Picking the right colocation provider is not an easy task. Should you pick the cheapest quote or the most well-known name? Choosing the wrong data center provider can wreak havoc on your IT costs and possibly cause website and application downtime. In this article, we will discuss the top 5 mistakes we have seen clients make when picking a colocation provider….
1) Picking the cheapest price. There is a reason some providers offer the lowest rates. Some try to get you in the door with a low bid and then raise your price 6 or 12 months later. Others offer “unlimited” bandwidth on shared connections that may suddenly become over subscribed in a week or months time. Make sure you ask the sales rep how they can offer such a low rate compared to the competition and make sure you take what the say with a “grain of salt.”
2) Not conducting a site tour. Most reputable providers will want to show you their data center’s bells and whistles. Some providers will avoid giving you a tour because their data center is subpar or under construction. Stay away from colocations that will not allow you to visit. A site tour will give you a good visual on not only the data center infrastructure and environmentals but also its IT staffing and security policies. If no one is around at 2pm during the day, who will troubleshoot or reboot your server at 3am in the morning? If the data center is too far away, ask a local friend or hire an independent IT consultant to take a tour for you.
3) Not calling or emailing the support line before you sign the contract. How many times have you waited on hold with your mobile phone carrier looking for technical support just wishing you had picked another carrier? The same holds true with a data center. Call or email their technical support at different times of the day to see how fast and how well the respond. We discussed this and several other questions that should be asked when picking a hosting provider.
4) Not reading the fine print on the contract. Make sure a lawyer reviews the contract before signing because this is money well spent. Many of our clients have been stuck in contracts that automatically renew (evergreen clause) or automatically raise rates after a set period of time. Most reputable data center providers will remove these clauses without much of a headache.
5) Not asking for something extra. In today’s economic climate, don’t be afraid to ask for something else. Ask for a free month or ask them to waive the install fee. If they give you three reboots a month, ask for six. Most eager sales managers will do this to earn your business.