I’m a CIO. Get my IT equipment out of here.

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Content Copyright © 2015 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.
Also posted on: IT Infrastructure
Photo: Cory M. Grenier

Last month we suggested that you should be seriously considering a “rent first” approach to the underpinning data centre facilities for your IT equipment. This month, let’s start to take a look at the sort of capabilities and features you should consider when looking where and with whom to place your IT equipment.

A range of factors come into play when deciding on renting data centre space based on the nature of your business, who your customers are…and where they are, the mix of legacy applications, your strategy for moving applications to the cloud and your attitude to risk, security, the environment and cost. The reality is that choosing a single data centre or data centre operator will almost certainly involve making some compromises. So it is highly likely that these days you will be looking at multiple data centres or even multiple data centre operators to deliver the mix of applications you have with the price and performance you need.

One of your fist questions will probably be where do we want to locate our data centre(s).

New data centres are springing up in locations designed to take advantage of low cost and sustainable energy availability, particular clusters of customers and proximity to key networks and network concentration points. If your business relies on fast internet connectivity for your customers and suppliers you may need to ensure that you choose a datacentre close to one of the major internet exchange points. This comes at a cost, both in terms of prices, but also in terms of accessibility. If the data centre you are looking at for connectivity is based in London Docklands getting your staff down there to work on the servers will be a consideration.

If your applications are much more about compute and store, rather than route and switch, and your latency requirements aren’t the top priority then there is no compelling need for the data centre to be on top of the network pipes. A local data centre operator is likely to have more than adequate network capabilities, be cheaper and have the advantage of being close at hand making access easier for your staff.

On the other hand if being Green is important to your business and you don’t have an overwhelming desire to be close enough to your servers to go and hug them regularly then there is a growing market for data centres in places like Iceland, Sweden and Finland where a cool climate and availability of natural sources of energy, not to mention government incentives, combine to reduce energy costs significantly…not to be sniffed at when energy provision can amount to over a third of data centre running costs.

In certain cases physical security and business continuity might be your most important considerations. Data centres located away from obvious high risk areas, political or geographical and located far enough apart not to be caught by the same disaster are an obvious requirement. But you might have some specific security concerns that require a more specialised location that puts security at the top of their list. There are a number of such data centres which we will cover in more detail next time as we look at security and other key considerations you should consider when looking to rent data centre space.

This post first appeared on the old Cassini Reviews website.