What Do Startups Need in a Colocation Provider?

Aug. 8, 2016
In this week’s Voices of the Industry, Josh Moody, FORTRUST’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, discusses what startups need in a Colocation provider.

In this week’s Voices of the Industry, Josh Moody, FORTRUST’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, discusses what startups need in a Colocation provider.

Josh Moody, SVP Sales FORTRUST

One of the biggest decisions startups must make concerns their technological infrastructure. Sovereign Business Integration Group noted that this decision often boils down to colocation versus the cloud.

“Much as it might be attractive to opt for the cheapest public cloud solution on the market (or, on the other side of the coin, an ultra secure colocation facility in the same city as your office, sourcing infrastructure is something that calls for careful consideration,” Sovereign stated.

While the cloud may represent a cost-effective solution for startups, many find that colocation services are much better suited to provide for their unique needs. Because of their limited resources but growing need to support advances and control over their infrastructure costs, startups are often turning to colocation to set themselves apart in the marketplace.

But what, exactly, should startups look for in a colocation provider? Let’s take a look:

1) Service capabilities and scalability

Before seeking out a service provider, it’s important that startups outline the services they will need from their colocation vendor. In addition to the colocation environment, this might include physical security controls and the ability to meet specific compliance criteria. Making a list will help inform decisions later on in the selection process.

Once a startup knows what they’ll need from their colocation provider, stakeholders should compare their list of requirements with the vendor’s service capabilities. Data Center Knowledge contributor Bill Kleyman noted that examining the provider’s breadth of capabilities is critical, as many vendors differ in this area. While each startup’s needs will be unique to their organization, it’s important to find a provider with a wide range of service capabilities that can address the company’s needs throughout the relationship.

Another important thing to look for is scalability. The startup may only need a small pool of infrastructure resources at first, but it’s essential to find a colocation provider that can scale the environment alongside the company’s needs. As the business grows, so too should its colocation platform. Thus, a wide range of available services – including colocation, monitoring and security – alongside flexible scalability is a must for today’s startups.

2) Security and compliance

Speaking of service capabilities, it’s also important to compare the startup’s security and compliance needs with the provider’s certifications. Some startups operate within industries that have specific requirements when it comes to the treatment of digital data – for instance, startups that deal with sensitive payment card information must ensure that PCI DSS guidelines are adhered to. Examining the provider’s compliance certifications and asking about their specific security processes is essential for data protection and to prevent any damage to the startup’s growing reputation.

It’s important to ensure that the colocation provider can support the startup’s security and compliance needs.

“If your company intends to store and process highly confidential records, it makes sense to turn to a provider that can satisfy your security and compliance needs to the fullest,” Sovereign stated. “Otherwise, the repercussions of a data breach could be catastrophic enough to sink a startup even before reputational damage enters the picture.”

3) Ideal data center location

It’s also imperative to take a look at the provider’s available data center locations. As each startup will utilize their colocation services for different purposes, it’s important to consider the company’s unique needs when examining data center location. It’s important to select a colocation facility that has limited risks.

4) Continuous critical systems uptime

In addition to scalability, security and facility location, startups also need a colocation provider that can guarantee continuous critical systems uptime. This is particularly important if the items being colocated are client-facing: An online customer portal that experiences long periods of downtime won’t do much good for the startup or consumers. Therefore, it’s essential to ensure that the provider can offer a high level of critical systems uptime.

Submitted by: Josh Moody Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, he is responsible for developing, managing and executing the overall sales strategy for FORTRUST. Josh brings more than 18 years of experience in the information technology field, including developing and executing strategic planning, management, customer relations, and vendor/partner relationships. FORTRUST recently surpassed the 14-year continuous critical systems uptime mark. To find out more about how FORTRUST can support your startup’s needs, contact us for a data center tour today.

About the Author

Voices of the Industry

Our Voice of the Industry feature showcases guest articles on thought leadership from sponsors of Data Center Frontier. For more information, see our Voices of the Industry description and guidelines.

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