How to choose a data centre: 5 essential factors for cloud service providers

By: Jelle Frank van der Zwet

Everyone wants a slice of the cloud pie. But without a data centre that can perform, the ability to grab the cloud opportunity can be challenging for hosting providers.

The data centre is the backbone of any strategy; it supports the whole edifice of cloud computing, determining availability, performance and flexibility at the most fundamental level. As a result, factors such as the design, operation, connectivity, proximity and scalability of a data centre can make or break a business’ success.

The 5 factors below are key to determining the extent to which a data centre is suitable for supporting the successful delivery and growth of cloud services.

  1. Community
    The other organisations present in a data centre should be a key factor when choosing a location to build and manage customers’ hybrid cloud solutions. Acting as a hub, a carrier-and-cloud-neutral data centre can directly interconnect your private cloud environment with global cloud providers, resellers, customers and networks, guaranteeing network performance, low latency and the highest availability for customer workloads and applications.
  2. Connectivity
    Carrier-neutral data centres offer a wide range of connectivity options, including national and international carriers, ISPs, CDNs and Internet exchanges. The current marketplace allows you to work with your connectivity providers of choice to achieve cost-effectiveness and flexibility. So make sure any data centre you choose offers the best in connectivity options.
  3. Availability
    While it’s an obvious factor, availability is extremely important considering business-critical processes now depend on applications delivered from the cloud. Don’t believe what a data centre provider tells you – dig into their operational procedures, talk to their customers and inspect their data centres to ensure you have the availability you need.
  4. Performance
    The responsiveness and performance of a cloud service and the customer experience it delivers are highly dependent on connectivity and physical proximity to business and consumer centres. Ask your connectivity providers how many hops it takes to reach your target customers, as well as the opportunities to connect directly with connectivity providers, partners and other cloud platforms.
  5. Scalability
    A high-density power supply, physical space for expansion and commercial flexibility are crucial to achieving the scalability needed to meet customer requirements. Scalability allows you to both commercially and technologically deliver more agile and efficient services that keep customers happy and costs in line with the revenue opportunity.

This is an extract of our latest whitepaper, The Evolution of the European Cloud Market, which offers advice and insight to hosting providers looking to capitalise on the cloud era in an increasingly saturated and competitive market.