Let's pretend for a moment that you have decided to move your small business' data to "the cloud." After comparing costs for an in-house server and IT staff member's salary with quotes from three local managed dedicated server hosting facilities, the numbers are in favor of going with the hosting service. So far it just looks like the best way to get the most bandwidth and service for your money. Now that you have this information, it's time to tour each of the three data centers and choose a facility that best meets your needs and offers the services and security you expect.
It's a known fact that not all data centers are the same when it comes to security; therefore it is very important to take note of what security measures each of the facilities have in place. The last thing you want is to have your company's information compromised because it is not properly secured.
The following check list provides ten security items that you should look for when you tour a data center site:
- Look for biometric identification measures located at access points to sensitive areas. These include fingerprint or retinal scanners. Some facilities may use less-expensive access cards instead of scanners.
- Does the building have a lot of windows? If you pull up to a prospective facility and it looks more like an office building than a warehouse, there is a possibility that the building will not be very secure break-in or intruders. Without the windows are made of bomb-resistant laminated glass, the building should be practically window-less.
- Count How many access doors are at the site. A secure site will have one main entrance door and one loading dock in the back. If you see multiple doors, it is best to take note that this site is not as safe as one with fewer points of entry.
- When you walk around the building's exterior, you should see surveillance cameras at all points of entry and also through the interior of the building. Motion-detectors should also be in place.
- Does the exterior of the building contain landscaping and / or crash-proof barriers? Both of these items can help keep vehicles from crashing into the building.
- On the interior, are the bathrooms for visitors located outside of the secure areas of the building?
- Notice how thick the walls of the facility are. If they are made of concrete, they should be a least a foot thick, and for added security they might also be lined with Kevlar.
- Is the building at least 100 feet from the main road?
- Is there a blatant sign outside of the facility that says "data center?"
- Does the facility have what is considered "bad neighbors?" They include airports, chemical facilities, and power plants.
Choosing the right facility can make all the difference when it comes to dedicated server hosting, and part of your decision should always include security features. Therefore, being armed with the correct knowledge before hand will help you feel more comfortable when deciding which hosting company to go with. Next time you tour a facility, bringing along this checklist and if the facility does not line up, then move on to the next one.