Identifying who the real, trusted data center providers are can be a difficult endeavor. Everyone's website claims the same thing. So, how can you be sure that the provider you choose to host your company's most critical assets will still deserve your trust in the days immediately following your signature on an agreement?
A few of the largest data center providers are famous for leading with pricing that seems competitive, until you get the final all-in number. Classic used-car sticker shock. This is a quick indicator of what's to come. Run!
When things go wrong, will your data center provider bring you in the loop quickly or leave you with lights off and no answers. Ask for the company's customer RFO process and ensure direct lines to people that matter for escalation.
Trusted data center providers have frequent, in-depth conversations with customers to identify how they can drive more value. QBR's ensure you have regular business-level touch points and a recurring forum to drive positive change.
How quickly does the provider respond to your emails, voicemails? Do quotes take forever? Data center layouts/design docs lagging? This is an indicator of a provider who is understaffed or does not value your business. Future problems.
Unless they are new, every data center provider can find a few happy referral customers, otherwise they would be out of business. Ex-customers fill in the worst-case scenario. Trusted providers may give you access.
Downtime is a killer. Most colocation providers offer some type of uptime SLA for protection, but the devil is in the details. Identify a shady provider by looking at the SLA language: back-ended credits, sliding scales, only if's.
H5 provides a useful tool for assessing data center risk prior to signing a contract.
Risk Map: County-by-County
ArcGIS provides a detailed map of the riskiest US areas, detailed county-by-county.