7 DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management) Considerations When Choosing a Colocation Provider

Data centers have become the central nervous system of most contemporary enterprises. The ever-evolving changing landscape of data centers and in turn the needs of their operators reflect the changes within the colocation (also known as “colo”) industry. Colocation providers are now forced to adapt and have become increasingly flexible. Where traditional data center-centric customers are moving to the public cloud, they can now transition their migration from more localized data centers and outsource to colocations. With the dependency on colocations exponentially growing, where they are tasked with ensuring security, power, cooling, connectivity, storage, networking, and staff expertise, it is essential to make a considered decision before selecting a colocation provider. 

Reasons for moving your data center to a colocation  

There are several reasons why colocations are the preferred route for an organization, primarily due to the complexity and costs incurred from managing your data center.  

Colocations are more likely to be robust due to the nature of having to facilitate sometimes hundreds of customers within one facility. This can be extremely beneficial for businesses that operate globally thus needing full global access which can be challenging when having a single data center. One of the benefits of a colocation provider is the efficiency in accessing data regardless of the customer’s location, enabling optimal performance. 

Also, due to the complexities and nuances of regional security laws, using colocation providers who are already compliant within their physical geography removes any potential obstacles in adhering to local laws. 

Finally, managing budgets can be easier, where all costs within the contract are generally fixed unless there are needs for specific updates, but power, cooling, and security within the colocation are maintained as part of the service agreement. 

Seven tips to consider, when choosing a colocation data center provider:  

  1. Location: The physical location of a colocation data center is pivotal. You will need to consider its proximity to your business, how accessible it is for servicing vendors and employees, and the potential risk of natural disasters due to environmental conditions. 
  2. Connectivity: Review the colocation provider’s network connectivity options to ensure they meet your organization’s needs. While researching, identify colocation providers that have multiple network carriers and redundant network infrastructure. 
  3. Security: Is there adequate security and reliable audit trail documentation? With increasing cyber and digital threats, it is essential colocation providers have stringent physical and digital security measures, with 24/7 monitoring, access control, video surveillance, and fire suppression systems. 
  4. Service Level Agreements (SLAs): SLAs govern the level of service that the colocation provider will deliver, including uptime guarantees, response times, and support availability. Take note of whether the colocation provider’s SLAs are in alignment with the tier requirements of the applications placed there and whether they are transparent regarding their SLA performance. 
  5. Contract costs: Avoid getting locked into long-term contracts, which may prevent you from re-negotiating rates should prices fall. Ensure quoted costs and the contracted terms agreement are acceptable. 
  6. Transparent energy management: Review the proposed cooling and PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness) methods to keep costs consistent and predictable. This can assist you with reducing the risk of overheating, which can be costly. 
  7. Existence of a Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software tool: Is the host using a DCIM software tool? Having a DCIM software tool enables you to have full transparency and visibility where you can interface with them to monitor and will as a result help you manage your environment.

How to proceed 

When selecting a colocation partner, review the recommended seven tips. Any selected colocation provider will inevitably become an extension of your computing infrastructure. Make sure they provide tools that give you visibility, management, and validation of the SLA of your real estate. Ideally, find a colocation partner that provides a portal that allows you to manage your environment and integrates with your own DCIM solution. 

Additional Resources 

What is a Colocation Data Center? - Nlyte Software 

Choosing the Right IT Infrastructure: Comparing the Benefits of Colocation and the Cloud | Nlyte 

7 Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Considerations When Migrating to Nlyte Colocation | Nlyte 

Colocation Data Center Infrastructure Management Software | Nlyte 


Most Recent Related Stories

The True Cost of DCIM Read More
Data Center Migration Best Practices Read More
The Strategic Role of Data Center Infrastructure Management in Modern Enterprises Read More