Tag Archives: colocation

How to Select the Best Data Center for Migration

How to Select the Best Data Center for Migration

In this age of constant upheavals, mergers and acquisitions are the order of the day. This can make on site IT infrastructures totally obsolete and one is staring at the urgent need to consolidate and move these vital facilities to new destinations.

These new facilities could be either own data center or a colocation resource. In any situation the entire process is sure to cost heavily in terms of money as well as time. Modern data centers aim to be an integral part of an organization by delivering vital services such as customer engagement, apps testing, and much more.

Selection of the best data center for migration is a vital process for a smooth transition and seamless performance of all mission critical applications for years ahead. However, it is essential to analyze existing infrastructure before making a shift.

Significance of planned DC migration

Importance of a properly functioning data center for any business is a foregone conclusion. Every organization must analyze its requirements in relation with capacity of the data center. Many companies are found to operate with help of inadequate resources of data centers. Similarly, many data centers are not able to cope up with growing needs of companies due to presence of obsolete equipment and so forth.

Secondly, most of the facilities have been rendered inefficient because these are not equipped to handle advanced needs of power and cooling. It is therefore certain that every organization will have to take a call for migration of its data center due to passage of time and many more reasons.

It is therefore no wonder that globally three out of ten companies are exploring options for data center migration or data center consolidation. While planning a data center migration, CIOs as well as data center managers must pay attention to the good practices that are described below.

Plan a migration strategy

Migration of data center may be limited to part or all of the existing equipment. In fact you can exploit the opportunity to get rid of the old or outdated equipment so that it can be replaced with advanced alternatives. The Planning should be done in such a way that the new facility would have minimum life span of two years.

If you fail to properly chalk out a strategy for DC migration without paying attention to the advice by DC migration experts, your entire IT infrastructure would collapse. It is a must to pen down the strategy that addresses specific business requirements of the organization. The new data center would also have to be planned by studying new technology requirements that empower organization to face new challenges of growth and higher demands.

Layout plan of the new data center facility should be able to accommodate future growth requirements. Optimum use of available space would help save significant costs. Data center architects can provide valuable guidance for space planning.

After reviewing contracts that have been signed you can decide about the need to terminate these or continue in the new environment.

Some software providers can restrict use in terms of geographical locations. This can be a right time to get rid of some troublesome vendors. Ideally, you can explore new service providers to improve performance and affordability.

Data cater relocation is also a very good opportunity to review your existing design and plan for a more compact and efficient one. After finalization of the equipment to be moved to new site, you can plan if you should move lock stock and barrel or in parts.

Inventory of equipment

Prior to actual process of dismantling, one should refer to all types of documentation for checking if every part of different equipment is present. This should involve physical inventory checking along with actual workloads, and other aspects such as hardware components or software applications, which are present in the current location.

Adjustment of backup and disaster recovery systems should be performed concurrently. This is the right time to categorize and place backup according in cloud and on-premise environments.

Selection of right DC for migration

Reputed data center providers empower migration of onsite data centers through prompt execution. Perfect DC migration planning is backed by efficient and reliable network support. These service providers are driven by the passion to perceive clients’ businesses as their personal responsibilities.

Established Data Center migration service providers have remarkable experience of transforming hardware intensive on-site infrastructures to agile and efficient infrastructure that leverages software applications.

Their vast API and DDI resources are designed to deliver a robust platform for creating a software defined data center.

Security is at the core of data center migration and the service provider should be equipped facilitate ease of accessibility. If your business is looking forward to adopt significantly extensive services that are highly distributed, then a data center with proven capability of delivering seamless cloud connectivity is your final destination.

For Interesting Topic :

Does the provider offer data center migration/relocation services?

How Cloud is Changing the Colocation Data Center Market

How Cloud is Changing the Colocation Data Center Market

The global data center market is changing slowly as cloud providers are taking away more customer workloads from colocation providers and using up more data center capacity for hosting such workloads. The outcome has been a slower growth rate for retail colocation accompanied by an increase in wholesale data centers. Reports show a 14% growth rate for retail colocation in 2016-2017 but a 17.9% growth in wholesale colocation during this period.

Changes in the data center market because of the evolution of cloud computing solutions:

There are many factors which are considered to be responsible for this change in the growth rates of wholesale and retail. Probably the most significant one has been the emergence of public clouds like Microsoft and Amazon. Incidentally, Microsoft has leases signed recently to the tune of 125MW of data center power in the US. Likewise, Oracle has also leased greater than 30MW capacity in 7 wholesale colocation centers in the US. The company has also followed this up by starting cloud availability centers in London, Turkey, Northern Virginia. So, almost two-thirds of the biggest data center leases in North America in 2016 had been signed by cloud providers.

