What is the most crucial element of your company? Capital, machinery, human resources, customers: there are many possible answers, but in recent years a particular feature, data, has grown in importance. And with them the way they are managed, to keep them safe and use them to grow the business. In some respects, your data is the brain of the company. The fuel business decisions, keep customers informed, determine if you’re growing year-on-year, and help plan for the future.
So why not manage your data in the best possible way? If your business grows and needs to take data management to another level, it will require a data center. But data centers are more than just secure facilities with space, electricity, and the internet. They are becoming an integral part or even an extension for many businesses, offering additional products and services to benefit customers.
What Are Data Centers
A data center is a network of computing and storage hardware and software resources, enabling shared data and applications. In the world of corporate IT, the data center supports enterprise applications. They range from simple email and file sharing to customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) to Big Data, communication and collaboration services.
Datacenter components often form the core of the corporate information system. Therefore, these facilities usually require a significant investment in support systems, including climate systems, smoke/fire detection, staffing, secure entry and identification, etc. This is why even companies tend to entrust these activities to companies specialized in data centre management.
What Solutions And Services Do Data Centers Offer
Data centers are often real server farms, as they host a large concentration of servers stacked in horizontal rows. They provide essential data storage, backup and restore, data management and networking. These centers can store and serve websites, email and instant messaging services, provide online storage space and applications, enable e-commerce transactions, and do many other things.
Data centers offer two main types of solutions: Hosting and Housing. In the first case, a “virtual space” is provided, in which the company can save data, applications, websites, etc. The second case provides an actual physical space in which the company (or public body) can place its servers. In both cases, the company no longer needs to internally manage its own data center. So let’s see how to choose the data center that best suits your needs.
How To Choose A Data Centre: Security And Other Factors
Data centres are now a natural extension of a company’s business, so you need to be very careful in your choice. These are the most important factors to consider:
- Security. Data has increasingly strategic importance in today’s world, so security is the first factor to consider. Before choosing a data centre, check its data protection policies, including managing access to on-site personnel and customers and implementing other security and data protection measures.
- Reliability and uptime. The reliability of a data centre can be measured in terms of uptime, which is equal to a minimum of 99.999% for the best. Before choosing, ask for the data that certifies the minimum guaranteed uptime.
- Flexibility and scalability. Choose your provider based on your current needs without forgetting the future ones. Check that the solutions provided are flexible and scalable to modulate them according to your needs of tomorrow. Learn about the availability of additional space, power and connectivity.
- Financial stability. Take this factor seriously. Don’t risk investing time and energy in a data centre that could close in a few years. Ideally, your data centre should be able to support you for at least five years, if not more. You can take a look at the press releases, reports and financial history to understand how stable the company running the data centre is.
Hosting Vs Housing: Which Is The Best Solution?
We assume that your company has chosen not to manage a data centre internally, a solution that has some advantages: you can modify, upgrade or expand it at any time and you are not subject to license or rental costs. But there are far more advantages of a colocation solution, in which your servers are hosted in a data centre:
- Reduced costs for energy and air cooling.
- More security.
- Fixed and predictable monthly or annual costs.
- Access to faster internet and other services, such as maximizing uptime.
- Providers are more structured to cope with emergencies.
In short, housing (colocation) is the ideal choice for all those companies – generally medium-sized, or in any case, structured with an internal IT department – that need to manage their proprietary server but choose to place it in a data centre to the advantages that this solution offers.
Very often, small businesses do not have the resources – hardware and human – to run their server, nor the need. These realities usually turn to hosts, with which they rent a space in the data centre servers for various activities, from the website to the online backup space.
Obviously, before choosing between hosting and housing, the company management should thoroughly evaluate a cost-benefit analysis.
Data centers are now important allies of companies, which is increasingly true for medium and small companies. There are data centers in almost all regions of Italy, from Lombardy to Sicily, and they can provide specific solutions for companies operating in the area. Thanks to reduced costs, greater security, and the services offered, data centers are now advantageous even for internal IT departments. They are also more organized for any emergencies.