With the rising challenges associated with datacenter development and expansion and infrastructure operations, companies are increasingly turning to outsourcing options. With the market being flooded with more options than ever, including datacenter as a service (DCaaS), cloud providers, etc, it becomes a daunting task to select a suitable outsourcing partner. There are several considerations involved in making the right decision when it comes to shifting to outsourced IT services.
Factors to consider while opting for datacenter service
Network performance, the quantity and quality of the network options available must play an important role in decision making. It is advisable to examine the network from where actual users will be located. This will allow you to gauge latency from your various endpoints and discover potential issues in advance. Secondly, it is important to assess the maintenance record of the prospective datacenter because the physical side of a datacenter (e.g., cooling, energy usage, electrical, etc) ultimately keeps your applications running. A facility which is not properly being looked after will obviously fail to provide the level of service (UPS runtime, uptime, etc) expected. Check how datacenter operator intends to cope with unexpected disaster and if suits your business continuity planning. Ask your datacenter service vendor some pertinent questions like what happens when there is an extended outage or how do they address power failure, etc.
Pricing and terms related to datacenter service
There are various pricing considerations that clients should be aware of. Setup charges, which cover cabinets construction, installation of electrical whips, cross connects provisioning, etc, are hardly negotiable. But if you are looking to enter into long term contract, you can bargain on the fees. But do not expect too much of a discount or the lock in rates to be applicable for more than three years. With electricity rates for example, continuously going up, contract price is expected to increase over time. The datacenter service contract should clearly specify the way you will be charged for power usage (cost per circuit or metered usage) and depending on that you can devise your hardware strategy to bring down the operating costs. Pay close attention to the implications of downtime on your service-level agreement. In many cases the vendors provide very little compensation for service outages or disruptions. So ensure that you read the fine print carefully and get your due if anything goes wrong at the vendor’s end.
Planning migration time with datacenter service provider
Coordinate with your datacenter service provider to decide on the migration strategy. The sooner you complete the migration process the better. Plan out an implementation schedule and appoint the key personnel to get started on the work. The best way to go about it is to align the migration plan with your disaster recovery strategy. This way you revisit your disaster recovery and become aware of the need for updating skills and application dependencies required to setup/migrate to a new environment.
There is a lot that you can come to expect of a datacenter service provider. Based on your uptime requirement you may ask for on-site support against on-call help. A successful business relationship depends on how the vendor successfully aligns the services with your business requirements.