Selecting a San Jose Colocation Service Provider
Now that you have seen and understand how colocation works, the next step is picking a provider, but the big question is how do you do that? There are a number of factors than come into play when doing so, and here are a few of the major ones that you will have to take into consideration.
You now know that colocation puts you in control of all your equipment and software, so it might be a good idea to choose a facility that is within driving distance. By doing that you won’t have to waste time and money getting to the facility if you want to change your set-up. Keep in mind that some of the better San Jose colocation providers will have remote hands support, meaning that you will not have to make a trip to the facility for any minor issues that you might need to take care of. One thing that you will find in all facilities is equipment that belongs to clients from destinations far and wide. Chances are they didn’t have a Colocation facility in their area or they simply have a need for a facility in a certain geographical area. Many of those clients will use remote control service for their tasks, or will have on-site staff to perform any and all work. What that boils down to is that proximity to a quality data center is good, but it may not always be essential.
It goes without saying that the reputation of your colocation provider should be exemplary, with quality and reliability at the top of the checklist. It’s often said that the cream rises to the top and that is something that is generally true in any industry. You may find hosting companies that offer San Jose colocation as a side service, and while that is perfectly legit, you may still be better off focusing your attentions on a company that does nothing but colocation if you want the best results. It’s also a good idea to ask any company that you are considering doing business with for references. If they are unable or unwilling to provide any, then that should be considered a red flag.
What that means is that the colocation provider has not settled into exclusive agreements with one or two carriers for their bandwidth needs, which is actually more common that you might imagine. If they have, then what they are essentially doing is limiting your choices, whilst also potentially compromising the stability of their network. You should be on the lookout for a San Jose colocation company that has connections with a wide array of different providers, which will virtually ensure a stable, fault-tolerant network. Think about how many times you’ve experienced an internet outage at home or work, and then think about how unlikely those outages would be if you had several different providers that you could switch between in the event of a problem. Chances are you would never experience any sort of downtime again, and that is why carrier-neutrality is so vital in keeping your website online at all times.
NETWORK STABILITY AND EXPANDABILITY
It’s also important to seek out a facility that has super-fast, scalable internet connections. Look for a Tier 1 Colocation facility with a large Optical Carrier (OC) connection - at least an OC48, with an OC192 being preferred. Another positive sign is a San Jose colocation facility that has additional redundant connections, especially if they connected to other carrier networks. That is known as peering and is something that can markedly improve transit times. One thing to be on the lookout for are facilities that try to oversell their bandwidth, as doing so can lead to degraded performance as their connections are forced to push the limits. It’s actually considered acceptable for you to ask for a target IP where you can run test packets to test the strength of their network.
Each colocation facility has its own set of features for you to choose from. Features that should be considered essential are 24/7 access to the data center, with technical support staff on the building at all times to lend help if you should require it. Security is also a must, so look for facilities that have CCTV monitoring, as well as keycard access to all sensitive areas. It’s also a plus if they have a manned check-in area that all visitors are required to go to before entering or leaving the facility. Finally, you will want a facility that id conditioned and backed up by UPS and source generators, as well as climate controls to keep the center at a steady, constant temperature.
Meeting Your San Jose Colocation Needs
Business is in a constant state of flux, which means that what you might need from a colocation provider today could radically change tomorrow. Any San Jose colocation facility worth its salt should be able to quickly and effectively meet any and all of your future growth needs, even if that means going from a single server to a full cabinet somewhere down the road. Before settling on a provider, be sure to ask if they will be able to handle such definite changes, and if so, what sort of time and money would you be looking at for it all to be implemented.
The prices that you see quoted at some colocation facilities can be a little confusing, especially if they take an a la carte approach to costing. What may look like a great deal at face value may end up being nothing more than a base price that doesn’t include power, cabinet space, or is only for a single IP address. Before you know it, that great deal doesn’t look so hot anymore, and you are left with a price that is hard to swallow. Look for a San Jose colocation company that will give you a single price that includes everything, with no hidden costs attached. You’ll also find that the good companies will provide you with free installation, basic remote hands support, free bandwidth usage data, and unlimited IP addresses, to name but a few. You always have to read the fine print, because a deal that looks too good to be true usually is.
It may sound as though we are just re-hashing the previous segment here, but it really is imperative that you know exactly what you are getting for your price. It’s also worth noting that the cheapest price may not necessarily represent the best deal, and you have to be sure that what you are getting is a fair price for the San Jose colocation services that you are being offered. Check around a number of different facilities and you should quickly start to identify which quotes are fair and which aren’t. A fair price isn’t actually X number of dollars, but will be a range against which you can start to compare similar colocation providers.
Lesser Considerations When Evaluating A Colocation Service Provider
You are likely to come across some other features that colocation firms will pitch to you, but these items should all be taken with a grain of salt.
SERVICE LEVEL AGREEMENTS / GUARANTEES
It’s the job of every company to try and show you that their service is the best and with that in mind, you will often see Colocation providers offer a guarantee as per their Service Level Agreement (SLA). All they are trying to do is convince you that their service is solid, but if you carefully read everything in the SLA, you will plainly see that all they are really offering is a credit against your bill if you happen to experience any downtime. You will also see that it is up to you to report that outage, usually in a pre-determined space of time, in order to receive that. What they are trying to make you believe is that there will never be any downtime and that if there is they will immediately fix it, but that’s not the case. If you think that the San Jose colocation provider you choose might lead to a lot of downtime, then an SLA is a good idea, but why would you choose that company in the first place? If you choose one with a solid reputation for stability and uptime, then an SLA becomes somewhat redundant.
NO SETUP FEES
Everybody likes something free, and this feature may be a big selling point for you. What you have to keep in mind is that if there is a fee for setup, it’s only a one time deal and is usually a very fair price. Don’t discount a good colocation provider in favor of a bad just to save a few dollars on setup.
Flexibility is another good selling point, but you have to really think about the big picture when considering this option. It takes time and money to install and set up your hardware and software. It can become time consuming and expensive to keep jumping from provider to provider, not to mention that you can’t take your IP addresses with you. Perhaps the biggest problem with no contract is that there is no price control. There is nothing to stop a San Jose colocation provider from securing your business with all manner of great offers and then jacking up your price after a week. If you have taken the time to find a good provider, then signing a contract shouldn’t even be an issue. Most good colocation providers will offer contracts from as short as 3 to 6 months, so it’s not like they are asking for a lifetime commitment.