As shoppers head to malls and cyber-sales looking for elusive “must-have” gadgets and deals, you may have a less traditional item on your wish list – a colo (colocation) provider. For some of us, a pair of blue-blocking glasses or virtual reality gear would be nice, but the best gift of all for a business leader may be to resolve current and future data center fire drills. If so, these tips can help you cross this item off your list and find the best colo provider for your organization. And that would make us all very merry, indeed.

Shopping for Your Next Colo Provider can be as easy as 1, 2. . . .10

We have pulled together a list of 10 differentiators to help you separate the leading colocation providers from all the rest. A leading colo provider will:

(1) Serve as a trusted advisor and provide guidance, expertise and technical support. More than offering a commodity space, the leading colo provider will provide a fully redundant, highly available premium operating facility managed with technical excellence and customer service. What’s more, they will tailor the service to meet your organization’s specific requirements and be available to assist you at every step, and at any level you want.

(2) Ensure a smooth transition and migration to your new colo facility, with an experienced technical support team and engineers to work with you to carefully plan your move and to minimize any disruptions to your business.

(3) Provide managed colo services and network operations center services, so your internal resources can focus efforts on your core revenue-generating business. Look for a colo provider that offers managed colo services, managed cloud services, hybrid cloud services, managed security services, and disaster recovery services. These are services you may need for business growth, system availability and risk mitigation.

(4) Make it easy for you to take advantage of local service technicians and support 24/7, including engaging remote hands to install equipment, cabling and cross connections, and smart hands to update software and perform other system-level tasks for you.

(5) Supply an always-on, robust customer portal for your real-time data access, visibility and control. A portal can allow you to monitor activity on all of your equipment; get a notice of an alarm or outage; open support tickets; engage technicians; and coordinate vendor visits.

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(6) Deliver enterprise-class physical security, including on-site security personnel, and security measures such as mantraps for controlled entry, and card access with two-factor authentication such as biometrics. Look for recorded video surveillance, real-time monitoring, climate control, and fire protection systems, all supported by redundant power to ensure your equipment is always protected and secure.

(7) Meet compliance standards including service organization controls (SSAE 16 SOC 1, SOC 2 and SOC 3), and offer compliance expertise to meet HIPAA, PCI DSS and other regulatory standards for healthcare, financial services, life sciences, retail and government organizations.

(8) Provide uninterrupted high-density power and cooling with generator and UPS backup, guaranteed by a 100% uptime service level agreement (SLA). Energy-efficient data centers can offer environmental stewardship and lower costs.

(9) Supply robust, carrier-neutral bandwidth with connections to an array of ISPs for stable and fault-tolerant networking service, with express connections to the vendor’s other data centers.

(10) Be located where you want. The ideal location for you may be in a Tier 1, Tier 2 or Tier 3 city in geographic proximity to your headquarters, farther away at a secondary data center site for geographic separation, or close to your customers.

A data center can give your business a competitive advantage. Colocation provides premier data center facilities in less time while preserving capital. Taking the time now to shop for the best colo provider can further lower your OpEx, improve your ROI, and ensure you have a trusted, experienced partner to support your technology investments and expansion plans. With deep colo and managed services expertise – and colocation centers on the U.S. East Coast, West Coast, and throughout the Midwest and Heartland – TierPoint can help.


Traci Lock is Senior Product Manager for Cloud and Data Center Product Development at TierPoint where she provides in-depth knowledge and success in end-user support, business assessments, and process analyses.

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