These figures however do not suggest that the retail data center market is declining in any way. It is still a growing market which has a positive trajectory. But, the growth is primarily happening on top of this market which is controlled by the biggest providers. The bottom or middle sections witnessed slow growth because cloud vendors chipped away total retail revenues. So, those providers who are not catering to clients at a multi-region level are losing out. They target the smaller businesses and these are businesses which are keen to move their data and applications to a cloud.

The cloud has also brought about another important change in the colocation market. From carrier neutrality that was offered by colocation providers, now the focus has shifted to cloud neutrality. With more businesses moving their workloads into the cloud colocation hosting providers realize they are keen to sign up with multiple cloud vendors. This is why they are trying to give a convenient access to multiple clouds to their clients. This is a part of their business strategy at present. There have been companies like Equinix which have been stating the importance of multi-cloud strategies for quite some time.

Another significant development which is noticeable today is the likelihood of the Asia Pacific region overtaking North America as far as their share in the global colocation market goes. The leading nation in this is of course China followed closely by Thailand and Malaysia, India, Singapore Japan etc. By the turn of this decade, Asia Pacific data center market will overtake the North American market share.

Colocation

Is Colocation a Smart Move for Businesses?

Businesses typically have their data centers located close by. As they start to expand and rely on Internet usage more and more, they realize that the threats to their valuable data are very high. There are some important factors which make colocation necessary. To understand what these driving factors for colocation are, one needs to understand how exactly businesses and individuals benefit from colocation.

Colocation basically refers to the capacity of housing your servers in the rack space belonging to someone else. So, when you sign up for colocation hosting, you get the chance to store critical equipments in scalable, secure and reliable rack spaces of third parties. This is useful because when there is unprecedented growth or unplanned changes taking place; duplicating an IT setting in a new infrastructure will be a huge challenge.

5 reasons to choose colocation hosting solutions:

1. Scalability is one of the most important driving forces for colocation hosting. When you choose colocation, you are bound to get scalable hosting solutions. This is not only incremental scaling where you can request for additional resources to help your business grow. It also refers to the ability to downgrade resources when the traffic is less and the needs have gone down. If you enjoy the power to release resources when you do not require them anymore, you can cut down on your IT costs. So, where infrastructure is concerned, being able to scale resources both up and down is very crucial. If you can do this successfully, you will find that you far better off than most others who have pulled all their eggs in one basket.

2. Another important factor to look into is homogeneity. Most businesses tend to assume that infrastructures are always homogenous. In short, every node is going to have the same memory, same CPU speed and networking capacity. But, the truth is, that data centers get new servers and equipments every day. The newer ones are likely to have higher clock speeds than the older ones. Since you may not know the actual capacity of these new entrants, you can actually end up wasting a lot of money on hardware cycles. So, the best way to avoid this problem is to ask the provider about the owner of the network, power and cooling systems. When you know these are being handled by experts, you can relax.

3. Businesses will usually pay bandwidth rates depending on how much bandwidth they will need. Colocation providers buy bandwidth in bulk to cater to multiple companies; so, they can offer bandwidth at reasonable rates. Besides, colocation facilities will typically have redundant hardware and power supplies to take care of sudden power outages. Maintaining such power supplies and backup generators can turn out to be a highly costly proposition for companies.

4. When you maintain a private data center, you will have to make sure that the facility is well guarded by security personnel, CCTV cameras and biometric access. The facility will also need redundant bandwidth, cooling, and power supplies to combat harsh weather conditions and sudden power failures. When you choose to get data center solutions, you will be able to enjoy uninterrupted power supplies and backup generators 24×7. Keeping a data center online 24×7 is not an easy task and businesses which choose to maintain a private data center will have to ensure this. So, it makes sense to choose colocation where the host will ensure these facilities to protect your critical applications and data.

5. While businesses should ideally invest more time on planning growth than on carrying out routine maintenance tasks, the truth is that they focus on maintaining the infrastructure mainly. They are committed 24×7 to handling system updates, database administration and server configurations. With colocation hosting, it is possible for businesses to give more time to planning their growth. Although companies may be experiencing growth, there are times when they do not have the necessary expertise or tools to capitalize on the latest technologies. With colocation they will get the chance to focus on strategies for development instead of thinking about infrastructural maintenance.

