What's in your data center?

Hosting reviews generally spend time talking about the web host's data center. This is for good reason - the data center holds hundreds or thousands of servers, and the servers, in turn, hold all of your content. As you want your web hosting provider to keep your data safe and secure, you're counting on a data center that is equally protected.

When you read about "uptime guarantees" in hosting reviews, these usually refer to the functioning of a data center. A web hosting provider's uptime is the amount of time its network, data center, servers and connectivity are working. A top-level data center, with all the proper redundancies, should provide 99.9% or more uptime.

Here are some other important things you may see mentioned in hosting reviews about data centers:

Redundant power: Obviously, a data center needs power to keep all of those servers running, and at the correct temperature. It is usually run on "uninterruptible" electricity - from one, if not two, sources - and should have at least one type of redundant power source in case of a power outage. Look for web hosting providers that advertise diesel generators or another type of backup power.

Cooling system: All those servers create a lot of heat. You'll want your data center to have around-the-clock air conditioning to regulate the temperature and humidity levels. Data centers often have raised floors to ensure air circulation.



Fire protection: Hosting reviews may point out the steps a data center takes to protect against fire. Just think - all that heat and all those electronics? There is definitely a potential for fire. Top web hosting providers should have physical firewalls (usually concrete) around the data center and/or between rooms, smoke detectors and more.

Physical security: Hosting reviews will usually tell you if the data center is monitored 24/7. This is important. There is a lot of important data housed in these facilities and it's quite important there is no unauthorized access. As well, the center should be monitored for fluctuations in power, heat or humidity. It is good to have video surveillance as well as surveillance by security staff and technicians.

Hardware: Ensure your web hosting providers promise high-quality servers and network connections. More than that, you want to know they have trained technicians around at all time - and spare parts for emergency repairs.

For more information, please read our article on web server hosting. If you know what you're looking for, hosting reviews can be a huge help in finding secure and reliable web hosting providers.

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