Choosing a colocation data center is an important decision for your company. After all, your mission-critical infrastructure will be housed in someone else’s facility. There are several criteria you should consider before making a decision. This list isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of questions for every business, but it’s a good place to start. These criteria can serve as the foundation for your search or colocation data center RFP.

1. LOCATION: For several reasons, location is one of the most important factors to consider when selecting a colocation data center. The first thing to consider is how easy it is for someone from your company to get to the physical location. It is an essential consideration if you ever need to upgrade or service your equipment (think about how costly having equipment down for an extended period of time could be). You should also consider how vulnerable the area is to natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, and tornadoes.

Although the colocation data center provider considered these factors when developing the facility, taking extra precautions with your critical infrastructure never hurts.

UnitedLayer’s 200 Paul colocation data center is the only data center in San Francisco that is built on bedrock with Zone 4 construction and is not in a 500-year flood plain.

UnitedLayer has over 40,000 square feet of fully redundant colocation data center space, which is not in the earthquake fault, liquefaction, or landslide zone for the next 100-year and is seismically rated for protection against earthquakes.

2. FLEXIBILITY AND EXPANSION CAPABILITY (SCALABILITY): As stated in the previous section, you want your provider to be able to meet your needs now and for the next several years. Having said that, different colocation data center providers provide different levels of flexibility. Some will offer out-of-the-box solutions that may or may not meet your requirements. On the other hand, other providers will provide more customized solutions (flexibility) in addition to the more standard offerings.

Find out if there is any additional space, power, or connectivity available. Choose a provider that can scale with you over time rather than one that can’t.

UnitedLayer’s DR solutions are highly customizable, where customers can build specific Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) according to their business requirements. With on-demand scalability, you can add additional resources to meet the increased replication needs, this helps in reducing cost and improving business flexibility. UnitedLayer’s DR solutions are highly secure and

3. RELIABILITY: When selecting a colocation data center or colo provider, reliability is crucial. In the world of colocation data centers, reliability is measured as uptime. A reliable provider should have five 9s uptime, which means they are reliable at least 99.999% of the time.

UnitedLayer has guaranteed availability of 99.999% with High-availability N+2 Clusters. Other things to look for are staff certifications, customer feedback, and on-site support (vs. outsourced).

4. DEPLOYMENT EFFICIENCY: The physical characteristics of a data environment are an essential aspect of optimizing data centers. Poor server deployment may introduce latency into network systems, mainly if a facility uses sloppy, unstructured cabling. If servers are unable to vent heat effectively, the wrong deployment may result in higher cooling costs. Workloads may not be adequately distributed across computing resources, resulting in multiple servers running well below capacity but consuming the same amount of power as servers running heavier workloads.

How quickly do you need your infrastructure to be operational? How soon do you anticipate requiring a new cross-connect or additional rack space in the future? Most businesses want to get their new space up and running as quickly as possible.

Deployment efficiency can be difficult to quantify into a specific stat or number, so make sure your potential vendors communicate timelines clearly to you.

5. NETWORK ECOSYSTEM: The ability to interconnect within a shared colocation data center space is one of the most significant benefits of colocation. Interconnection can be highly beneficial to your business, whether you want to connect with partners, distributors, or even competitors for peering. Learn about the available connectivity options before making a decision. Is the facility carrier-neutral? Do they already have a large ecosystem of customers who are connected?

With over 300+ carriers at our interconnection facilities and direct access to over 3000 carriers, UnitedLayer has extremely low latency connections to all clouds, enterprise colocation data centers, and edge locations.

Choose a colocation data center solutions partner, not just a colocation data center facility

Moving to a colocation facility can help you reduce CAPEX while giving you access to cutting-edge colocation data center technologies. You can also rapidly evolve by utilizing managed services, greater power density, and the hybrid cloud. Choosing a colocation data center provider who will work with you to scale your IT over time is essential.

UnitedLayer provides colocation data center services from one of the largest data centers in San Francisco, USA, at 200 Paul Ave. Our long list of managed services enables enterprises to modernize their infrastructure and improve their responsiveness, resource utilization, scalability, and agility resulting in better customer experience and faster time to market.

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