COLOCATION A BUYERS GUIDE

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1 COLOCATION A BUYERS GUIDE

2 INTRODUCTION Colocation in a data centre offers organisations a place to securely house their IT equipment, as opposed to storing and running it on-site, which can be both expensive and difficult to maintain to the levels of availability and scalability required by modern businesses. Unlike the average corporate headquarters, a data centre is purpose-built with security and resilience in mind. Colocation facilities provide a resilient power supply, including backup generators to protect against the risk of power outages. SECURE Facilities also benefit from redundant network connections, providing resilient connectivity. This is a guide for anyone considering data centre colocation.

3 WHAT IS COLOCATION? Colocation involves the housing of IT infrastructure, such as servers, storage or networking equipment, in a secure, external data centre. Servers are mounted in purpose-built metal racks (or cabinets ) in a facility with high-bandwidth connectivity. The defined vertical space within each colocation rack is measured in U, with each U being 4.45cm. The vertical space available in a typical rack is 42U, or 1.87m. 1 U = 4.45cm 42U or 1.87m

4 WHY USE COLOCATION? The choice to colocate IT equipment in an external data centre is largely based on the need to improve resilience and availability. Executed correctly, colocation can also lead to significant cost-savings and increased productivity. Colocation provides benefits that would be difficult to replicate in an on-site data centre /comms room. Power availability data centre providers can guarantee the required power availability Power resilience providing at least N+1 backup generation with an N+1 UPS system Network a data centre will have interconnects with leading telecommunications carriers and network providers Physical security colocation gives you access to manned security, CCTV, ID access cards and man-trap security 24/7 monitoring and support Fire suppression using inert gas to put out any fires, as well as monitoring for proactive prevention HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) maintaining a constant humidity and temperature level to keep equipment working at optimal levels Data protection assurances ISO certification and 9001, as well as PCI compliance, ensures that your data is safe Green energy data centres often use renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions Access to next-generation services additional services: Infrastructure as a Service and other Cloud based services, such as data recovery services, could be available from your data centre provider.

5 ADVANTAGES OF COLOCATION INCREASED AVAILABILITY CHEAPER THAN RUNNING SERVERS AND EQUIPMENT ON-SITE SCALABILITY ADDITIONAL RACKS CAN BE ADDED AS REQUIRED BUSINESS CONTINUITY & DISASTER RECOVERY HIGH LEVEL OF SECURITY BETTER CONNECTIVITY / LOWER COST BANDWIDTH IMPROVED NETWORK SECURITY REDUNDANT POWER SUPPLY SIMPLE TO MIGRATE TO THE CLOUD USE YOUR EXISTING HARDWARE MAINTAIN CONTROL OF YOUR HARDWARE

6 DISADVANTAGES OF COLOCATION YOU MUST PURCHASE ALL HARDWARE UPGRADE AND MAINTENANCE COSTS YOU NEED THE KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE TO RUN YOUR OWN EQUIPMENT AND THE SOFTWARE IT S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY YOU MUST ADMINISTER EQUIPMENT AND SOLVE ISSUES WHEN THEY OCCUR IF YOU NEED TO PHYSICALLY CHANGE EQUIPMENT YOU HAVE TO TRAVEL TO THE COLOCATION CENTRE THERE MAY BE SOME RESTRICTIONS AS TO THE TIME PERIODS WHEN YOU ARE ALLOWED ACCESS TO THE DATA CENTRE

7 COST OF COLOCATION There are a number of costs associated with colocated servers. FOOTPRINT FEES These are the costs that you incur from renting the floor space. POWER FEES These are based on the amount of power that your rack has allocated and uses. BANDWIDTH FEES These are based on how much data is transferred. There are also auxiliary costs, such as firewall, Internet breakout, data centre ports, and backup costs. Speak to your potential provider to get a quote for the services you will need.

8 SELECTING A COLOCATION PROVIDER There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a colocation provider: WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED? HOW MUCH BANDWIDTH DO YOU REQUIRE? HOW MANY RACKS DO YOU NEED? WHAT CONNECTION SPEEDS WILL YOU REQUIRE? HOW OFTEN WILL YOU NEED TO ACCESS YOUR EQUIPMENT? WHAT LEVEL OF SUPPORT DO YOU NEED? Cheapest is often not the best option when it comes to colocation. Companies who offer the cheapest rates often fail to provide sufficient support, which puts your company at risk of downtime. You should list the best colocation providers in your area, and visit the facilities to get a feel for how they run their data centres. Compare their packages, pricing, and service level agreements. Take the opportunity to talk to technical staff, as they will become part of your IT team if you choose them as a provider.

