The reasons underpinning a move to colocation are many and varied (financial considerations, disaster recovery planning, refocusing resources on core competencies to name a few) but whatever you are hoping to achieve through it, one thing is clear - it is a significant decision, and one that requires careful consideration throughout each stage of the process:
- Pre-planning (developing a data centre strategy). What are your business requirements and your datacentre objectives? The decision to move to colocation must be one that’s endorsed and supported by stakeholders across your organisation, all of whom will have different perspectives based on their roles.
- Choosing a colocation provider and defining your needs. Colocation isn’t about off-loading your IT estate and workloads and storing them elsewhere. Of course, a secure and well-managed facility is fundamental to the colocation offering, but a good colocation partner will offer so much more; a partnership to achieve your business goals and access to complementary services including managed services, cloud and carrier options, and connectivity to facilitate a hybrid solution combining company-owned IT estate and cloud services.
- Making the transition/migrating. The migration process can be a crunch-point. How can downtime and disruption be minimised during the move? Should the migration take place in stages or in one fell swoop? Testing and troubleshooting needs to take place throughout the process. How sure are you that the process will be well-managed?
- Reaching steady state and re-evaluating service provision. What seems to be the ideal solution at the point of migration might not be the best solution further down the line. Technology is constantly changing, as are your business’s requirements, so your relationship with your colocation partner must allow for flex and fluidity to suit your evolving needs.
Finding the ideal colocation partner – digging deep to find the right match
As with any relationship, there are many qualities that converge to form the ideal partner, but what are those factors that differentiate an excellent colocation provider from the rest, and how should you go about extracting the right information from your discussions with potential colocation partners? Knowing the right questions to ask will help you to identify their strengths and weaknesses to ensure that they are the right fit:
- Can you get access to your collocated IT estate at any time?
- How secure is the facility?
- Who are the bandwidth providers?
- How is bandwidth allocated (is it burstable so you don’t exceed your limit if there are spikes in usage)?
- Are environmental concerns taken seriously?
- What about the uptime SLA?
- What certifications and accreditations does the facility have?
- What’s the approach to customer service?
The ‘Datum difference’ – going above and beyond
Once our clients have entrusted us with their valuable data, equipment and workloads, the least we can do is ensure that it’s safe and well looked-after. But our business philosophy is not about doing the ‘least’ of anything. Our service-enhanced approach, and experience of partnering with companies of all sizes, across all sectors, each with different requirements, means that we have an entrenched understanding of the challenges our clients are facing and the support that they need from us to achieve their business goals.
It’s not what you know, but who you know. Our close relationships with a network of partners who provide a wide range of managed services (everything from carrier and cloud connectivity, to hardware and data disposal) mean that our clients can easily access all the additional services they may need to augment our colocation offering.
Knowledge is power. You can be sure that we will take excellent care of your IT estate but we are under no illusion that our promise alone will be enough. That’s why our operations are completely transparent, and our ongoing service management provides you with regular service reviews and reports so that you know what’s happening with your vital equipment and workloads.
Prevention is better than cure. Once we take responsibility for your IT estate, our engineering team works tirelessly to ensure the facility is operating optimally through regular and thorough planned maintenance programmes, and is on hand to assist you with scheduled and 24/7 emergency engineering services to minimise disruption for your kit in case you require any changes or encounter any issues.
Nothing ever stays the same. Colocation isn’t a stand-alone solution that’s separate from your business activities - it needs to integrate with your existing and developing business requirements at all stages of your colocation journey. Our lifecycle services offer you the complementary support you might need, whichever stage of the colocation process you are at.