6. Businesses are also choosing colocation because of the growing importance being attached to regulatory compliance. Most businesses will have to comply with standards, audits and certifications. The data centers should accordingly be SSAE16 certified. They should be regularly tested with penetration testing methods. So, when make a move towards colocation, you can enjoy these benefits at no extra costs.

These reasons show why moving to a colocation provider is indeed a smart decision. More than the costs, it is the value businesses can get out of this decision. For any business, reliability and cost savings continue to be the key driving forces for all their business decisions. In this sense, colocation is definitely the best alternative.

For Interesting Topics :

What Is Colocation Data Center?

What Is A Colocation Facility?

Managed Hosting Or Colocation

Managed Hosting Or Colocation – Evaluate Thoroughly Before You Choose

As IT applications are becoming increasingly vital in ensuring overall productivity and profitability of a business enterprise, they are also becoming more intricate to deploy, operate and maintain. CIO’s now know that to install state-of-the art IT infrastructure that adequately supports business applications require huge capital investment.

“In the present highly competitive scenario, we have to look for a cost effective solution that addresses our current workload needs”, says a CIO of a Delhi based IT firm.

It is not surprising that businesses are looking for vendor services that offer comprehensive range of services that deliver performance, flexibility and uptime.

Managed hosting and colocation offer the right answers to the IT services requirements of the present businesses, but a company has to choose one among the two after a prudent evaluation.

Let us first try to understand what managed hosting and colocation is and how each benefits in its own way.

Managed Hosting

Managed hosting is a service wherein the provider leases dedicated server(s) and related hardware to a single customer.

The infrastructure is located at the vendor’s facility and managed there by the hosting provider.

The hosting vendor’s services can include:

• Setting up and configuring hardware
• Installing and configuring applications/software
• System maintenance
• Monitoring
• Backup and updates
• Technical assistance
• Patch management
• Security management
• Management of network services

In addition to above, the vendor may also include (depending on the package offered) load balancing, disaster recovery, and intrusion detection.

Top-notch hosting providers offer pre-built configurations or standardized offerings that customers can purchase quickly or alternatively buy a tailored solution.

Managed hosting model is now popular among businesses that host e-commerce sites, corporate intranets, and enterprise application hosting.

Colocation

In the colocation model, the customer rents space for servers and other computing hardware.

In other words, the colocation vendor provides the building, cooling facilities, power, networking, and physical security while the client provides servers and storage.

Some of the compelling advantages that drive companies to go in for colocation services include:

• Secure infrastructure – Vendors offer UPS and backup generators to keep clients’ services running in case of grid power failure. As also secure access with cameras and biometric hand scanners.
• Excellent network – A pervasive and interconnected network with numerous On-net and direct connections.
• Bespoke technical support – Anytime access regardless of time zone

With both colocation and managed hosting promising persuasive advantages, it is not surprising companies are in a predicament which model to choose.

There are several factors you must be keep in mind while choosing one of the models.
An Information Technology manager, who prefers colocation, says, “We experienced limitation in managed hosting service because the vendor selects the hardware and software”.

“On the other hand, with colocation we get leased or rented space, tier 1 internet connection, and assured power, and reliable cooling system and security”.

The above is surely advantageous for small and medium businesses as it allows the staff to focus on workloads as opposed to managing or troubleshooting IT issues.

Yes, this is not without drawbacks. The initial cost of entry may not be cheap because the company needs to purchase hardware.

“Overtime the higher CAPEX is neutralized with colocation”, says an IT manager.

This can be true, but you must also realize that expenses can rise if bandwidth usage increases or you need to rent more space to accommodate additional servers.

Colocation is a good answer to safely house your servers. But you are not free from responsibilities.

With colocation a company will still need to have a network administrator and system administrator.

But do you really?
Not anymore say some colocation providers.
Many entrepreneurs prefer to maintain good amount of control over their mission critical applications but at the same time would not like to be bogged down by the tasks of managing the complexity of the colocation model.

Thankfully such entrepreneurs have a solution.

“We are lucky to get a colocation provider that allows us the required level of control with the additional benefit of a technical support team that assists us with the configuration”.

In other words, managed colocation offers the best of both the worlds.

With managed colocation, customers can benefit by getting rented space as well as getting assistance for monitoring of the applications, devices and operating systems.

The traditional colocation model has its share of drawbacks.

• Issues regarding compliance and security
• Additional CAPEX if business grows
• Maintaining depreciating assets.

