Data Center Colocation Best Practices
May 30, 2019

Due to the ever-increasing demands of modern IT infrastructure, many organizations are moving their data centers and becoming a tenant of a colocation provider. Colocation data centers may be an attractive and cost-effective solution, but the decision to move to a colocation facility, and which one to choose, should be considered carefully. To avoid common mistakes colocation users make, stick to best practices before, during, and after the decision process.

Before you begin your search for a colocation data center provider:

  • Know your requirements. Have a list of exactly what you are looking for in a colocation facility and what you would like to achieve. By knowing your requirements and having a plan for growth, you help ensure you will make the right decisions later.
  • Virtualize and consolidate. You’ll be in a better position to know how much space and power you’ll need if you can consolidate and virtualize servers prior to looking at colocation providers.
  • Consider Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software. Use DCIM software and capacity planning tools to help assess, plan, and review your strategy to make the most informed decisions for your new location. A data center move is the perfect time to consider DCIM as it presents a fresh start to move away from antiquated tools.

When you are comparing colocation vendors:

  • Send an RFP to 6 to 8 providers. Follow the guidelines to a smooth RFP process, such as ask tough questions, understand the pricing model, and schedule site visits.
  • Know the hidden costs. Every colocation data center will charge for services differently, making comparing prices between them difficult. Furthermore, there may be hidden costs for space, power, and network connectivity. Use proven methods of comparing colocation prices to make sure you are getting a good deal.
  • Use a Data Center Migration Checklist. Once a new site for your data center has been selected, use the Data Center Migration Checklist to help plan a successful transition before, during, and after the migration.

Once you have moved to a colocation provider:

  • Use DCIM to monitor and manage operations. Once your co-located data center is live, DCIM should be used to improve uptime and availability, improve capacity utilization, increase efficiency, and reduce costs.
  • Keep your environment safe and clean. Most colocation facilities have strict cleanliness policies. Maintain a safe data center environment by removing items such as boxes and packing materials from the space. Keep IT equipment free from dust, which can lead to static-charged particles causing data loss and other issues.
  • Make use of provider services. If your colocation provider offers services such as cabling, infrastructure, or network security expertise, it can be cost-effective to leverage your provider for these solutions rather than multiple vendors.

Colocation data centers may provide a cost and resource-effective alternative to managing your own enterprise data center. However, it’s important to consider proven best practices throughout the process from choosing a colocation facility to deployment.

Want to see for yourself how Sunbird’s industry-leading second-generation DCIM software can help you manage your colocation data center and migration? Take a test drive today.

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