it costs for 100Mbps and 1,000Mbps Internet bandwidth.
18. Does the Colocation Service Provider Have Brand Name Customers? – A provider that has brand name customers is a good sign. Ask for a list of customers when shopping for a colocation provider. This will allow you to learn the stability and technical reliability of that provider and help ensure that you are making a good choice.
19. Does the Colocation Provider Offer Secure Locking Cabinets or Just Racks in a Shared Cage? – For maximum security, it is best to find a provider that offers secure locking cabinets to avoid any shared technical issues or even possible problems with theft.
20. Does the Provider Offer Non-Profit Plans to Organizations? – A provider that is profitable means that they are stable enough to give back to the community. It is always a good sign when choosing a provider, if the provider offers non-profit organizations special opportunities, such as free Internet bandwidth for educational networks. It reveals that the company has a heart to make a positive difference, utilizing its technical and financial strengths for the betterment of others!