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Weighted comparisons for data centers

February 13th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Data centers are – not all created equally. Their variances range in a wide array of dimensions, e.g. security policies (SAS70), power availability, cooling scheme, monitoring (securtiy and network health), alerts (fire, smoke, moisture), phyical security, accessibility and ……..

When querying prospective – data centers, what defining attribute leads you to one versus the other? Is it primarily price? Is it because they seem to be very hands-on (and you find that comforting)? Not all data centers have security guards controlling access behind bullet proof glass enclosures, nor do they need to be, but they all possess a common thread of price, oversight, infrastructure and connectivity – to varying degrees.

Not every feature is – as important to you as it may be to your competition, or the business down the street. Compare this to a copying machine where no one ever uses all of its features, yet some features must be there – just in case. Making double sided 11×17 prints may not be important to you, but your marketing department considers this feature to be a ‘must have.”

In sales, every new sales rep is – taught the Benjamin Franklin close. It goes something like this. List all the good reasons to buy on the left side and all the reasons not to buy on the right side. Add up the two sides. The side with the most points wins. Take this approach one step further. Assign weight values to the features that are most important to you, on a scale from one to ten. For features you absolutely must have, disqualify the prospect if they don’t offer it.  For features you’ve really like to have but don’t absolutely need, assign a negative value if the prospect doesn’t offer it.

List everything from – price for IPs, bandwidth, power, rack and cabinet space to hours of customer support, availability of livechat or phone support, billing flexibility, their Terms of Service provisions, accessibility, level of physical security and network monitoring, comfort level talking to their reps, which leads with solutions rather than price, and whatever else is important to your business.

Do this for – each prospective data center. Compare the totals. One should jump out and hit you square in the forehead.

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