North American Network Operators Group

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Re: Independent rating service of colocation facilities

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Thu Jan 06 18:23:05 2000

On Thu, 06 January 2000, Dave Crocker wrote:
> So the alternative is much more effort and much more difficult, but 
> absolutely essential:  The customer must have their own, independent access 
> to high-quality technical and operations expertise and the due diligence 
> must be detailed and in-person (such as the noted visual inspection of the 
> generatorS.)

I would agree, except the most important parts in a colocation facility can't
be checked with a quick visual inspection.  If you see problems during your
walkthrough, they are most likely serious problems.  But a lot of stuff will
be undetected just by the nature of facilities.

Do you take air samples, collect a month of environmental data, plug in
a power quality analyzer, take concrete samples?  I've been in very
chic data centers with very serious problems under the surface (or in
the roof :-).

A top quality audit of a data center is very time and money consuming. Doing
one for every potential customer is a waste of a lot of money.  Yes, I know,
what company would risk its business without doing its own audit? But not
every company has the expertise to know what is good, bad, and just a frill.

> ps.  The other burden this places on the customer is carefully and 
> reasonably formulating their REAL requirement.  Demanding the best of 
> everything is entirely inappropriate for most businesses.  You won't be 
> able to afford it and you don't need it.

True, and one of the biggest problems I see with any ranking of the "best."

You end up with things like the Forrester report which says Qwest is the
"best" and Exodus will dissappear soon.

I was thinking of more a Board of Health rating instead of a ranking.
McDonalds and a five-star resturant both receive a Grade A.  But there is
still plenty of room for puffery and service competition.  And perhaps
breaking it up into classes, carrier-grade, data-grade, financial-grade, etc.