3 Signs a Data Center Can be Trusted


Ensure Your Business isn’t Stuck With Mediocre Security and Storage in the Cloud

If you’re a small business who outsources their IT support or uses a cloud provider, then you are putting your trust in a data center.

But how do you know if that data center is secure? Is a provider’s word enough to trust that all of your information will be safe?

Here are three signs that the data center used by your IT provider is likely to be trustworthy. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it does gives a good indicator of what to look out for.

1. Tier 3 or higher

Data center tiers indicate different levels of uptime, security, power supply installation, and environmental control.

Generally speaking, you should be looking for a minimum of a Tier 3 or higher data center if you want a secure and reliable cloud service.

Tiers range from 1 to 5; 1 being the most basic level, which is, in essence, a server room and has an expected uptime of 99.671%. Tier 5 is the most robust kind of data center, but is mostly used by financial institutions and is a higher level than required for a vast majority of organisations, making Tier 4 being the most suitable. This is the uptime each tier offers:

  • Tier 1: 99.671%
  • Tier 2: 99.741%
  • Tier 3: 99.982%
  • Tier 4: 99.995%

2. The Cloud Provider Owns Their Data Center Infrastructure

Many cloud providers don’t own their own hardware and are usually reselling someone else’s services. This means that they have little control over security measures relating to the data center, including ensuring that disaster recovery plans are robust and will be implemented properly, controlling who can access the data center, and how the data center is backed up.

If a cloud provider owns their infrastructure in the data center, then you don’t have to put faith in a third party with whom you have no contact. It also means they can take you to the data center so you can physically see where everything is kept. If anything should go wrong, the provider can go and physically pick up all your information.

3. Thorough Security Checks

Physical security at a data center is just as important as virtual or technological security. A data center should have 24-hour manned security with perimeter fencing, access control, vehicle access control, CCTV, and lockable server cabinets.

Virtual checks should include regular penetration tests to test the firewall. A good data center owner should also be able to provide you with evidence of past penetration tests.

These are just a few of the many things you should find out about your data center. Remember that not all data centers are created equal so you need to do your homework and ask the right questions to figure exactly how secure each one is.

Image: iStockphoto

About The Author

Richard Thompson is a founder member of Central Technology, an IT support company based in Chesterfield, UK. As a sales director who has trained as an-site engineer, he has a theoretical and practical technical knowledge of networks and servers and a business user’s expectations of its IT systems.

Richard has written for various publications including The Huffington Post, IT Manager Daily and IT Donut and can be found on Twitter and on Google+.