SSAE 16 has surpassed SAS 70 as the “defacto” standard for quality data centers. However, our phones are still ringing with clients looking for SAS 70 type 1 and type 2 compliant data centers. This brief article we will review common SAS 70 Colocation data center selection criteria….
1) Geographic Options – clients will need to determine if they are looking for a primary or secondary colocation facility. For primary facilities, clients tend to look at data centers within their local geographic area for a variety of reasons. Having a local data center facility will allow easier and quicker access for your IT staff for basic server maintenance and troubleshooting. This will also reduce your monthly hosting fees because you will only be relying on the data center for their network and infrastructure versus using them for hands on support and additional managed services. For secondary facilities, clients typically look 50-100 miles out from their main data center point of presence. These facilties are usually used for redundant architecture and/or disaster recovery purposes.
2) Rack Space Options – most SAS 70 compliant data centers require clients to start with at least a half cabinet or full cabinet of colocation space. Half cabinets are typically 20-22U of rack space with a standard 15amp 110v power feed. Full cabinets range from 42-48U of rack space with either 20 or 30amp 110v power. Some SAS 70 providers offer smaller colocation space increments starting at per U or 1/4 rack. These types of providers are harder to find but are available in most major metro markets.
3) Bandwidth Options – SAS 70 colocation providers offer in house blended BGP4 internet bandwidth connections burstable to 100 Mbps and GIGe (1000 Mbps). Most providers will bill you on the industry standard 95th percentile method which calculates your monthly average and throws out the top 5% usage. Along with in house bandwidth, other SAS 70 providers offer carrier neutral bandwidth. Carrier neutral bandwidth allows a clients to bring in their own preferred telecom bandwidth carrier as long as they are located in the data center’s meet me room. Enterprise clients prefer this option because it allows them the ability to keep their existing IP range which saves time and is more efficient for extending existing MPLS and WAN connections.
4) Managed Service Options – SAS 70 providers typically offer a variety of managed services. Some offer “managed colocation” in which they will assist clients in the management of their server environments. This includes services like operating system patches and upgrades, system admin functions, hardware fixes and troubleshooting. SAS 70 colocations also offer “add on” managed services for client who still want to manage their own servers but prefer to outsource other non core business functions. Add on managed services include manual or automated tape back up, firewall and intrusion detection, load balancing, monitoring and storage.
When looking for a SAS 70 provider make sure you consider the above criteria. Schedule tours to visit the facilities and ask lots of questions related to your specific hosting requirements.