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5 Essential Criteria Every Data Centre Should Meet

When you are researching a SaaS solution, you’ll probably have a clear criterion it has to meet; does it solve a problem you are currently facing, will it provide a strong ROI, can it scale to meet your expected future needs. These are, of course, all valid factors to consider. Alongside this, however, you should also consider where your data is going to be hosted. Applying equally stringent criteria on your hosting provider and data centre can help protect you from problems further down the line. Read below to find out more about the 5 essential criteria that every data centre should meet.

1 Ensure your data centre is financially stable

The financial health of your hosting provider can have serious implications for you. Should it be struggling and fall into administration, this can make it very difficult and costly for you to retrieve your data. It’s important to note that disaster recovery plans do not cover insolvency, so you would still be vulnerable even with disaster recovery in place.

2 Check you can easily retrieve your data

It is a good idea to ensure, through your contract, that your data is accessible in an easy to use format. This will help to protect you, should you enter into any disputes with your hosting company and/or software provider, as it should mean you won’t lose access to your data.

3 Find out where your data is hosted

Ideally, you want your data to be hosted within the EU. This is particularly important for any organisation working with sensitive or personal data, as it is not usually permissible under the Data Protection Act 1998 (as amended) to host data outside of the EU. There are exceptions to this, but you’ll need to make sure the right safeguards are in place.

4 Enquire if the data centre has a hardware replacement programme

Find out if the data centre has a timetabled hardware replacement programme or if they wait for hardware to break before replacing it. By having a hardware replacement programme in place, it decreases the chances of any disruption to your service from downtime. In data centres without a structured programme in place, there is a greater chance of downtime and problems accessing your data.

5 Establish the service levels you should expect

As part of any new agreement with a hosting company or software provider, you should establish the expected service levels. As part of this, describe the consequences if those levels are not achieved, so that everyone has a clear understanding of what will happen. To test out the service levels, ensure they are included as part of the initial testing regime. This will give you the opportunity to see them in practice. Also, make sure you have the option to cancel the service if you find that the service levels are not being maintained. On top of this, be sure to ask for any evidence of security and/or disaster recover procedures, should you feel this is necessary.

 

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