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What To Look For In A Kansas Data Center

What To Look For In A Kansas Data Center


With a strategic location, great infrastructure, a large population, and a robust economy, Kansas City has a lot to offer as a location for a data center. With that in mind, here is a brief guide to what you need to know about implementing a Kansas City data center.

Why choose a Kansas City data center?

Probably the most obvious draw of a Kansas City data center is the benefit of being in Kansas City. The city has long been an economic hub in the Midwest. Now it’s also a connectivity hub as it is situated at the crossroads of major fiber routes.

Despite this, the city is relatively affordable and hence a cost-effective location for an operational base. It’s also a very safe one. The fact that it is notorious for tornadoes is offset by the fact that it has become extremely good at managing them.

What to consider when looking for a Kansas City data center

Here are five key factors you should consider when evaluating a Kansas City data center.

Security

The need for appropriate security applies to any data center, not just a Kansas City data center. That said, part of security is mitigating against environmental threats. In the context of looking for a Kansas City data center, the most obvious environmental threat is tornadoes. Another potential threat is flooding (often caused by the tornadoes).

Kansas City receives an average of about 100 tornadoes a year. Mostly, these are mild but there are a few serious ones. Unsurprisingly, therefore, it takes planning for tornadoes very seriously. It is, however, still important to check that any Kansas City data center facility is well-protected against both tornadoes and floods.

Compliance

The compliance considerations for a Kansas City data center are much the same as for any other data center. As always, remember to think about what the future might bring. For example, if you’re thinking about moving into a new industry sector, then you may have to comply with new, industry-specific data security standards.

On the flip side of this, it can also be useful if a data center vendor supports program-neutral data security frameworks such as ISO27001. These often have broader recognition than specific compliance programs. They can therefore reassure potential customers who aren’t familiar with the compliance landscape.

Resilience

Resilience is essentially measured by reliability or, more specifically, uptime. Effectively, however, it is a measure of a data center’s facility’s security and its management’s ability to handle events and incidents. This includes their ability to ensure maximum business continuity and to have solid disaster-recovery measures in place.

Any data center vendor should be prepared to give a certain level of guaranteed uptime. This is generally specified as a percentage over a given period. These days, guarantees in the high nineties are considered standard. It’s not that unusual to have 100% guarantees.

You can assess the vendor’s guarantee against the data center’s tier rating and the vendor’s historical data. You can also ask the vendor to answer specific questions about how they ensure resilience. For example, you can ask about their specific process for managing tornadoes.

Infrastructure

You can expect any Kansas City data center to have reliable power and climate control. You can also expect it to have solid networking options. That said, network connectivity is often still a key differentiator between different Kansas City data center vendors.

Although Kansas City overall has great digital infrastructure, some data centers will be closer to the key network hubs than others. This will be reflected in the quality of their network connections (and, often in the prices they charge).

Other potentially important factors to consider are carrier neutrality, interconnectivity options, and multicloud support. Even if none of these are relevant to you at the moment, it can still be worth evaluating them. They can give you additional flexibility to adapt to the future.

Likewise, it is advisable to assess the options for customization and scaling. Again, regardless of whether or not these are relevant to you now, they can be good pointers as to how long you could expect to be able to use any given data center.

Location

A data center’s location has to offer the right balance of security and accessibility. Where this balance lies will depend on each organization’s unique circumstances. For example, if an organization has large quantities of very sensitive data, then it will typically want maximum security. This is likely to mean compromising on accessibility.

Another important consideration is proximity to the organization’s user base. The closer a data center is to the people who use its services, the quicker it can deliver those services. This can be a strong consideration for data centers that house business-critical applications and/or data.

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