The First Steps of Investing in Colocation Solutions
So let’s assume you are just starting the process of finding an excellent colocation solution to meet your needs. Being that you are new to the colocation hosting industry, instead of shopping around for varying web hosting providers, you decide to hire an outside firm for guidance. This outside firm, along with guiding your colocation provider hunt, will generate a colocation RFP or a data center RFP on your behalf. The data center RFP (Request for Proposal) is a 15 – 30 page guide detailing your colocation needs and effectively serves to start a bidding war between colocation solution providers.
For the uninitiated, here is a short list of items you should look for in a data center RFP.
Introduction of Services through General Information
The first few pages of a colocation request for proposal effectively serve as a comprehensive introduction for all bidding colocation providers. The first few pages will include a RFP introduction letter, the basic table of contents, a definitive statement of work (SOW), i.e. the purpose to the RFP and other general information about your company/technological profile which your company currently utilizes. Consider these sections the opening notes of the colocation RFP.
Instructions through Work Needed
The next sections of any colocation RFP should let the bidding provider under the bidding award process, the terms and conditions under which a bidding colocation provider will be selected and the general scope of work involved in the data center project. While the opening sections of data center proposal serve as an introduction to the bidding provider, the next few sections speak to the bidder in terms of what they need to do to win your business. Think of these sections as the bland yet necessary business criteria section of the colocation proposal.
Standard Policies and Procedures through Security Needs
Following the business sections of the data center proposal, the next items to look for are the needed (again very bland) standard operating policies and procedures along with the needed security practices of your bidding colocation provider. In most colocation request for proposals, these sections will outline the security capabilities of your colocation provider. Again, a bit on the bland side but certainly needed.
Power, Power, Power
Finally, we are at the sections which have some flavor to them. The first major section of any RFP should be on power requirements. This section should be comprised of a few subsections. The first power requirement subsection should cover your power needs as a company. The section subsection should cover the mandatory power requirements you have for your colocation provider. Finally, the third subsection for power should cover auxiliary power and backup power requirements.
For anyone who has spent time in the colocation and data center web hosting industries you know system redundancy is one of the major characteristics which separates data center tiers from each other. The higher level of HVAC redundancy built into a data center, the better a colocation provider they will prove to be. That is why, when it comes to the colocation RFP section on redundancy, it is up to you to specify the tier data center you wan/need based on level of HVAC redundancy a colocation provider can supply.
The last major section of any colocation RFP is budget requirements. Like the other somewhat blander sections of the data center proposal, the budget and pricing section should state, in a plain manner, your budgetary requirements on a monthly and annual basis. At the end of the day, the entire bidding process is about finding the colocation provider who meets all your needs at the lowest cost possible.
When constructing the budget section of a colocation proposal, consider your true monthly/annual spend for colocation solutions yet also understand providers will bid for your business. For your advantage, try to skew your monthly spend in your advantage. A small skewing will be nice on your pocket.
For more tips and notes on what to look for in a colocation RFP, continue to browse Quotecolo.com.