25th September 2019

Data centres and colocation – why location matters

Companies are increasingly making the decision to move their IT real estate and workloads from their in-house computer rooms to an outsourced colocation centre, and with good reason! By doing this, they can reduce capital and operating costs whilst benefiting from a secure, controlled and resilient environment for their data and equipment. So far, so simple… 

But having made the decision to colocate there are many factors to take into account when choosing a colocation datacentre – accreditations, security, levels of service, to name a few – but what about location? We argue that the location of your chosen data centre should be a fundamental factor in your decision-making, and here’s why …

Never compromise on security

Companies are increasingly outgrowing their on-site IT facilities due to ever-expanding data volumes and the need for archiving, more vigilant back-ups and more hard-drive real estate to accommodate newer and more sophisticated software and operating systems. In answer to this, data centres numbers are growing. But whilst one data centre may look much like another, what goes on behind closed doors can vary significantly

Companies whose paramount priority is the security of the data and workloads they hold (most notably those who manage sensitive data on behalf of their clients) cannot compromise on security. In terms of location, this often means selecting a data centre that is located a safe distance from high-risk areas (such as London) and choosing one that offers outstanding levels of security.

Our solution: Our Farnborough data centre is situated in the Cody Technology Park and Datum’s own multi-layered security measures mean that we offer our clients unparalleled levels of security.

Connectivity and network speed are key

Businesses demand that business-critical IT is always-on and always available, so good connectivity is crucial. The further a data centre is from a peering point, the greater the risk of connectivity issues. Therefore, data centres must be located in well-connected areas with access to many carriers and multiple redundant fibre connections to major bandwidth providers. The only way to provide consistent and reliable bandwidth at the volumes required by an enterprise-grade data centre is to build many connections to various network providers, so proximity to an urban hub is advantageous.

Network latency - the nemesis of digital business - detrimentally affects business performance and client satisfaction. Today, more than ever, business transactions rely on applications running all aspects of business operations. Customers need quick access to applications, and the applications increasingly need to communicate with each other (even more so with the increase in Internet of Things and AI technology). The further data must travel from the place it is stored to the place it is used, the higher the latency, so data centres need to be near enough to business hubs to reduce latency issues.

Our solution: Farnborough is fast developing as a strategic London-edge data centre hub so multiple connectivity providers have developed their networks in the area. We are located on a highly secure site a safe distance from London and its associated risks, and have connected latency to Slough and the City of London of less than 1 millisecond.

Room for manoeuvre

Businesses cannot predict how their requirements might change in the future, but growth will no doubt be on their minds. That’s why it is vital to partner with a data centre that can guarantee the ability to flex up (or down) in line with requirements. Inner-city locations are often constrained by a lack of room for expansion whereas those a little way outside major conurbations tend to be larger and more spacious, and often newer, so they can be easier to update and remodel accordingly.

Our solution: Datum’s spacious Farnborough facility offers space for expansion. A new state-of-the-art facility (FNR2) has been designed (and planning has been approved) within the park to complement Datum’s original Farnborough datacentre (FNR1). More space but the same Tier 3+ resilience, high service levels and excellent, established connectivity.

Partnerships and a skilled workforce without sky-rocketing costs

There’s so much more to colocation than the storage of IT real estate and workloads. Partnering with a data centre provider with a strong network of partners offering related services (e.g. connectivity, cloud services, managed services) means the provision of a full-service offering for clients. And this kind of partner network is more feasible within close proximity to densely populated areas, which is where most businesses are located.

Our solution: Datum’s key differentiator is its service-enhanced approach. Datum’s Farnborough location, with its proximity to (but safe distance from) London, the M3, M4 and M25, means that we have access to some of the best providers of associated services with whom we have formed strong alliances through our Datum Connect partner directory

The best way to evaluate the location of any data centre is to see it first-hand. Why not book a tour of Datum’s impressive facility and Cody Park (which offers conference facilities, catering, hospitality, fitness facilities and even a 24hr gym)? Or get in touch if you would like to find out more.

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