At the end of the day, it is for each company to choose which solution suits their requirements best. If they can get hold of a provider that offers managed colocation, they will get a service that is a notch above traditional colocation.

But either of Managed hosting and colocation models can still be good enough for certain situations.

For more information on various types of hosting and plans, call 1800-212-2022 (Toll Free).

For Interesting Topic:

What is Colocation and What are its Attributes

Choosing The Right Solution For Disaster Recovery

Choosing The Right Solution For Disaster Recovery

Nowadays we often hear the term DRaaS, short for Disaster recovery as a service. What does this term mean? It is the simulation or creation of mimic of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide failover in case of a disaster, either man made or natural.

Typically DRaaS requirements are stipulated in the Service Level Agreements (SLAs), so that the hosting vendor provides failover to the client.

But before we discuss DRaaS, let us understand the importance of disaster in an IT setting.

All IT companies put in place a disaster recovery plan (DRP).

After all, a business must continue to work without interruption. In particular the mission critical functions must have stability.

Disaster can come in various avatars. It can be a storm tearing apart your power lines, or some telecommunication staff digging and damaging your underground communication lines.

In whichever mode a calamity strikes, the result can be disastrous to your company’s business.

Companies experience a disaster due to any one or a combination of the following causes.

  • Mission critical application failure
  • Network failure
  • Natural disasters
  • Network intrusion
  • Hacking
  • System failure

“Disaster recovery is an important part of our business process management”, says a CIO.

No wonder companies go to great lengths to firm up recovery strategies. They perform a business impact analysis as well as risk analysis to establish the recovery time objective.

Cloud computing offers extremely fast recovery times at a fraction of the cost of traditional disaster recovery.

How?
With virtualization, the entire infrastructure including the server, OS, applications and data is condensed in a single software package or virtual server. This entire virtual server can be replicated or backed up to an offsite data center.

A compelling benefit of such a strategy is that the virtual server is not dependent on hardware and hence the entire bundle can be migrated from one data center to another easily.

This process radically reduces recovery time compared to traditional non-virtualized methods where servers must be loaded with the operating system and patched to the last pattern before the data is restored.

IT companies typically have two options to choose from as a disaster recovery solution – Cloud DR and DRaaS.

Which one is better?
This is not an easy answer by any standard. A company must choose either of the one after a thorough evaluation of both the solutions.

Cloud DR
Cloud DR is within reach of any company.

“Whatever drawbacks a cloud may have, one thing is clear. It is extremely effective when used as a tool for a disaster recovery plan”, says an IT manager.

“We are now able to create a cloud based recovery site as a backup to the primary data center”

Before creating a suitable DR strategy, you must keep in mind the following.

Assess your data protection requirements
An evaluation is essential to come to a conclusion as to what kind of infrastructure and configuration is needed to facilitate cloud DR.

Companies keep the primary backups on-premise but they mimic them to cloud storage so that they can disable the data center in case of any natural disaster.

Select the appropriate cloud provider
You must remember that not all cloud providers are alike. Some of them offer only storage. That is why it is essential to select the vendor who has the capability to build the right disaster recovery site for your needs.

Moreover, costs must never be ignored. The manner in which the vendor bill’s you can have a decided impact on your finances. A good strategy is to use a reliable cost calculator tool.

Control bandwidth
Cloud backup can consume copious amount of bandwidth. A judicious approach will ensure that the bandwidth consumption will not exceed to the extent that other workloads suffer.

DRaaS
Several small and medium businesses are not too keen to put in place a disaster recovery plan. They feel such exercises are for those with deep pockets.

Many of them perform frequent backups and store data offsite. These measures are no doubt satisfactory, but sluggish by today’s standards.

Taking help of DRaaS vendors seem to be a sensible policy.

Yet, it is important that clients must weigh-in each vendor carefully. Some vendors may offer an apparently straightforward solution while others may offer a comprehensive solution tailored to your specific needs.

Whichever solution you seek, the following points must be kept in mind.

  • The vendor’s capability to backup critical data
  • Fast recovery with minimal user interface – the vendor must specify the time limit for hosting the recovery environment.
  • Transparent and easily understandable billing modes
  • Solution has numerous backup options

Moreover, the DR solution offered must make it easy to move from the backup to the live state.

Business continuity is not just about backing up data; it is also about fast recovery from a disaster.

For more information on various types of hosting and plans, call 1800-212-2022 (Toll Free).

