Your Managed Service Provider Should Have a Data Center. Here’s Why!

You trust your technical Managed Service Provider (MSP) to be your partner, to help your business grow and to keep your technological needs met. But if your MSP doesn’t have a data center solution, they could be leaving your business vulnerable.

First thing’s first: What is a data center?

Those nondescript buildings lined with racks of servers, cables and blinking lights? That’s what a data center looks like. But while they may look austere, these chilly warehouses humming with electronics are what make modern business possible.

Plainly put, data centers store data. Companies with a high volume of data or a need for virtualized applications and environments will contract with a data center to keep their files, folders, databases, etc. protected from damage, corruption and intrusion.

Once the data is backed up and saved to the data center, that data can be accessed from anywhere. In case of a disaster, machines (and whole businesses) can be brought back to life FAST. Virtual machines can be run from near-bare metal systems as if the physical drives were there. In addition, data centers offer the height of security, employing advanced encryption and security measures to keep bad guys out of sensitive information.

If a business could not survive a server failure or works with sensitive or client information, then they should be leveraging a data center as part of their recovery options.

Why should your MSP have its own data center?

For the most part, if you’re just looking for secure backup or virtualization services, it doesn’t matter where your data center is located. It could be next door or under an icy fjord — your data will be equally accessible in any location for the most part.

But when you’re also contracting with an MSP, hiring a separate vendor for data center services can introduce operational inefficiencies. Multiple vendors mean multiple phone calls and inevitable communication lag between companies during a disaster.

Though only a small proportion of MSPs have their own data centers, the better ones can offer you redundant backups in their own secure data center facility.

What features do you need in a data center?

Security, security, security.MSP Data Center - Dynamic Quest

A data center worth its salt should protect against physical as well as virtual threats. A well-equipped data center will have measures and equipment in place to prevent fire and ensure necessary cooling of hardware so the physical devices can remain safe.

Data centers should restrict access to the facility and vet their workers. Building security should be tight and leverage controls such as biometric scanners to maintain oversight of who gets in and where.

They should make redundant backups of your data in case one version becomes corrupted. And practice what they preach with redundant data servers in a separate site(s) to ensure catastrophic failure or disaster is also controlled for.  They should also have strong encryption and data security measures that keep out the prying of opportunistic thieves and snoops.

Be sure to also look for any accreditations that can provide the assurance that the data center is top quality. Better data centers carry an SSAE16 Type II accreditation.  If your MSP has its own data center and this certification, you are partnering with a provider whose data center meets high industry standards.

What should you look for in an MSP?

The best MSPs will take the time to get to know your business, anticipate your needs, communicate openly and respond quickly. It’s a partnership, and when an MSP holds your business’s most precious assets, you need to trust that they’ll keep your data safe and work tirelessly to keep you up and agile.

This is especially important if a disaster occurs. Your MSP should be able to troubleshoot files easily, and though it’s not always possible for all MSPs, the greatest responsiveness and peace-of-mind come with those MSPs that can simply walk down to their data center and quickly have your business back online.

But beyond the file-level responsibility of an MSP, there’s a business-level promise of synergy and strategy.

Your MSP should be more than just about fixing broken things. They should be active participants in your business planning and be included in your strategy to minimize disaster. With proactive maintenance and monitoring of all systems, backups, patches, servers, etc., they can ensure that a crash will be a mere blip in your business’s overall productivity.

Want to learn more about how to choose the right MSP? Download our free guide 9 Key Criteria for Choosing a Managed Services Provider!

Interested in learning more about managed services from Dynamic Quest or its data centers?

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