Helping clients manage their technology for over 30 years.

Beyond the Co-lo Checklist: Tech Services — or Landlord?

Thinking about renting space in a co-location facility?

I suggest you visit any site you’re considering with the usual due-diligence checklist that addresses matters of security, compliance, environmental risks, power redundancy, and networking capabilities.

This checklist will get you only so far, however. You’ll need to keep a couple of other co-location considerations front-of-mind, too.

First, who owns the co-lo site you’re considering? If it’s a real estate investment trust (REIT), this may impact how the co-lo site operates.

After all, REIT profits come from real estate — in this case, renting rack space — rather than providing technology services. At minimum, you’ll need to know the parties represented in your contract. A co-lo outfit operating on the REIT’s property? The REIT itself? What happens if, say, the REIT’s facility rather than the co-lo provider is responsible for a costly power outage?

By contrast, co-lo data centers owned and operated by experienced technology services providers act as much more than landlords, since they’re committed to fielding cutting-edge data center environments supported by a deep technical and business expertise that enables them to take full responsibility for what they provide.

So here’s the second co-lo consideration to keep front-of-mind: even if you don’t currently anticipate needing anything more than rented rack space, you may someday be glad for a tech-savvy co-lo provider able to also offer round-the-clock monitoring, remote hands, and the ability to deliver cloud integration or managed services whenever you need them.

Does Your Cloud Provider Care About You?

Hybrid Cloud by Quest

Offloading your IT functions to a cloud service can be an immense relief.

The day-to-day operational hassles belong to someone else. Dashboards and web portals make it much easier to track network and application performance, even if you’re lounging by a pool somewhere. When you need to scale up or down, there’s an app for that. The security of your data is in the hands of well-trained experts using sophisticated tools. Time for another mojito.
Continue reading

What Kind of Cloud Customer Are You?

When clients contemplating a move to the cloud ask for advice, we tell them to start by being realistic about what cloud computing actually offers.

Yes, the cloud frees budgets from constant investment in infrastructure, reducing CapEx expenditure.

But the cloud is a technology, not a solution that will automatically deliver benefits like faster time-to-market or streamlined methods or a fix for personnel or process issues within your enterprise.

Next, we advocate a know thyself approach. You’ll get the most out of a cloud implementation by understanding what you’re trying to accomplish. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses.

If you’re certain about having access to the technical talent you’ll need to get from purchase to actual delivery of services, then go it alone.

If you’re less certain about what to do once you’ve ordered up servers and terabytes of data, you’ll want some help — which brings us to the last bit of advice: know thy cloud provider.

Cloud providers, like cloud computing itself, come in a dizzying array of options.

So don’t let a cloud provider tell you there’s only one way to get something done. Those vendors are trying to sell you their product rather than a solution that fits your business.

But you can in fact get exactly what you need without giving up the economies of scale the cloud promises. Ask a trusted technology advisor how.