Data Center Advances: 4 Questions Every Designer Should Ask Their Web Host


When you build a website, you have a lot of decisions to make. One of the most essential is deciding what host to use.

A good host can make or break your website, after all, depending on which themes and tools it offers, the available security settings and support offerings, and the status of the data center. That last item can be the hardest to interpret.

If you’re concerned about your host’s data center and whether it’s equipped with up-to-date technology, the following issues can help you obtain the details you need to pick the right host. Data-center technology is constantly changing, so finding a host that will keep up with the times should be a top priority.

What is the Location?

With the exception of very large companies, most businesses opt for colocation when they select a host, because they don’t want have to invest in the substantial infrastructure necessary to maintain their own server system. That being said, when you discuss a colocation solution with a prospective host, inquire about what all your options are.

Though some companies prefer to have their servers in the neighborhood, it can be beneficial to shift yours to a more remote location that has sustainable energy options or otherwise underutilized infrastructure. This could be more affordable — and more reliable — than placing your servers in the nearest city center.

How Do They Cool Things Down?

Data centers are increasingly dense environments. That means they get hot, which can be harmful to your servers’ function.

The good news is that many hosts have developed access to new cooling technologies that can benefit your business. Be sure to ask your host how it cools its data center and what impact the cooling practices have had on uptime rates.

One of the newest trends in data-center cooling is liquid cooling, which entails equipment that’s enclosed in leak-proof containers which are submerged in liquid coolants. This can make for more consistent service, and ensures more even cooling than air-cooled data centers enjoy, but many host companies haven’t made the transition yet.

Expanding on the Cloud

Another major change that’s occurring in the management of hosting and server activities is the practice of edge computing. If your own firm works with IoT technology, this should be of serious interest to you.

Essentially, edge computing leverages physics and distributed computing to improve the connection between IoT and servers in order to augment existing cloud technology. If you need to ensure IoT technology can connect quickly and efficiently to a server system, a host that has adopted edge computing would be very much to your advantage.

What About Environmental Impact?

Finally, when you hunt for a host for your company’s website, you’ll want to observe your company values, of course, especially if your team is concerned about the environment. Web hosting is a high-energy undertaking, but there’s a growing movement to make it carbon neutral.

Recently, Microsoft announced plans for a new zero-carbon data center in Sweden, and perhaps you might be able to locate a host that’s engaging in this type of environmentally friendly practices. Though such a firm may not be easy to find, you certainly won’t hook up with a sustainable hosting service if you don’t ask for it.

As you build your company’s website, pay attention to what’s going on behind the scenes. On the surface, it may seem as though most hosts are pretty much the same, but in reality, some are prepared for the future of server management and some are still living in the data-center Stone Age.