There are quite a few things to consider before choosing a datacenter for your equipment and hosting. The quality of the environment, the redundancy and reliability of the utilities, the quality of the technicians and staff, and the location; among other things, these are points on which to make your final decision. Choosing a place to colocate or host data is a big decision that will affect your company in both the short term and the long term.
If you compare these preliminary choices to the ones you will have to make once you begin to settle in, they may seem like small details when planning out the possible options you’ll have as time passes. Ultimately, your build-out plans will influence your business’s future, in regards to its relationship to the internet.
Having a game plan for your growth in terms of hardware is imperative to smooth, reliable service for your customers, and ease of maintenance for the technicians responsible for your equipment. Expense can also be minimized by having a firm vision for expansion. In a way, this sort of planning can be likened to chess, as it is to your advantage to perceive what your next steps will be, and the possible paths that can diverge from there. Do you know if you will need a full server rack, or more than one? What is your total capacity per rack, what type of servers will you be placing in those racks? The delineation of directions to go in can be overwhelming if addressed last minute.
Your control over your growth is best managed by looking ahead.
When initiating your contract with a datacenter, communicating your desires for future expansion and growth will help to make sure your initial build-out is placed in an area that is conducive to your future plans. Building a working relationship with the technicians and staff will give you a better idea as to your options, and access to informed opinions upon the best choices you can make for your equipment.
Extra Space, Just in Case
There are quite a few services you purchase when hosting equipment in a datacenter. In some cases, it may feel as though obligating yourself to an entire rack with only a few servers within it is an unnecessary expense. Besides the fact that your services are billed in such a way to help you pay only for the services you are using (Power, Bandwidth, Space), having empty rackspace can be superior to an non-optimal, or even unexpected moves of your equipment down the road. Also, even when you have filled your rack to capacity, it is always best to leave space for an additional server or three in the case of a last minute, unavoidable expansion. Leaving “just in case” space can allow you to make the upgrades you need quickly and seamlessly.
Try It Out First
When colocating, having equipment in your space specifically for testing possible configurations is the best way to avoid downtime on your live servers. As a bonus, having this redundant, non-essential hardware can be a lifesaver in the case of unexpected hardware failure.
With those things in mind, and a firm vision for your build-out, you will have a much smoother transition as your services expand! There are always unforeseen bumps on the road to prosperity, but with a tangible plan you can save yourself much trouble and many headaches.