When people think about a ‘data centre’, they may imagine large glassy skyscrapers in London and Manchester or hulking warehouse-sized structures in out-of-town locations. While these certainly exist, there are local alternatives that may be more suited to businesses.
But which should you choose?
Many businesses have elected to use data centres in another city or town as part their disaster recovery (DR) plans in order to separate or to replicate their IT systems as far away from their head offices as possible. But how far is far enough?
While DR plans require a certain radius between a data centre and a business’s primary location, a few miles is perfectly adequate for most insurance companies.
What are the benefits of a local data centre?
It depends on the type of solution required. Co-location customers look to benefit the most as they will need to access their own physical machines and data. Rather than have to make a long trip to London or further afield, co-location customers can simply access a local facility as often as they need to.
The data centre should then feel like an extension of their own comms room and the data centre staff an extension to theirIT department a familiar and trusted remote hands resource that can be relied on.
What’s the alternative?
There are two. The more traditional route is to keep all server hardware on site and replicate it to a secondary site that belongs to the business, such as a branch office.
The second option is to use a public cloud facility, such as Azure or AWS. These cloud facilities are in fact a network of large data centres, but you will never know where your data is being held.
There is a third option...and that’s not use a DR site at all, but we would never advise that! Businesses need to know they can access their IT systems and data if their primary site is compromised by fire, flooding, power cut, hackers, etc.
Our data centre
We built ours in Exeter in 2001 to serve the needs of businesses in the south west. As well as providing the optimum environment, we are a carrier-neutral data centre and have connections from seven carriers delivered via diverse building entry points and multiple cable pathways, plus backup power sources, to avoid any possibility of downtime.
If you need to talk through your DR options or are considering a data centre facility please do not hesitate to contact me.