Data center colocation is an excellent solution for reducing operational costs while accessing the robust infrastructure, and safety and security measures, offered by an established physical data center.
But as with any cooperative effort, sharing a data center with others requires that everyone follow colocation best practices to ensure operational reliability, cost-effectiveness, safe and comfortable working conditions, and effective risk management.
Review these etiquette guidelines for colocation users as a first step or annual refresher for staff who operate your shared data center locations.
What is data center colocation etiquette?
Many companies choose to use third-party data centers for their operations, rather than on-premises solutions that can be costly and maintenance-intensive.
The result is colocation tenants who must commit to communication, collaboration, and respectful behavior in shared facilities so that all parties can get the most out of the arrangement. In short, etiquette rules for sharing a data center are centered on good manners:
- Comply with all policies, procedures, and security protocols
- Maintain cleanliness
- Respect others’ space
- Avoid unnecessary noise
- Be mindful of power usage
- Communicate effectively
Every data center will have its own set of regulations, and it’s critical to familiarize yourself and your team with these before you start using the facility. Regardless of the specifics, following general etiquette guidelines will help ensure a smooth and efficient data center experience for everyone involved.
What are the do’s and don’ts of data center colocation?
The most important rule of thumb for successful data center sharing is to be a rule-follower:
- If the facility places restrictions on what you can store, how much power you can use, what clothing and footwear are considered safe, where cell phones can and cannot be used, or when you can access the center, do adhere to those limits.
- Always remember that you are sharing the space with other businesses. Be respectful of their equipment and space, and avoid interfering with their operations.
- Do communicate, promptly and professionally, if you need to access something that belongs to another tenant or need resolution to any conflict.
As for what not to do, consider what factors would have the most impact on your own working conditions and data security:
- Don’t fail to maintain a clean and organized area: dust or debris can damage sensitive equipment and food or drink spills can have disastrous effects.
- Don’t contribute to the already high noise level of a data center: unnecessary conversations and loud noises can be disruptive and distracting to other tenants.
- Don’t create hazards by running cables across floors, bringing prohibited materials (such as highly combustible cardboard) on server floors, or obstructing airflow: following safety protocols is essential for preventing equipment damage and physical accidents.
- Don’t disregard access policies: adhere to procedures such as signing in and out of the facility, wearing identification badges, and using only authorized entrances and exits to reinforce security measures that are in place for everyone’s benefit.
How can I ensure proper conduct in a colocation facility?
Just as the success of your core business relies on thorough training and consistent implementation of best practices, proper conduct in colocation facilities is best managed by setting expectations. Ensure that compliance with colocation provider policies and procedures is a top priority. Communicate openly and respectfully with facility management, data center staff, and other tenants to resolve issues or raise concerns promptly.
Companies of all kinds are more reliant on digital data than ever, and that trend will only continue. Protecting data, therefore, is mission-critical. For those that choose to share resources in a data center, an additional layer of care must be taken by personnel. Impeccable colocation facility manners are key to positive working environments, efficient financial investment, and, most importantly, reliable data security.