Data Centre: Connectivity is Key

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Data Centre: Connectivity is Key

By Nadene Facey
Colored network Cables plugged in to ports

Connectivity capability should always be high on the agenda when considering a data centre provider. The success and growth of most modern businesses depends on it.   

With more and more core business functions delivered online, connectivity is key. Whether it’s communications, the day to day running of your business or delivery of your services to market, all can be impacted by poor connectivity.

It is important to understand the impact of connectivity downtime on your business; would it just be an inconvenience or would it have serious implications for your business such as lost revenue or damage to your reputation? When looking for the right Data Centre the business requirements for connectivity capacity and speed must be met but levels of resilience should be assessed too.

What should you be looking for?

It is advantageous to seek out a Data Centre which owns and operates its own carrier network as well as having independent carries on-site. This is known as being ‘Carrier Neutral’ and it means you can select services from any providers, including the Data Centre owner itself, based entirely on your own requirements.

Some Data Centres are limited to just a few network carriers, and some do not even run their own networks at all – so it’s vital to spend some time learning about the connectivity options available.

Ask about network capacity, data transmission speeds and latency, and any connections to the major communication Points of Presence (PoPs) to ascertain performance level and connection speeds.

If your requirements are for Point-To-Point links between your offices and your equipment, or between your equipment and your customers premises, then you need to check which carriers are available ‘on-net’ at the facility. You also need to check which other Data Centres and communications locations the Data Centre has within its own network. You will be able to easily access carriers within these other on-net facilities also, so check with the provider to see where their network spans.

If your connectivity requirements are based more around the global internet (rather than point-to-point requirements) then IP Transit capacities and network peerings are the elements that you will need to investigate closely. Partnering with a Data Centre provider who can offer a diverse, highly peered network with multiple paths can improve connection speed, provide resilience and help your business stay online. It’s therefore important to know the number of direct peerings your Data Centre has to other ISPs, as well as any direct connections it has with Tier 1 Internet Service Providers.

What about Cloud?

Cloud connectivity is another major factor to consider when selecting a Data Centre today. As more and more organisations adopt a hybrid approach to cloud, you need to establish if your provider can offer dedicated connectivity between the Data Centre and the major public cloud providers, such as Azure, AWS, Oracle and Google. Direct connectivity (instead of reaching them via the public internet) is more secure and significantly more efficient both in terms of latency/throughput as well as commercially.

You may need to consider whether specialist connectivity options are available too. If your business is in the Health and Social Care sector, it’s vital that your Data Centre can provide access to the HSCN network to ensure all Patient Identifiable Data is encrypted and remains secured on UK soil.

If you need a wide-area network to link together elements of your project, or even to join up a series of remote customer sites, then it’s critical that you discuss this with your potential facilities to ensure they have a robust and scalable network to work with you on this.

Leading on from connectivity there are many other components to consider when choosing the right Data Centre for your business. A next logical step could be to review what levels of technical support and monitoring a Data Centre can provide. With so many considerations from connectivity, support and security to diverse power supplies, this process can soon become complex.

Our whitepaper “Choosing the right Data Centre” highlights the key considerations and is designed to help you through the decision-making process making sure you make the right decision for your business. To find out more read the full whitepaper here.