For Interesting Topic :

Disaster Recovery

Colocation Service Providers

The Opportunities And Threats Faced By Colocation Service Providers

Colocation providers are having a great time with the hosting environment rapidly becoming a harvesting zone for them. Of course, with increasing opportunities, there are greater challenges too as customers are becoming more demanding and there is greater pressure on delivering with greater efficiency. The top providers are busy finding ways to turn the situation to their advantage by assessing new types of architectures and experimenting with new tools so that better quality services can be delivered in a cost-effective manner.

In the past, colocation providers had to deal mostly with facilities professionals and procurement businesses. Today, their clients include IT managers, business executives, digital officers and other key decision makers of growing business establishments. The entrepreneurs are finding it necessary to improve their knowledge and skills so they communicate logically with their new clients and show that they mean business.

The Transition Phase And Challenges

Not surprisingly, colocation companies are also in a transition phase. With new opportunities available to them in different business segments, they now have to reinvent themselves and create a whole new approach to business management. Many companies have used the merger and acquisition route to improve their quality of service, technologies and geographical reach.

Colocation service providers are also aware of the tremendous business opportunities that are now available to them, thanks to newer developments such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data. These developments have opened up a need for edge computing which leads to requirements such as data acquisition, storage resources, compute and others.

How To Convert Threat Into Opportunities

Some debate is happening on whether cloud computing is indeed a business opportunity for colocation providers or acts as a subtle threat to their business. The elastic nature of the cloud makes its handling easy and it can also adapt to variations effortlessly. Colocation providers can convert the cloud threat into a business opportunity by adding cloud services to their list of offerings or by partnering with a cloud provider.

Many top colocation providers already have the capabilities and the infrastructure to serve the needs of top internet organizations. They can expand their services to newer markets where data centers are not yet available. They can also explore business opportunities by reselling the cloud services of internet majors to their own customers. Other possible ways of improving their business output and profitability can include:

• Using cloud providers as tenants
• Partnering with companies offering private and public cloud services
• Adding cloud services, and software as a service to their offerings

To scale greater heights of success, colocation companies must first understand the problems of their customers and device ways of resolving them quickly and with greater efficiency.

New And Path-Breaking DCIM

Greater business opportunities await colocation services that dare to be different. Many service providers are investing in data center infrastructure management software or DCIM which makes data center management easy. Colocation companies can use DCIM to deliver additional, value-added services to their clients.

DCIM is a path-breaking technology and being increasingly used for improved data center management as it brings in better consistency and control to operations. With DCIM, you can easily convert data into logical figures and provide managers a more correct and accurate performance insight across all your IT and facilities. This can put you in full control of functions across the whole data center system and thus drive up efficiency and reliability. As an offshoot, it can also bring down operational costs significantly.

Ways Of Handling Current And Future Problems

The need for a flexible and resilient data center design has never been felt more than now as users grapple with the challenges of keeping pace with the changing technologies and trends. Flexibility is fast-becoming a critical need for data centers. By using the latest available technologies, colocation companies can address all the needs and applications of customers in a cost-effective and efficient manner. They can also use the improved level of service and technology to attract new customers and easily retain the existing ones.

Data center management experts recommend that colocation service providers consider the issue of data center density seriously and remain prepared for the challenges, not only at the time of commissioning but at every stage. For this, they can consider using modular data center architecture that is designed to improve performance and tackle challenges efficiently.

With the size of data centers increasing and size of operations reaching higher densities, the issue of safety of data takes center stage as a critical area of concern. Colocation services can deal with this by training staff members regularly and using advanced tools to ensure that proper procedures are followed. Regular audits must also be conducted to verify that data center procedures are in line with regulations and demands of the industry.

In conclusion, it can be stated that in the current ever-changing business landscape, colocation providers face the challenge of building data centers that are highly resilient and can be operated in a cost-effective manner. They can easily overcome the problems by leveraging the benefits of IoT and Big Data and of course the cloud.

Interesting Topic:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Colocation Hosting Servers

What Is Colocation Data Center?

Colocation Server

Which is more Cost-Effective: In-House Servers or Colocation?

The debate on whether outsourcing your data center is a more cost-effective option than maintaining a private data center is very relevant and deserves to be addressed. For the smaller businesses, maintaining their own data centers may turn out to be a very costly proposition. They prefer to shift their servers to someone else’s rack space while the larger businesses can afford to build and maintain their own private data center. When you choose colocation, it is like choosing an all-inclusive plan where the provider will offer you the hardware and equipments, network connectivity, bandwidth, cooling and air-conditioning systems, security and support.

