5 Most Important Questions to Ask Any Data Center

So you’ve made the plunge. You have all of your most sensitive data on a server (or two or three) and you’re ready to find just the right data center to hold onto it for you. Now’s the time you start talking to different centers, and probably even visiting a few. When you do, you’ll need to be armed with the right set of questions to ask, and below are the five most important.

1.) Where are you located?
If you ever ask this question to someone you do business with, it’s often just an administrative matter, but in the case of data centers, it’s a little more important. You should really only consider using a data center that is at least in the same country as you, if not the same city. In the end, this can potentially save you a lot of legal problems, and possibly even problems with your website.

2.) How many redundant data centers do you have?
The answer can be as little as one, and it can even be something as small as a micro or modular data center. The important thing here is that the data center you use should have redundancy procedures in place, preferably in an entirely different space, to provide backup services in the case of power outage or other issue.

3.) What are your power failure procedures?
It’s difficult to tell you what any one data center’s power failure procedures are, because they’ll vary depending on the resources used by any data center. Again, the important thing is that the data center has power failure procedures in place, and that your data will be safe in the event of an outage.

4.) How often do you test your backup generators?
Power failure procedures include generators in nearly every single data center, but that procedure won’t do much good if the backup generators aren’t working. Ideally data centers should be checking the functionality and load of the generators every other day, but every week is also acceptable.

5.) What is your uptime rate?
The uptime rate of any data center is the amount of time your website will be up and running. Ideally every website owner would like the uptime rate to be 100%, but that’s not really realistic. You can get pretty close though and find plenty of data centers with 99.99% uptime rates.

Truthfully, there are a lot of questions you’ll need to ask any data center you’re going to entrust with your most important data and hardware. The most important questions however, will deal with the security of your files as well as the access visitors will have to your website. If you can’t keep your website secure, it might get shut down, and if the data center has regular interruptions or outages, visitors won’t make it to your site.