With the increased hype around cloud computing, companies don’t always know how they should evaluate potential cloud service providers (CSPs). Since there are more than 3,000 CSPs to choose from, establishing selection criteria can be daunting. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Remember, a successful cloud computing experience begins with a secure, energy-efficient, strategically located center. Below are three areas in which to measure a CSPs’ data centers.
Know where your data assets will be stored.
The golden rule for real estate also applies to data centers. Location, location, location is a critical factor to consider during your evaluation. Many CSPs boast of their number of data centers. However, if having your data assets in close proximity to your company’s physical location or in-house IT team is a priority, some CSPs may fall off your list.
Location also matters in regards to energy efficiency and availability. Carefully consider the data center’s location, network architecture and power grids. Many issues, such as power or network connectivity, are related to larger concerns such as where a data center is built. With self-sustaining, energy-efficient data centers that take advantage of local and renewable power sources, cloud providers can reduce their notoriously large carbon footprint and the risk of outages for end users.
HOSTING owns and operates six strategically located data centers across the United States. Retrofitted to industry-leading specifications, each of HOSTING’s data centers take advantage of a strong network topology, multiple power grids, and close proximity to fully redundant fiber feeds from Tier 1 providers. Redundant UPS systems and back-up generators ensure we never lose power. Tier 1 connectivity from multiple providers provides the speed and connectivity our customers expect for business-critical applications. Our Green Design Standards allow stable temperature, humidity and airflow management for data protection and energy efficiency.
Evaluate Security Measures
Arbor Networks’ latest Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report found that data centers have become “magnets” for DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. Customers evaluating CSPs need to understand the specific security measures CSPs have in place to protect their data assets.
The safety measures in HOSTING’s physical and network infrastructure reflect a commitment to keeping our customer’s data, applications and colocation hardware impregnable and operating efficiently. Biometrics, video surveillance and three layers of NOC monitoring provide the highest levels of security.
Gauge the data center’s “greenness”
Power consumption from data centers across the U.S. continues to grow exponentially. A one-year investigation led by the New York Times revealed that many data centers are designed to use an enormous amount of electricity. Reports also show that data centers across the globe consume thirty billion watts of power, which is comparable to that outputted from thirty nuclear plants. US data centers account for 25-34% of this load.
When evaluating data centers, ask about the CSP’s “green standards.” Building self-sustaining, highly energy-efficient data centers may not be an option for every CSP. However, CSPs should consider using local resources and adopting a micro-grid strategy to powering their data centers.
HOSTING has been an active participant in the EPA’s effort to establish an Energy Star efficiency rating system for data centers. While we expand our data centers to provide the infrastructure, networking, and power our customers demand, we are simultaneously taking steps to lower energy consumption and control our carbon footprint.
Learn more about how companies achieve success in the cloud by leveraging the right data centers. Schedule a tour of a HOSTING data center.