While every cloud clearly needs a home – it cannot be just any home. Matthew Dent, CEO, Volta Data Centres, shares his top tips for what businesses should be looking for when finding a home for their cloud services.
Five keys to unlocking the right home for the cloud:
1. Location - It’s not just about avoiding the flood plain or flight path. Businesses should also consider the time it takes engineers to travel to and from the data centre. From adding new customer equipment, to meeting customer Service Level Agreements (SLA), the speed with which engineers can reach the data centre can be critical.
2. Business Scalability – Predicating business growth is tricky, so it is essential to look for a home that offers flexibility. For example, can the data centre run high density and low density racks side by side? Without row-based, rack level cooling, an organisation might struggle to adapt or add racks without the upheaval of moving, when the time comes to scale up its cloud based business.
3. Connectivity - Every data centre offers multiple Tier 2 carrier options. Few, however, are able to offer multiple Tier 1 carriers. As a result, this means that the connectivity is still reliant upon a single fibre provider – typically BT. Without diverse fibre connections, the back-up options are limited: any damage to the underlying cable network – for example, damage during road works - will take out every Tier 2 connection that is simply using the same last mile from BT. In order to achieve full resilience, look for a data centre with multiple Tier 1 carrier options and diverse entry points into the building as well as Tier 2 carrier services.
4. Power Supply - All data centres can be expected to have a dual power supply from the grid. But how many can offer dedicated 33KV transformers? Most urban data centres are limited to 11KV tapped into one main grid substation – if that goes out, they will lose both A and B grid feeds. A data centre should take dual feeds from different substations to provide true resilience.
5. Security - From a bomb proof building to multiple levels of access security to the building, the server rooms and even to the racks, a depth of security facilities is key to support the changing threat risk. Given concerns regarding the data security in the cloud, it is essential businesses are highly confident in the procedures in place, from authorised and unauthorised access to fire and vandalism risks.
Moving to the cloud is a business critical decision, expectations should be rising and organisations should be continually looking for more from providers to support an evolving business model.