Finding out whether colocation or an in-house data center is a better option:

• As far as connectivity costs are concerned, you will realize that the reputed colocation hosting providers have data centers which are carrier-neutral. This means that network connectivity will never fail. The smaller businesses typically must sign up with one carrier, regardless of what the charges are. You may however require higher data transfer speeds but there are providers which may not be able to guarantee high bandwidth. To avoid bottlenecks from occurring you will find that colocation is a better option because a residential connection will not suffice in such cases.

• You will need rack space for your servers and enough storage area for the hardware. You will also need uninterruptible power supply backed up by very powerful generators to take care of outages. Businesses will also need other arrangements like battery backup for their routers and switches so as to avoid downtimes. When you maintain an in-house data center, you will need climate controlled environments. This can be guaranteed through various air-conditioning systems which have to stay independent so that they do not get affected when there is a shutdown. Moreover, these units should be situated far away from possible leaks and condensation. This amounts to high maintenance costs when you are planning on owning a private data center.

• As far as security goes, in-house servers are usually kept in climate controlled locked rooms which can be accessed by only a handful of people. Ideally, there should be multiple security layers for protection of sensitive client data through alarm systems, CCTV cameras, on-site surveillance and biometric scanners. Besides physical security, you will need robust arrangements for virtual security. For this, you need effective firewalls to safeguard the network from cyber attacks and hacking attempts. The numbers of DDoS attacks each day is constantly on the rise and this amounts to huge losses in revenues. A colocation provider can take care of security arrangements for you by introducing many security layers for proper data protection against possible breaches. There are measures like 24×7 CCTV monitoring, bulletproof mantraps, physical fencing with dual-factor authentication etc. When a business must conform to HIPAA rules, such security measures can ensure smooth compliance.

• Colocation is also cost-effective compared to in-house servers because it allows businesses to scale up and down their resources according to demands. You can easily adjust the amount of bandwidth or server space you need and pay only for what you are using. So, you do not have to spend a fortune of building new facilities.

• When you have an off-site data center, your data is protected even if there is an outage. This means that there will not be any downtimes and no data loss as a result. The co-located equipments will continue to run because of the colocation provider’s redundant network connectivity and redundant power supplies.

• Colocation appears to be a far better choice for saving costs because it gives businesses a predictable model for their operational costs. It can lower management costs and guarantee higher stability. Colocation will do away with upfront costs which are needed to build any new facility. When you have your own data center, it is necessary to keep pace with advanced technologies for enhanced site performance. Besides, businesses will also need to spend for backup generators, UPS or uninterruptible power supplies, network connections etc which can now be handled by the colocation hosting provider. This cost savings helps businesses to allocate these funds in other areas while their servers are maintained in a state-of-the-art secure facility.

• Finally, with expert assistance, troubleshooting of server related problems becomes easier and faster. The colocation host will provide remote technical supports for the operating systems, hardware, network equipments etc and your in-house IT teams can then concentrate on other tasks for development of the business. They will not have to worry about the day-to-day maintenance of the servers.

These arguments suggest that colocation is perhaps a better choice for the small and medium sized businesses which do not have the funds to maintain a private data center. For them, it is economical to spend money on buying colocation hosting solutions.

Key Factors to be Considered while Choosing a DR Colocation Provider

Key Factors to be Considered while Choosing a DR Colocation Provider

Just like any other service category in web hosting, selection of a colocation hosting provider for the facility of disaster recovery is an extremely overwhelming process. It is therefore essential to gain in-depth knowledge about the key parameters that are required to be fulfilled by the colocation host that is being chosen to handle disaster recovery.

Importance of DR colocation facility

General considerations about data center DR would be centered around availability of remote facilities Modern businesses are offered a wide spectrum of choice for gaining ability of Disaster Recovery including sophisticated cloud solutions, managed colocation hosting or non-hosted colocation to name a few. Ultimate selection of the option would depend upon actual capabilities and requirements of businesses.

Enabling data centers for efficient management of unexpected events is one of the most crucial and intricate aspects of planning, as far as IT infrastructure management is concerned. This encompasses protection of data centers against severe damage to facilities and colocation is found to be an ideal choice for remote replication of onsite data center resource. Such facility of DR colocation offers assured protection without disrupting ongoing operations.

One needs to take into account two vital aspects that influence choice of a DR colocation facility.

