Why does service-enhanced co-location change the relationship?
Large-scale data centres run by large enterprise organisations offer the organisation cost savings, connectivity and performance levels that small and medium-sized companies struggle to achieve. Which is where co-location comes into its own, allowing smaller organisations to realise these same benefits by effectively pooling their data centre needs. Using shared facilities can provide access to leading edge technologies and 24x7x365 dedicated data centre management, and allow companies to easily scale server capacity up or down as needed.
However, whilst the advantages of co-location are clear, placing your critical infrastructure in a third party facility is often not be as simple as the numbers alone might suggest.
Imagine the scenario. It’s your peak trading season when revenue generation is key to ensuring survival for the rest of the year. Your network goes down. No warning. The Sales Director, the CFO, the CEO are all screaming. You call the data centre which does not pick up. You leave a voice mail. You have no-one to talk to. You have no idea what caused the issue. You have no idea when it will be sorted. You have no idea if anyone even knows there is an issue. The very stuff of nightmares.
It might be an extreme example but it can happen. And it serves to illustrate the difference between leasing data centre space or entering into a service-enhanced co-location agreement.
Datum’s business model was developed from experiencing co-location from the client side, and from knowing all too well what it is like to be kept in the dark. The first requirement for business critical IT infrastructure is to ensure it is located somewhere secure and resilient – but in a similar vein to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, once the fundamentals are covered, the higher layers make the difference between existing and living.
Security, resilience, cooling and environmental controls are baseline tick boxes – you will have defined the requisite levels of security, resilience, temperature control. Connectivity options and cloud connectivity will depend on your business model and business objectives. Your need for energy efficiency may be dictated by stakeholders but will also impact your running costs. And service? Well, service makes the difference between being in control and hoping for the best.
Datum’s service-enhanced approach to co-location takes the data centre further up the hierarchy with service management providing clients with transparency and accountability. This is evidenced through practical advice, support and guidance throughout, proactive notification of any PPM or other events to aid planning, regular detailed service reports, and a go-to client service manager. Datum takes its duty of care to clients seriously, managing the data centre fastidiously to ensure peak performance – and should an unforeseen event occur, clients would be swiftly notified followed by information on cause and resolution as soon as these are known.
As the Quocirca white paper called out, choosing a co-location facility partner should not be undertaken lightly. Getting it wrong will lead to a raft of problems – poor availability of IT platform, poor performance and lack of flexibility in being able to grow and shrink your needs are just the basic issues that can arise. All of which means it is important to review the provider’s suitability in both technology and approach to ensure you can rest assured that your critical IT infrastructure is in the right place. Taking on co-location as a property transaction alone can leave you open and unprotected if things don’t go right.
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