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Thread: What to look for when picking a co-location provider, or data centre.

  1. #1
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    What to look for when picking a co-location provider, or data centre.

    Hi everyone,

    I am sure everyone has their own list of what is important to them when picking somewhere for their co-location supplier, or a data centre in which to place their servers.
    Such a decision is a big one, and it is a lot of hassle to move servers later and something that ideally businesses and end users would want to avoid.

    But rather than tell you what I think you should look for in a data centre or hosting provider, perhaps it's worth a try on opening up this thread to those hosts in the UK who can supply these services as to what they think should be top of the list to watch out for and check on.

    So here goes! A thread of Co-location providers hopefully telling us what the most important factors in data centre choice are.

  2. #2
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    Great thread.

    I have co-location mostly in the USA but i do have a server in London. For the USA the only thing i look for is Tier 4 Datacenter. With the tier 4 datacenter (which only a few of them are avail around the world) you can have peice of mind of everything. A tier 4 datacenter is always subject to "double" the performance of every datacenter. Double redundantly, can outstand a 140mph hurricane, always certified at high ground. Double ended generators. And only premium bandwidth providers can acutely signup there. Not only do you get secuirty for your server but most of the bandwidth provider are optic and dark fiber connection

  3. #3
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    IME the order of requirements, and the requirements themselves tend to vary by project...
    * network uptime
    * power uptime
    * cooling uptime
    * remote hands availability and capability
    * connectivity options (bgp, routed, cable type) etc
    * remote management options (serial-over-ip, kvmoip, power control) etc

  4. #4
    Array
    Quote Originally Posted by othelloRob View Post
    IME the order of requirements, and the requirements themselves tend to vary by project...
    * network uptime
    * power uptime
    * cooling uptime
    * remote hands availability and capability
    * connectivity options (bgp, routed, cable type) etc
    * remote management options (serial-over-ip, kvmoip, power control) etc
    I think Rob has hit the nail right on the head there to be honest.

    The only thing I'd add that I'd add regardless of project is:
    -Physical security/location - you don't want the local charvas to be able to get at the generators/HVAC/external kit or worse yet the facility its-self, or to have to go to the back-end of nowhere to change a disk.
    -Approachability - when a facility is ran by friendly approachable people who you can maintain a healthy working relationship with, things tend to go just that bit easier... especially when the filth hits the fan.

    Jon
    Jonathan Halewood

    Virgo Networks - High Quality Web Hosting & Network Services, from Newcastle and the North of England.
    Standard & Reseller packages available.
    UK based support from experienced technical staff.
    Prices start from 2.00 per month.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by VN-Jonathan View Post
    -Approachability - when a facility is ran by friendly approachable people who you can maintain a healthy working relationship with, things tend to go just that bit easier... especially when the filth hits the fan.
    I'll echo this and add Flexibility - we'll try and work with any client requirement as long as it's not just ridiculously unrealistic and are happy to consider anything put to us by our client

  6. #6
    Registered User Array
    an interesting thread, and something I'm thinking about at the moment.

    for mission-critical sites, tier4 is essential. security of equipment from fire, theft, flood, blackout, high/low temp, etc is essential. same with reliability of connectivity. for mission-critical sites this should also now include DDOS protection/resolution by the DC (IMO).

    my current project is something less than mission-critical, hence my interest in DC choice. do you always need tier4 cost ? does everything need 99.99% uptime? I don't think so. is there enough of a market for "sub-Tier4", especially for static sites that can leverage CDN (thinking of cloudflare). for those not reliant on business from top-end customers, what's your thoughts on this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    an interesting thread, and something I'm thinking about at the moment.

    for mission-critical sites, tier4 is essential. security of equipment from fire, theft, flood, blackout, high/low temp, etc is essential. same with reliability of connectivity. for mission-critical sites this should also now include DDOS protection/resolution by the DC (IMO).

    my current project is something less than mission-critical, hence my interest in DC choice. do you always need tier4 cost ? does everything need 99.99% uptime? I don't think so. is there enough of a market for "sub-Tier4", especially for static sites that can leverage CDN (thinking of cloudflare). for those not reliant on business from top-end customers, what's your thoughts on this?
    And even more interesting I am pretty sure I am correct in saying Cloudflare (UK) isn't located in a T4 datacentre either..
    Peter Knapp - CCS Leeds Ltd - www.ccsleeds.co.uk
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  8. #8
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    Bruce, there are a growing number of quality facilities that don't charge a 'premium DC premium', so to speak, I know of a number they are now more competitive as a result of new entrants to the market such as ...

    Well if you are asking, put it in requests section so I can reply please!
    Last edited by Pete-CCS; 5th February 2014 at 06:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    same with reliability of connectivity. for mission-critical sites this should also now include DDOS protection/resolution by the DC (IMO).
    Colo Provider and DC aren't generally the same thing though - many datacentres simply provide the 'space', and whilst a number have 'added on' services like connectivity, it's often an afterthought and not to the same spec/qualty/service-level that you can get elsewhere in the building from other tenants - or the minimum space they'll sell is 64 racks worth !

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    does everything need 99.99% uptime?
    If your website is a picture of 'fluffles' your cat, and your only visitor is your Granny who connects from the local library on a Thursday afternoon, then no.

    Everything else is a matter of expectations vs budget

    I was recently talking to a director of a company, ~20 million in online sales, yet doesn't see any 'value' in a 'mission-critical' right-sized solution (ISTR the quote was about 420/month), and only looks at the 'price' - which is why they're paying 199$/year and suffer regular outages

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    Free drinks fridge?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveWright View Post
    Free drinks fridge?
    Pub colocated inside
    Matt Russell
    Twitter: @mattdrussell

  12. #12
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    use the heat for useful stuff. power a sauna? cook pizza? heat water and sell to neighbours for heating

  13. #13
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    The DC we used to be in had a Dominos Pizza downstairs - was rather handy on a few occasions!
    Jonathan Halewood

    Virgo Networks - High Quality Web Hosting & Network Services, from Newcastle and the North of England.
    Standard & Reseller packages available.
    UK based support from experienced technical staff.
    Prices start from 2.00 per month.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by VN-Jonathan View Post
    The DC we used to be in had a Dominos Pizza downstairs - was rather handy on a few occasions!
    The pizza shop across the road is 9000% better!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    use the heat for useful stuff
    Is just a PR dream that really doesnt work.

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