Important prerequisites of DR colocation facility

One must understand that the most significant requirement for any DR facility is its seamless availability. Other important factors include economical, political, and geological stability of the DR facility. In addition to this, you should also consider availability of proficient technical manpower by checking out number of IT institutions and overall development of IT industry in the region.

This should be supported by well-established network of utilities including power distribution companies, reliability of on-premise power generation resources, and redundancy of connectivity options among others.

Security of the DR colocation data center should be a prime consideration since the business data must be perpetually online even if the physical hardware ceases to operate. This calls for securing physical facilities of server colocation facility by implementation of adequate security measures to prevent unauthorized access to areas including data center building and hardware storage areas.

You should be in a position to call responsible service executives by knowing the SOP for escalation and who is in charge of support services. Even if you have the most impeccable colocation facility, lack of proper and responsive technical support will significantly impact its ability. Business history of the colocation provider in terms of change of ownership should also be taken into account to understand positive effect of long term stability of management.

Since your colocation provider has power of keeping your business online in the event of a disaster, you should consider all important factors that facilitate security and online availability of the provider. It is obvious that any untoward incidence that impacts operation of your DR colocation host is ultimately going to hamper prospects of your business in addition to aspects of regulatory compliance.

Responsibility of checking performance criteria and other technical aspects of colocation provider needs to be shouldered equally by businesses, since the online operations depend solely on the colocation facility in the event of any disaster. You should also understand that actual responsibility of the host is only limited to compensate for downtime and you as a business owner will bear the brunt of lost business and reputation.

Proximity of colocation host to your main IT infrastructure facility

The optimum distance between your main data center and proposed facility of Disaster Recovery colocation center largely depends upon the nature of disaster that is being considered. If you are looking forward to secure your facility against localized disasters such as fire or facility damage, then it is better to choose an affordable colocation facility, which is situated close to your main premises.

In contrast, if you are anticipating a major act of God that will cover a large geographical area such as floods, tornadoes, or earthquakes, then your facility for DR colocation must be safely ensconced far away from your main facility. However, you need to take into account the effect of latency as well, since the distance plays a major role while moving data across the network from main site to colocation DR facility.

There are multiple issues including network bottlenecks and levels of ISP traffic that can severely impact user experience. However, if your business is dealing with general or asynchronous business applications, then the issue of latency need not be a major deciding factor for moving colocation DR facility farther away from your IT facility.

Latency can however be a significant parameter for operating real-time or transactional workloads such as payment processing, service portals, and other interactive services. It is therefore vital to consider all aspects of your business and the nature of anticipated disaster while selecting a DR colocation facility for optimum protection with minimum latency. Moreover, the distance between the two facilities can be a major issue for staff movement in the event of disaster. 

Interesting Topic:

Disaster Recovery

Top 5 Reasons You Shall Colocate your Servers in India

Top 5 Reasons You Shall Colocate your Servers in India

Prima facie, colocation services are as good as a commodity because these involve nothing more than a data center that provides connectivity and space to store clients’ servers. Since data centers are available everywhere, choosing a data center based on location need not be a matter of concern, unless of course you dig deeper. We are offering five strong reasons why you should choose a colocation provider from India.

Relevance of India specific location

With a vibrant and rapidly developing economy that is driven by prosperous middle class, India is considered to be one of the fastest developing nations. It is also supported by a well developed IT infrastructure that is backed by encouraging initiatives by the government to boost digitalization. Add to this some of the topmost IT infrastructure providers and their economical services, and you will be convinced about choosing India as you destination for colocating your servers.

While shopping for colocation data centers, proximity of the infrastructure in terms of organization’s office and its target audience is a very vital consideration. This ensures an easy access to your IT staff as well as minimizes latency in terms of page load speeds.

However benefits of India as a location to collocate IT infrastructure go well beyond these preliminary considerations. With an optimum location of a data center, you can expect far better performance of your IT infrastructure especially if you need to exchange huge volumes of data from the enterprise’s primary location to the colocation center.

Better performance of applications

Colocation data centers in India help boost performance of your applications that cater to interactive workloads such as gaming applications, or chat rooms to name a few. Colocation host in India also empowers business continuity by minimizing climatic or power related disruptions.

Majority of India based colocation providers offer their widespread networks of multiple data centers located across India as well at overseas locations to help clients tap into other facilities to boost resiliency of enterprise IT infrastructure.

Colocation providers in India are well equipped to support your expansion plans. There are no constraints regarding availability of additional space or finances to support additional demands of clients.

