When you’re looking for a new or additional Colocation provider, there are many factors to consider such as network resilience, security and scalability, to name a few.
But the location of your chosen facility is just as important in how easy your service will be to manage and how well it will meet all your objectives in choosing Colocation.
Staying within arm’s reach
Obviously, the basic premise of Colocation is that it’s your hardware hosted in an external data centre; you retain control of your kit but housing and network accessibility is the responsibility of your Colocation provider.
Typically, you or someone you employ will be tasked with visiting the data centre whenever kit needs to be added, updated or removed, or to resolve technical issues.
So, for that reason, it makes sense to choose a data centre that’s located somewhere you or your colleagues can access easily whenever you need to.
2020: a lesson in business continuity
On the other hand, if early 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the world can change in an instant.
With Covid-19 clustering in many urban locations, data centres located in those cities found themselves forced to close their doors to all but essential staff, meaning Colocation customers found themselves in a situation as unexpected as it was unprecedented.
The problem was further compounded by the fact that remote hands support wasn’t always able to resolve issues adequately or in a timely manner.
For that reason, geographic diversity has become much more of a consideration during the selection process.
When you consider that Covid-19 is likely to make waves for some time to come, it makes sense to consider using data centres in slightly more offbeat locations, as these are likely to be less subject to sudden restrictions on movement.
The last thing you need, when the economy is already suffering, is unresolvable server issues that prevent your own business from prospering.
A multi-locational approach
A final consideration is how much of a wave you’re making globally.
In certain markets, it might be necessary to use a local data centre rather than rely on your UK facility.
That, of course, will require your chosen overseas facility to have a reliable managed service offering, as maintaining your hardware yourself will likely prove costly and inconvenient.
But, even if your business is focused on the UK market only, it could still pay to choose more than one facility for a more diverse approach to safeguarding your operations.
Prioritise one facility but keep the other running as a DR strategy. Or use one facility for core data and systems and another for hosting new projects or innovations.
You could find a diverse approach is a great way of keeping business units distinct as well as being a sensible strategy in these strange times we’re living through.
Probably, your choice of geography will be influenced by a couple or all of these factors, whichever are most important to you and your business aims.
Ultimately, it’s only one criteria of a choice that should also include a thorough assessment of network resilience, energy efficiency, technical expertise and the ability to flex and scale as your business needs change.
How Safe Hosts can help
At Safe Hosts, we recognise that data centre access is a critical element of Colocation.
While many urban data centres have struggled to keep their doors open during 2020, we’ve worked hard to keep our Cheltenham-based facility working optimally.
Thanks to a combination of flexibility, “above and beyond” input from our technical staff and some 3D wizardry, we’ve kept our customers involved and their hardware maintained throughout this unusual year.
With our easy-to-reach location near the M4 and M5, we’re a convenient, geographically-diverse choice for strengthening the resilience of your current setup or realigning your Colo estate for today’s and tomorrow’s new world.