Colocation enables business to cut costs, increase function with smaller IT departments and allows the organization to focus on its business and customers rather than its IT infrastructure management. While we love sharing colocation success stories, horror stories occur with unfortunate frequency too. Colocation mistakes can be painful and expensive. The following list will help you to avoid the most common pitfalls when selecting a colocation provider and reap the benefits without the pain.
Pitfall #1: Inadequate Power Structure Planning
It’s natural to think you can save on cost by purchasing the minimum resources required to get the job done. When it comes to power structure planning, however, this approach can backfire.
For instance, consider that most Windows-based servers will regularly attempt to reboot simultaneously. When this happens, they will all draw excess power at the same time. If the power structure is not built for the higher load, a breaker will trip and the entire system will go down. When your technicians attempt to restart the system, it will simply surge again and cause the same problem. Ensuring that your business has someone with power structure experience or finding a quality colocation provider that will help assist in determining your power requirements will help to avoid any power shortage instances.
Pitfall #2: Making Decisions about Network Set-up without Adequate Planning Expertise
Similar to pitfall #1, this mistake can ultimately lead to problems that are much more expensive and time-consuming to fix than it is to get it right in the first place. For example, one popular technology involves “stacking” switches to create a more user-friendly interface. While stacking can be a useful approach in some circumstances, when deployed unwisely it creates a single point of failure that can regularly bring an entire data system down for 15 minutes or more at a time.
A good colocation provider will maintain a test lab where they examine the operational impact of new technologies, and their educated staff can help design a robust network infrastructure that works for your organization.
Pitfall #3: Failing to Monitor the System
Regular maintenance and monitoring is crucial to the ongoing function of your system. You want to know if certain resources are consuming unusual amounts of bandwidth, as it may indicate an impending problem that could be catastrophic if not addressed immediately.
Sudden increases in bandwidth usage can be good or bad – for example, an informal promotion of your brand on Twitter or a user forum can drive tons of users to your site. Unfortunately, if you’re not set up to handle the additional bandwidth, and no one is monitoring the system, your site may crash and send all that good traffic elsewhere. A colocation provider can both monitor your usage and, in many cases, provision cloud storage to provide a quick boost capacity.
A malicious attack on a website can also cause sudden increases in bandwidth usage – obviously, you want to know immediately when a problem like this arises. Monitoring is an inexpensive preventative for what can otherwise escalate to an expensive crisis.