Recently the owner of a small business visited Lifeline Data Centers to talk about using our outsource colocation facilities to house his money-making customer-facing systems. He has had some outages in his main office. Some of the data center downtime came from electrical problems in the building. Some of the downtime came from his telecom carrier. This small business owner realizes he needs to do something, but he came in with the mindset that there is no such thing as affordable colocation for small business.
The needs of his small business are not much different from large enterprise data centers.
- He realizes that downtime costs him both credibility and hard-dollar sales
- He is capable of managing his customer-facing website, so he doesn't necessarily need IT services
- He needs a place where the power never goes off and where the Internet bandwidth never goes down
So what should he look for? Depending on the cost of downtime, he could probably benefit from a tier III or higher data center. These top two tiers offer the best uptime levels available. He would also benefit from a carrier neutral data center that doesn't charge monthly cross-connect fees; that way he can shop for the best price/service combination from multiple telecom carriers. Finally, he should look for a data center that allows him to start small and grow incrementally if needed. A "pay as you grow" pricing model makes colocation much more affordable.
Shopping for flexibility in a data center is a winning strategy for both large enterprises and small businesses. And oddly enough, this customer's needs are very similar to most of our large enterprise data center clients.