August 11, 2023 - admin
Seattle Colocation Provider What you Should Consider
For one reason or another, many companies across all industries in King county-metro rely on Seattle colocation providers to house their enterprise instead of keeping it in-house. While the benefits may vary from business to business, some of the advantages are universal:
- Increased time dedicated to revenue-generating endeavors instead of dealing with the management of the data center infrastructure (generators, UPS’s, cooling, network redundancies, personnel)
- Scalable network capacity, such as adding additional cabinets on demand without much logistics
- Meeting your specific compliance criteria needs, particularly with data-sensitive industries such as healthcare and financial firms
- Reliance on the data center provider to manage the entire colocated infrastructure up to the application layer
Based on these benefits, you must engage your IT department and other stakeholders to identify your goals and needs. Fully-equipping yourself with the right knowledge will streamline the entire process. Understanding the topics cover below, will give you an idea of what to consider and what to look out for while preparing for your colo provider search.
Capacity & Scalability
You should ask yourself “What are my current network, power and space demands? Will this remain consistent, or will it fluctuate?”. Most colocation providers have great flexibility in all of these factors. While flexibility is great, discussing your growth plan with your colocation provider can be very helpful. Moving your equipment into a data center blind to what they are capable of can limit your company’s growth.
Providing your growth plan gives a more realistic idea of how a data center can best support your needs. After all, moving into a space to only move out a few months later is just a waste of time and resources. Knowing that the chosen data center has both the capacity and scalability will only help you in the long run.
Location, location, location… you all heard it before. Where your data center resides is a crucial factor when shopping for a colocation provider. While remote amenities like remote hands and KVM are nice, staying close to the data center has its own benefits. Factors like latency and uptime are typically better the closer you are to the facility.
Although, if your facility is in an area prone to natural disasters, it might be best to find another location. Sure, the structure itself can withstand a hurricane but let’s say the power goes out with your office in proximity of the data center. Now that your office and servers are down, operations seized, and the clock ticking, you now start to worry about the financial hit you’re going to take. When you choose a provider that is on a different power grid, you mitigate the risk of having your servers go down.
One last thing to consider is accessibility for your IT team. With your data center close by, you will eliminate travel costs and expenditures when you need to have your system upgraded. Regardless if you want to stay close or far away, each has its benefits and it’s important to know the following when you look for a colocation provider:
- Is the facility located in an area prone to natural disasters?
- Do they offer remote amenities such as KVM or remote hands?
- Is the data center easily accessible?
How Much Power do you Need?
You’ll want to ensure your colocation facility has the power capacity to handle not only your needs for today but also for the future. After all, you would not want to move into a facility that cannot support your daily business needs. Regardless of your situation, you want to know and understand your power density per rack, especially for high-data processing applications.
Why this is Important
Let’s say you want to create an AI model for your next project. However, due to the complex calculations that this model has to perform, it then becomes a high-processing application.
This poses you with the challenge of optimizing the data center’s infrastructure to meet the AI model’s processing requirements. More specifically, you need to address the issue of the power density per rack. Or rather, the amount of electrical power that the hardware within a single rack consumes.
Since the AI model requires powerful GPUs and specialized equipment to speed up computations, it results in generating a lot of heat and requires a lot of electrical power. Now, if the power density per rack is too high, it can lead to overheating and hardware failures, as well as reduce the lifespan of your equipment.
To help mitigate these issues, the engineers at the data center will need to redesign your rack space to provide your equipment with proper airflow and cooling. With your new setup, you can run your AI model without damaging your equipment.
Careful considerations like this example are pivotal to maintaining a healthy environment for your hardware. It will not only increase its lifespan, but it will prevent bottlenecks and help ensure that you continue your business operations without any worry.
Power Requirement Formula
This begs the question “How do I know how much power I need?”. Knowing how much power you need and how much power your provider can give are equally important. Luckily, it is pretty simple to find out how much power you need. You can use this formula to calculate your power requirement:
An important note is that due to legal reasons, data centers in Washington are required to only use 80% power. For example, if you have 20 amps you can only use 16 due to Washington’s fire code regulations.
What about Security & Support?
You should always be able to fully trust your colocation facility with safeguarding your enterprise. Not only does this include the physical security and confidentiality of the actual premises, but it may also include being able to support your organization in the way of providing services that enable further security within your own infrastructure via the provider’s managed services.
When you reach out to a data center be sure to ask “Does your organization have a team of experts who can handle all aspects of network security and supporting your infrastructure?” Knowing that they have a team of experts at the ready provides you access to inside knowledge on how you can scale and grow your business without having to go through the process of trial and error. Additionally, investing in a third-party colocation provider with its own managed security services is a great cost-effective option when you cannot afford to have a team of 24x7x365 experts on your own payroll.
Disaster Recovery & Backup Protocols
Just as much as proactive security is a concern, so should disaster recovery & backup methods. A common saying amongst Network Security Specialists is “It’s not if you get attacked, it’s when you get attacked.” This is a necessary factor that you should address with any provider prior to signing with them. This is because the average cost of a single outage is $5,600 per minute.
Financial losses aside, these issues could result in PR nightmares or loss of reputation, or even valued client business. A worthwhile company will work with you to establish customized DRaaS solutions or backup plans for your peace of mind.
Ultimately, when you start to search for your Seattle colocation provider, be sure that you understand how location, capacity, and scalability factor into your business continuity. Also, understanding the basics of how power works and what your organization needs to function are important when finding your ideal colocation provider. With this knowledge, you should have no trouble finding a data center that will help your company reach its next level.