By Simon Mewett, CEO, C4L
Data is becoming more and more important to organisations of all sizes, in every sector, as a result the need for storage is increasing by the day. But, as the cost of on-premise storage solutions continue to increase with as you add more capacity, many UK businesses are considering colocation as a cost-effective and reliable alternative. However, some businesses are still reticent, having had their fingers burnt in the past by colocation companies that confuse or cause them concern.
We now live in an information society where knowledge and therefore data is power. The Internet and IP networks are no longer just about web browsing, but are the foundation of pretty much any organisation in existence today and the main transport mechanism for voice, video and data. Clearly it is essential for organisations to be able to reliably and securely connect with their customers, partners and employees. In addition, organisations must be able to effectively and efficiently share, store, process, secure and backup information, while ensuring that no data is lost.
Colocation offers users significant benefits by providing space and power for hosting customer owned equipment in a secure, resilient facility. However, for resellers that provide a wider range of solutions, it’s important to partner with a data centre that has the infrastructure and expertise to support these services fully and be flexible with the solutions they provide.
When it comes to logical security, businesses need to ensure that they are choosing data centre providers that have all the main safeguards in place, such as ID or password access. However, this isn’t enough – not when confidential corporate data is at risk of getting into the wrong hands. Instead, organisations should be looking at data centre providers that have multiple layers of security, such as a swipe card, unique ID, secure PIN numbers and biometric authentication, (i.e. fingerprint, palm or retina recognition). This is an essential precaution for government-rated sites, as it ensures that if an entry card is lost or stolen, there is still no risk of data being stolen from the data centre.
Maximum Phyiscal protection
Organisations also need to ensure that they are choosing a provider that strives for the maximum physical protection of its data centres, such as individually locked racks, HD cameras facing all directions and door alarms with police response. Furthermore, although providers may use CCTV systems to monitor data centres 24/7, it is not always easy to access footage from a specific day and time quickly and efficiently. As such, CCTV systems should be linked to the access control system, ensuring that if an intruder enters the site, footage of their entry can be accessed immediately.
Advice from the infrastructure provider to the end-user
And finally, an organisation must also consider its own security policies when it comes to protecting their racks. These should include an access list of authorised personnel that is regularly updated and shared with the data centre provider. This will mean that if a rogue person tries to gain access the provider will be able to stop them from doing so.
A sensible Data Centre selection process can remove most of the security worries that a business may have, this needs to be kept under review of course, but the decision to relocate should be simple and reassuring in the long run, not a cause for concern.