Three future-led factors to look for when choosing a data centre provider
Navigating tomorrow's tech landscape and staying ahead of the curve.
In our data-driven world, technology plays a vital role in storing, processing and managing critical data for organisations of all sizes. Data centres are the engine room of the future, as they enable scalable access to digital services through on-demand infrastructure, leveraging hybrid multi-cloud architectures to power performance and availability, giving people the power to do more.
The immense value of reliable data centre access lies in the provision of dependable and scalable connectivity, heightened data security and improved operational efficiency, irrespective of whether an organisation is a start-up or a multinational corporation. Additionally, these advanced hubs play a crucial role in helping organisations concentrate on their core competencies, while harnessing a robust digital infrastructure for their operational needs.
Critical to this is finding a technology partner capable of empowering businesses with intelligent infrastructure, efficient workplaces, robust business applications, exceptional customer experiences and business security. The right partner must facilitate your ability to communicate, collaborate and transact.
To help in that search, here are four decisive factors when it comes to making the best choice for your data centre provider.
1. Connectivity super strength and scalability
The evaluation of connectivity options is important because a robust network infrastructure will enable seamless data transfer and reduce latency, ensuring optimal performance for your applications. The global performance benchmark here is high, as leaders in this service provide data centres engineered with high availability and complete redundancy, ensuring always-on performance and reliability.
The ideal is a global provider with local presence and traction, as well as global ICT services, including managed services, network, security, and voice and video services. It is also worth mentioning that this kind of ideal partner can significantly lower overall associated costs.
African footprint and track record is another feature to look for in a potential provider. Consider that the growing move to data centre partnerships is prevalent in the context of our continent as it experiences a digital boom, with a population expected to double by 2050 and estimates showing that 615 million users in Sub-Saharan Africa will subscribe to mobile services by 2025, a 24% increase from 2020.
Reliability and uptime is also critical to include in your due diligence of your data centre shortlist. Downtime can have severe consequences for business operations so ensure your partner guarantees a high level of uptime through redundant power supplies, backup generators, cooling systems and network connectivity.
When assessing the reliability of these specialists, remember to examine the quality of their service level agreement (SLA). Your chosen data centre should not only support growth and foster innovation on a global level but also offer cutting-edge, secure and interconnected solutions. Additionally, consider the extent to which they can provide scalability support aligned with your future expansion plans. These solutions could include network bandwidth, flexible rack space, as well as supplementary power capacity.
2. Ensuring carrier and partner neutrality
Check for carrier neutrality, multiple network service providers and diverse network paths.
As a carrier-neutral operator, the provider must offer you a connectivity-rich data centre network that provides a scalable and resilient platform, providing you with the innovation and growth environment you seek, wherever you need it. This would include access to a large variety of internet exchanges and telecommunication network providers and access to multiple cloud partners – delivering cloud transformation through full stack services and best-of-breed data centres and cloud infrastructure.
Data centre offerings must include state-of-the-art security. Evaluate the physical security measures, including surveillance systems, access controls and 24/7 monitoring. Additionally, ask about cyber security measures, such as intrusion detection systems, firewalls and encryption protocols, to safeguard your valuable data from external threats.
Also be sure to speak to potential providers about their disaster recovery and business continuity systems as data loss or prolonged downtime can be disastrous. This conversation could include discussions around their redundant infrastructure, backup systems, off-site data replication, and recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives.
3. Co-location value and strategic locations
Your partner must be able to deliver new value for your business through the advantages of co-location.
The geographical location of a data centre plays a role in data accessibility, latency and compliance with data protection regulations. Consider factors such as proximity to your business, network connectivity and disaster recovery risks. Another factor to consider is that your technology partner should offer excellent technical service, as timely and trusted technical support is essential when issues arise. Ask about availability, response times and the expertise of technical staff.
Importantly, at every point in your due diligence, keep top of mind that your requirements should be the most important aspect of the provider’s service offering. Whether you select a building shell which you configure yourself, or your partner constructs it according to your specifications, or even if you want to rent a single rack in their shared environment, the leading data centre provider will accommodate you in line with your needs.
After all, it is your data that requires a trusted custodian.