9 QUESTIONS TO ASK A COLOCATION PROVIDER Q. CARRIER NEUTRAL? A carrier neutral data centre provides customers with interconnectivity to a range of carriers, ISPs, exchanges and other network service providers. Being independent of network, hardware and software gives you a better range to choose from. Q. 24/7 SUPPORT? A good support system which is always available with helpful and knowledgeable data centre staff is essential to your business if you decide to choose a colocation package. Q. 24/7 ACCESS TO THE FACILITIES? If you choose a colocation package and you need to get access to your servers, ask your potential data centre host about what access you have to your equipment. Is it escorted access only, and if so, is there a related cost? Q. SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS? Ask your potential colocation provider about what guarantees they have regarding the performance of the services. Make sure that their service levels meet the requirements of your business. Q. TRACK RECORD? Ask your data centre provider about their track record. How long have they been in the data centre business? Do they have case studies? Q. REDUNDANCY? In the event of a power cut, can the data centre keep their equipment online? Check with the provider what level of redundancy they have. Ask about dual feeds and what backups they have in the event of a failure. Ask how often fail-over testing on full (not partial) load is completed, as this is a common reason for data centre failures. Also ask your data centre provider about major incident plans and escalation paths if you have an issue. Q. OTHER SERVICES? Many data centres offer a range of hosting services including managed hosting and Cloud hosting. Ask about other options and services that could be beneficial to your business.

10 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS HOW MANY RACKS WILL I NEED? Due to newer technology you may not require the same number of racks you have previously used. Ask any potential colocation provider of historic hosting footprint reduction. They will be able to calculate the required number of colocation racks. WHAT AMPERAGE WILL I NEED? Your power requirements are dependent on the load, how much your system needs and how much the UPS will support. Ask your data centre provider for amperage that exceeds your total as a minimum. HOW LONG WILL THE UPS WORK FOR? A UPS will last for a short while to fill the time between the grid power and generator power going to your equipment. If your equipment uses 450VA and the UPS is rated at 450VA with a run-time of 6 minutes, the UPS will last 6 minutes. WILL THERE BE ANY DOWNTIME DURING MIGRATION? With the correct planning you should expect no downtime during your migration. A data centre provider should have dedicated teams, from service delivery experts to project managers, and should be able to tailor migrations to individual objectives. WHAT IS N+1? N+1 redundant systems are used in data centres to ensure the systems continue running without interruption. N+1 refers to the components (N) having at least one independent backup component (+1), which means there is an additional component available if the first should fail.

11 CONTINUED 6 WHAT ISO CERTIFICATIONS SHOULD A COLOCATION PROVIDER HAVE? A colocation provider should at the very least have ISO & 9001 certifications. ISO ISO formally specifies a management system that is intended to bring information security under explicit management control. It focuses on the requirements for establishing, implementing, operating, monitoring, reviewing, maintaining and improving a documented Information Security Management System within the context of the organisation s overall business risks. ISO certified organisations can be formally audited and certified compliant. The standard contains 12 main sections: 1. Risk assessment 2. Security policy management direction 3. Organisation of information security and governance of information security 4. Asset management inventory and classification of information assets 5. Human resources security 6. Physical and environmental security protection of the computer facilities 7. Management of technical security controls in systems and networks 8. Access control restriction of access to networks, systems, applications and data 9. Information systems acquisition, development and maintenance 10. Information security incident management 11. Business continuity management 12. Compliance conformance with information security policies, standards, laws and regulations ISO 9001 ISO 9001 specifies the requirements for a quality management system. Organisations need to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide services that meet customer and statutory / regulatory requirements, and enhance customer satisfaction through the effective application of the quality management system.

12 COLOCATION HOSTING OPTIONS FROM REDCENTRIC Our Reading and Harrogate data centres are ISO & ISO 9001 certified as well as PCI DSS accredited for physical hosting services. COLOCATION RACKS PRIVATE SUITES COMPLEX HOSTING Multiple UK data centres 42U racks Up to 32 amp power per rack Redundant power feeds High bandwidth packages 24/7 hands & eyes support Renewable energy sources Carrier neutral connectivity Multiple UK data centres Secure, private hosting suites Up to 32 amp power per rack Secure access control CCTV 24/7 Hands & eyes support Cold-aisle containment pods Carrier neutral connectivity Diverse data centre locations Hybrid virtual & colocation hosting Cloud hosting Managed hosting N3 hosting Bespoke hosting solutions Business continuity services

13 CONTINUED READING DATA CENTRE This facility benefits from: Cold aisle containment N+1 architecture ISO & 9001 PCI DSS certified HARROGATE DATA CENTRE This facility benefits from: 42U colocation racks N+1 architecture ISO & 9001 PCI DSS certified LONDON DOCKLANDS DATA CENTRE CAMBRIDGE DATA CENTRE HARROGATE This facility benefits from: 42U colocation racks N+1 architecture Green energy Prime London location This facility benefits from: N+1 UPS Backup generator Air cooling systems Dedicated fire detection system CAMBRIDGE HODDESDON LONDON REQUEST A FREE COLOCATION QUOTE OR PRIVATE DATA CENTRE TOUR: VISIT CALL READING

14 HARROGATE (HEAD OFFICE) Central House Beckwith Knowle Harrogate HG3 1UG THEALE 2 Commerce Park Brunel Road Theale, Reading Berkshire RG7 4AB CAMBRIDGE Newton House Cambridge Business Park Cowley Road Cambridge CB4 0WZ READING 3-5 Worton Drive Reading Berkshire RG2 0TG LONDON John Stow House 18 Bevis Marks London EC3A 7JB INDIA & Block II, 4th Floor, White House Kundan Bagh, Begumpet Hyderabad

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