Before you sign up with a Chicago wholesale data center provider, consider the following very important factors: Location, Location, Location Why is location so important? As with many other business facilities and partners, you want your colocation facility to be conveniently located for those times when you need to travel to the site. You also want to know how susceptible the location is to natural and human-driven disasters. Location can also impact data transfer times, so you want your data center to maintain the lowest latency connectivity possible. Thanks to its central location, Chicago serves as a major metro hub with optimal connectivity to major facilities in both the U.S. and around the globe.

Geographic Diversity How does this matter?  If you want your business to grow into other states or countries, then the ability of the data center provider to facilitate that growth will be important.  Your Chicago colocation facility should be part of a network with facilities placed in other advantageous and accessible cities across the country.

Security As with all of your business facilities, dealings, and information, your colocation facility will need to be protected by tight security. Protecting the physical security of your colocation facility can be critical to maintaining the integrity of critical customer and corporate data.  Expect to see biometric security, electronic locks, card readers, video surveillance, restricted access to unauthorized personnel, 24×7 on-site, manned security, and other security techniques in use.  You will also want to check out the fire detection and suppression methods of the facility.

Flexibility How flexible is your Chicago data center facility?  This refers to the number, type and flexibility of services offered by the colocation provider, as well as the flexibility of the contracts and technical expertise provided to you by that service provider.  As a business owner, you should be considering your future needs as carefully as you are considering today’s needs.  You want to be sure that your current provider can meet your growth and future needs. Some words that you will hear in almost any discussion about data center facilities include reliability, redundancy, and resiliency.  These important qualities of a provider cannot be overlooked.

Redundancy, Reliability, & Resilience Redundancy refers to the secondary systems in place to provide service without disruption and downtime.  Reliability is increased with sufficient redundancy in place.  Resilient service providers can support and guarantee 100% uptime without interruptions in service.

Scalability Scalability is another important aspect of a data center and provider that can affect your future operations; it refers to the capacity of the facility.  You also need to know how much room for growth is available to you and the other customers who are working with the provider.  You might want to ask about facility design elements and higher density configurations used on racks.  Does the facility offer various options, ranging from single racks to dedicated data center suites?  It is important to determine if your provider is indeed able to cost-effectively and efficiently scale up services to meet your businesses’ unique requirements.  You’ll find that the longer you can rely on your chosen provider to perform this service for you, the greater your investment returns will be. Although are some other factors you’ll probably want to consider, such as cost or environmental impact, one of the final factors covered here is the amount of technical support that will be available to you through your provider.

Reliable Support You should have access to technical support at all times and every day, including weekends, holidays, and in the very early hours of the morning.  Access to support technicians should be available through both email and telephone.  Sometimes this support is routed through automated attendants, but you should probably try to find a service with actual people who are prepared to respond to your emergencies. The use of a wholesale data center facility and service can give you a competitive advantage over other similar businesses.  The increased bandwidth and carefully monitored services can increase your exposure and speed up your response times.  Look for the same professionalism that you hope to provide to your customers.