It seems that no matter what industry you’re in today, there’s one thing we all have in common: we are all being asked to do more, and faster than ever before. Whether you’re working in education and coming up with new ways to keep the school year on track while everyone’s at home or operating a factory that is beginning to rely on digital twins and robotics to improve its efficiency, we are all looking for a boost.

By working at a data center operator, I see the challenges that enterprises of all sizes are going through every day. The pandemic has only increased the reliance that we all have on services that live within a data center somewhere around the world, and we are all generating and collecting more and more data over time. It’s estimated that in 2021, people worldwide created a combined 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day – that’s a number with 18 zeroes after it.

Much of that data is stored in a data center. It’s easy to think of these facilities as giant buildings in some remote location, but today’s data center is far from some big warehouse full of servers. A modern, high-performance data center facility is a finely-tuned machine that may be hidden downtown next to your office building, that can be used to your advantage, letting you organize and scale your data and applications to suit your needs over time. The key is figuring out how you can make it work for you.

Here are a few things that I recommend:

Engage early

Like any other business partner, your data center provider can help you most effectively reach your goals if they’re included early on with your scoping, design, and deployment activities. The ideal time to engage your data center provider is when you’ve got an initial concept of the type of applications you’re looking to arrange, with a rough idea of the scale that you need to work at.

Use them to your advantage

Ideally, your data center provider will have a team of solution architects who can work with you from the beginning to fully understand your requirements and help you design a solution that fits your needs both now and in the future. This can include connectivity as well as colocation services, such as arranging virtual or physical network connections to popular cloud services, and to other deployments that you require in other geographical locations around the globe.

Keep in touch

As your business evolves over time, keep in touch with your data center provider on a regular basis so that they can begin provisioning space, electrical power, network connectivity and key equipment for you ahead of when you’ll need it to grow your application instances over time. You don’t need to put them on your holiday card list, but the more information they have about your plans, the better your data center provider can support your growth.

These three quick tips can help to make the most out of your relationship with your data center provider. Remember, they are there to help you; whether it’s giving you direct access to popular clouds or modeling how to cool your new infrastructure using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics), the best data center providers aren’t just a place to put your gear; they are a key business partner who can help you design, deploy, and operate your critical IT infrastructure today and tomorrow.

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