While choosing a life partner is one of the most important decisions you can make, choosing a colocation partner is just about as important for your business, so there must be a rigorous vetting process. Here are some general questions to help you select a colocation provider who has the resources and amenities required to service your clients and critical operations.
10 Colocation Questions Answered
1. Does the colocation provider own the data center?
The owner that has command over their datacenter, hardware, and support is better and faster equipped to provide you with the specific help you need. HostDime has operated its privately owned Orlando data center for the past 15 years.
2. Can I get access to my colocated equipment at any time?
HostDime’s colocation room features independent cooling and cabling as well as access to 120 or 208 volt A & B redundant power (more on that in a bit). Cabinets feature independently locking quarter, half and full cabinets so servers can only be accessed by their owners. This area is quarantined from all of our other servers, so only HostDime employees, escorted guests, and authorized colocation clients may enter. Our client colocation lounge allows customers to unrack their own equipment and work on their servers in a quiet, comfortable environment.
3. Will my colocated server be secure?
HostDime is resistant to any sort of unwanted outside occurrence. “Man trap doors” are positioned at all standard entrances to the facility; these doors will not open simultaneously, and visitors must be manually authorized to enter with an escort. All doors are operated via combination of badge only access points, keycard readers, and biometric hand readers. Additionally, 50 IP cameras watch the hardware 24/7/365.
4. Who are the bandwidth providers?
HostDime operates one of Florida’s most robust and redundant networks with close to 100 gigabits of redundant fiber capacity comprised of multiple Tier 1 upstream providers. HostDime also leases dark fiber rights between Miami and Orlando, so any client in our Orlando data center can connect to any of the 250+ carriers in the Miami NAP of the Americas facility.
5. How is your bandwidth allocated?
Many providers provide their clients with a “block” of bandwidth, assign them a port speed, and let them draw from that “block” as needed. The downside to this is if you use your “block” too fast, your websites go offline; therefore a sudden boost in website’s traffic could burn through your bandwidth for the entire server, causing an unreachable website. Our colocation packages offers burstable bandwidth allocation of 50 Mbps on a 1,000 Mbps (1 GigE) port. This means that your server would have a speed limit of 50 Mbps, and you would be able to burst your bandwidth all the way up to 1,000 Mbps should the need arise. By having a burstable bandwidth limit, other websites can’t affect your speed, nor would you ever need to worry about running out of bandwidth.
6. Do you have flexible power options?
Most United States servers have 110V or 120V plugs, but the servers are created to accept any type of voltage, like 208V plugs. Large pedestal and rack mount servers normally use 208V. The more current the wires and transformers conduct in order to power hardware, the hotter the components get. The less heat produced by components, the less cooling is required resulting in less power consumed. Here’s a graph of power supply efficiency versus input voltage:
208V requires fewer power whips, ideal in a raised floor data center like ours. Less whips means less circuits to manage, creating better airflow due to reduced clutter. Improved airflow increases server life and lowers the cost of cooling the equipment.
7. Speaking of, is the facility green?
HostDime’s green data center initiatives include cleaner generators, roof solar panels, hot aisle containment, and 100% electronic equipment recycling. If interested, read on for more on how approach to reducing our operating costs and decreasing our carbon footprint.
8. Does your SLA guarantee a certain amount of uptime?
Data centers are broken into Tiers I, II, III, and IV; here is a breakdown of downtime over a period of one year (525,600 minutes):
- Tier I (99.671% availability) estimated downtime: 1729.224 minutes or 28.817 hours
- Tier II (99.741% availability) estimated downtime: 1361.304 minutes or 22.688 hours
- Tier III (99.982% availability) estimated downtime: 94.608 minutes
- Tier IV (99.995% availability) estimated downtime: 26.28 minutes
The difference in uptime between Tier 1-2 and Tier 3-4 is massive. Consider a Tier 3 or 4 certified data center; HostDime’s Orlando data center is Tier 3, and our upcoming Orlando data center will incorporate Tier 4 level redundancy.
9. What certifications and audits does the facility have?
HostDime holds client privacy and security above all else and has achieved the following compliance certifications: Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance and the AICPA SOC 2 Type 2 Standard (formerly SAS 70 Type II).
10. Lastly, what is your approach to customer service?
Usually businesses will focus on quantity and speed. In contrast, the support goal at HostDime is to respond quickly, but not at the expense of results. Your success is our success, and this is how we try to help. Read more on our unique, non-outsourced approach to customer service.
You may have more questions; don’t hesitate to ask.
Jared Smith is HostDime’s SEO & Content Strategist.