If you've decided to use a data center to protect your information, you may be unsure what to look for in a facility. There are a few basic things that any good data center must provide; here are some of the common items to look for on your data center checklist.
The first thing to look for in your data center is a secure building with limited access. Only owners of the servers and authorized users should be able to access the server room. Many data centers use biometric locks to make sure that no unauthorized people gain entry.
A strong HVAC system is necessary to keep the servers from overheating. Another factor is how closely the machines are stacked; each machine will create a lot of heat that needs to have space to dissipate. In short, check to make sure that the server room is kept cool, and that there is a backup HVAC or cooling system in case the main cooling system goes out.
Fires can be another tricky issue in data centers; fires and even overheated computers can corrupt your data or destroy your machine. A good data center should have fire suppression systems in place; professionals can suggest systems to use to prevent fires from spreading throughout the data center.
A backup power system or two is critical to maintaining your server's downtime. Check that the sources of power don't rely on the same energy source; for instance, a power grid and a fuel generator can operate independently without relying on the same input.
All of the above combines to produce what you're ultimately looking for—low downtime for servers. If you have trouble assessing the items above, the last tell-all statistic is the data center's uptime rates. The center should be able to provide you data with how often there's an outage and how long it takes to fix the problem, on average.
In short, the main thing that you should look for in a data center is that the facility has failsafes in place to protect against all kinds of disasters. Fire, theft, and power loss are only a few of the common problems that can happen with servers, so it's also important to talk with your data center's staff and make sure that you feel comfortable with them handling any other emergencies that may arise.
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