What critical elements make a high-quality data centre?

Rod Cassidy, Managing Director of Alliance SI outlines the primary – and critical benefits of relocating your data from on-premises to a secure data centre.

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WHY are so many companies and organisations transitioning to data centres? Experts say it is the only way forward for Australian companies looking for complete data security. Rod Cassidy of Alliance SI, says security is just one reason to make the move, and one aspect to look for in a quality data centre.

“There are four main reasons to make the move to a secure, well-managed data centre,” Mr Cassidy says. “Security, reliability, predictability, and flexibility.

Critical elements to look for when choosing the right centre for your business are following:

Purpose built, Tier 4 – the gold standard

The tier rating system for data centres tells us what a particular data centre is able to provide in the way of performance and reliability.

These data centre tiers are an independent ranking system from 1 to 4, with 1 being the worst and 4 the top, gold standard, indicating a completely fault-tolerant centre. According to data experts, including Cassidy, tier 4 is a key feature to look for in a data centre.

Mr Cassidy says you also need to ensure that redundancy is engineered into the data centre, so it critically doesn’t fail, losing or damaging your data.

Large loading bays, dedicated staging rooms and storage areas

While data centres revolve around the cyber world, there is a very large physical component of moving and storing data.

Practicality and flexibility is vital. “The first point of entry and the most obvious point to assess is the loading dock,” Cassidy says. “Ask yourself, is it well designed so it can accommodate the type of vehicles that you need to deliver your data?”

Cassidy says other practical features such as dedicated staging rooms for customers use, and access to elevators, and storage facilities are all important factors to look for.

“You need to consider what are the staging facilities when it comes to accessing and handling your data? Are they critically designed and are they dedicated to the customer?” Cassidy says.

These features are important to a smooth transition as well as ongoing ease of access.

Sovereignty and Remote Hands

“An imperative and increasingly discussed topic within the industry – is your data being kept onshore?” Cassidy says. “Do you have absolute sovereignty over your data? In terms of sensitive, valuable data, these are critical things to consider.

“By sovereignty, I mean, in practical terms, once your data is stored at a facility, do you have 24/7 Remote Hands Services control over your data? Do you know exactly where it is and who has access to it?”

Remote hands means the data centre can physically act on your behalf; a qualified and trusted employee of the data centre is able to perform on-site services on behalf of the client, such as checking the equipment, replacing equipment or installing equipment.

24/7 security and support

Cassidy says while our focus is rightly on data security, physical site security is also important. Are the data centre’s facilities secure? And importantly, is there 24/7 security at the facility?

He also stresses that flexibility and the ability and willingness of the data centre to tailor a bespoke solution to suit your exact needs is important. Every organisation is different and while the broader needs may be similar, each company will have nuanced individual needs. Look for a data centre that is willing to work with you to create a solution that fits your company perfectly.

“All of these considerations will make your life in a data centre so much easier,” Mr Cassidy says.

Reach out to Alliance SI for more information on selecting the right data centre partner for your business.