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Posted by Anna Nicholls on 04-Aug-2022 11:07:54

What to look for on a data centre tour

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Whether it’s colocation or cloud hosting, if you’re utilising a data centre for any element of your IT infrastructure, you should be able to ask your provider for a tour of the facility. Any reputable provider will be only too happy to show you around, but what should you be looking for and what questions should you be asking?

How secure is the building?
First things first, how easy (or difficult) was it to get in? Did you have to give notice of your visit? Did they run any background checks on you? Upon arrival, what physical security processes were in place? You should be looking for things like cameras, biometric access control, anti-tailgating doors and gates, security passes, mantraps on the data halls, and there may even be security in place that you can’t see such as infrared trip wires.

What fire prevention systems are in place?
Data centres house a lot of equipment, using a lot of power. Which means fire is a very obvious risk. Ask questions about what measures your data centre facility has in place to prevent  fire. VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detection Apparatus) would be one to look for, as well as gas fire suppression systems and temperature sensors.

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What happens in an outage?
Ask about the kinds of redundancy measures and resilience features that are in place to protect the facility against downtime. This could be UPS power backups, generators, battery backups and of course, the fire safety and physical security in place will ultimately also protect against downtime. What happens in the case of network outages? How diverse are the network connections to and from the data centre? These are all questions that your provider should be more than happy to answer as part or a facility tour.

Is the data centre facility accredited?
Accreditations aren’t the be-all and end-all, but looking at accreditations is an excellent starting point when it comes to assessing security and compliance. Is the data centre compliant with ISO27001 (information security management) and can your provider show you any documentation? You may want to look for certifications like the NSI Gold scheme for example, or the presence of SIA-approved personnel.

Our Manchester data centre facility, Delta House, offers some of the most advanced security features, levels of resilience and connectivity choices of any UK colocation provider. And in late 2022 - early 2023 we’ll be opening a second data centre facility in Manchester offering 25,000 ft2 of space and up to 10 new data halls.

To pre-book a tour of our new facility, click here and complete the form. Or to take a look round our existing data centre, book here.

Topics: colocation, cloud hosting, data centre, data centres

Anna Nicholls

Written by Anna Nicholls

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