Research: Top Criteria for Selecting a Data Center Provider

By |2020-03-18T19:25:10+00:00March 18th, 2020|0 Comments

A recent survey conducted by US Signal (www.ussignal.com) of IT decision-makers showed that disaster recovery (DR), data backup and security are the top priorities of data center managers when selecting a data center location, edge data center service provider(s) and data center facility features.  Recent developments in regulations, concerns about cybersecurity, and threats from natural disasters provided the initial survey focus.  The research analyzed responses from over 110 IT leaders across the country.  In this article we summarize the key findings. 

  1. Fifty-eight (58) percent of respondents named security and compliance as high priorities when choosing a data center provider; 31 percent listed the criteria as their top priorities; and
  2. Thirty-eight (38) percent said they had been impacted by a ransomware attack in the last twelve months; 

Clearly, information security (and cybersecurity in particular) is near the top of data center managers’ priorities.  As data centers are often the first point of contact with malware and other security breaches, protecting an organization’s data perimeter is a key operational objective.  

  1. Forty-two (42) percent stated that disaster recovery and backup availability were key considerations
  2. Seventy-five (75) percent said they are currently utilizing backup and disaster recovery from a third-party edge data center provider
  3. By contrast, 54 percent said that they are somewhat or not very confident in their disaster recovery and backup solution in the event of a cyberattack, IT outage or a natural disaster

The variance in the respondents’ answers to questions 4 and 5 indicate that despite the popularity of third-party DR and backup providers, the quality of service is often not up to expectations.  Careful analysis of DR service provider candidates is essential, especially considering the criticality of data assets the third parties are protecting.  

  1. Ninety-one (91) percent of respondents wanted a data center provider that was located close to their users;
  2. Forty-six (46) percent said they prioritize network capacity and connectivity options, with 15 percent naming it their number one priority; and
  3. Forty-eight (48) percent said cost was a top consideration.

These findings emphasize that data center proximity and the strength of network connectivity are of keen importance to due to the frequent deployment of latency-sensitive applications.  Not surprisingly, nearly half of respondents also factored in cost as a top consideration. 

  1. Sixty-six (66) percent of respondents described their current IT infrastructure as using a hybrid IT architecture;
  2. And 34 percent said they did not have a hybrid IT infrastructure; 
  3. Twenty (20) percent said their infrastructure was entirely cloud-based; and
  4. As compared with 14 percent who said it was all on premise.

The above statistics show that of all respondents, about two-thirds have a hybrid infrastructure, which can be a combination of many different technology platforms and network resources.  The other third do not have a hybrid infrastructure, but could still use different technology platforms.  One in five respondents said they had an entirely cloud-based infrastructure, and about one in seven still used on-site and quite possibly legacy systems and technology.  Clearly, many different configurations appear to be in place, with the majority using hybrid configurations.  

The survey summarized the most important data center services:

  1. Backup and disaster recovery (75 percent)
  2. Security services (73 percent)
  3. Network connectivity (69 percent)
  4. Private cloud hosting (59 percent)
  5. Multi-tenant cloud hosting (56 percent)
  6. Colocation (39 percent)

Dave Wisz, executive vice president of operations at US Signal, said “The recent introduction of major data regulations signals a change in the way governments are viewing data management, and this is causing companies to better equip themselves by seeking the services of third-party data center providers.”  Wisz added that consumer demand for easy and quick data access is causing the offerings from data center providers to evolve in ways that ease the burden of security, connectivity, data protection and compliance for customers.  

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About the Author:

Paul Kirvan, FBCI, CISA, is an independent business resilience consultant, IT auditor, technical writer and project manager with over 25 years of experience.  Previously Mr. Kirvan was a founding board member and secretary of the Business Continuity Institute’s USA Chapter, and a member of the international board of the BCI. Mr. Kirvan is currently a Fellow of the Business Continuity Institute (FBCI) and a Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA).
Email: [email protected]
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paulkirvan/

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