Ability to support multiple environments

There is more to colocation than using data center facilities for simple stacking or racking of your hardware infrastructure and providing network connectivity for the same. Colocation centers in India are well equipped to empower your IT infrastructure with exceptionally reliable and redundant networking options. Their broad assortment of connectivity options is designed to address requirements of all business partners and customers that are being catered to by users.

Redundancy of network connectivity is possible due to availability of carrier neutral colocation data centers. This a highly critical parameter of Indian data centers that ensures seamless connectivity and also empowers users to choose telecom provider of their choice. State of the art networking capabilities of colocation providers in India are help users achieve outstanding business availability due to incessant uptime.

Broad range of services

One needs to understand the broad meaning of connectivity that also covers inter-connectivity between different IT platforms such as locally operating cloud service providers. Broad range of services offered by Indian providers of colocation facilities is aimed at supporting not just the hardware equipment of customers but also to facilitate the entire IT infrastructure of user organizations.

Indian colocation providers are also capable of offering managed hosting services as well as cloud computing services. These colocation providers can become your partners that allow access to a broad spectrum of hosting services to help you build a high performing infrastructure.

Organizations can leverage ability of Indian colocation providers to support their cloud adoption as well. In spite of growing trend of cloud adoption, colocation hosting will continue to be sought after by organizations as an inseparable part of their infrastructure, even if they embrace cloud computing.

Outstanding capabilities of power and cooling

Colocation centers in India offer SLA backed uptime of 99.99 percent in addition to redundant power and cooling systems. These N+1 redundant system backed by concurrently maintainable resources of power assure outstanding availability of applications. What’s more, users are able to mitigate costs due to billing as per metered power. Thanks to high performance and energy efficient cooling systems put in place by reputed colocation providers in India, users are assured of safety of their hardware. This is further backed by optimum cooling techniques including profile of front and back cooling due to pre3sence of hot and cold aisles.

Takeaway

These are the most vital parameters that must be considered while positioning your servers and other hardware at colocation center. These parameters range from identifying an appropriate location of a data center in terms of region or a country to network integration Colocation services in India have significantly evolved to design custom colocation solutions for clients to support their unique operational dynamics.

 

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Who Chooses Colocation?

Key Parameters for Choosing the Right Colocation Host

Colocation hosting is a golden mean between managing and maintaining on-premise data center facilities and leasing external servers from hosting service providers. In colocation hosting, businesses are allowed to position their servers and supporting equipments in professional server rooms inside host’s well-equipped data center facilities. The facilities are secured, managed and operated by colocation providers.

With availability of a multitude of colocation service providers, prospective clients of such services must exercise extreme care while choosing the right host. Every service provider differs from other in terms of service offerings and features. There are several fly-by-night operators as well.

In order to help you narrow down your choice from a plethora of available options of colocation providers, we are providing six vital criteria for evaluation of a service provider.

Uptime guarantee

Even a short interruption in connectivity can lead to exponential revenue loss. Since uninterrupted server accessibility is crucial for availability of seamless functioning of projects as well as websites, a service provider must offer guarantee of not less than 99.99 percent uptime, backed by Service Level Agreement.

Physical damage to connections or higher network traffic can seriously impact availability of network connectivity. Trusted hosting service providers make sure that customers are supported with reliable network connections by implementation of several WAN connections and use of multiple ISPs.

Another factor that can cause downtime is change in software and therefore hosts ensure regular modifications of server configuration and installation of security patches and software upgrades. This can also guarantee seamless performance of system with no threat of downtime. All these tasks are performed by expert technical teams that are well-versed with efficient maintenance of network software.

Efficient power management

It is a bitter truth that data center facilities heavily bank on utility service provider companies. There have been multiple instances of data corruption and downtimes due to frequent blackouts or brownouts leading to server shutdown. Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) Systems are only useful for execution of clean shutdown and cannot be relied upon for continuous server operation in the event of outages.

In-house data centers have limited financial resources to install power generators for dealing with issues related to power failure. However, colocation data centers are backed by N+1 redundancy as far as power supply is concerned and provide assurance of multiple generators to face challenges of power outage.

Data security

It would be a costly proposition to install sophisticated network security measures in on-site IT facilities. However, large colocation hosting service providers can afford to provide sophisticated security solutions to their clients due to economies of scale. This also involves use of state of the art software as well as hardware tools that provide reliable security to the systems from hacking attempts or malware threats.

Physical security also assumes great importance in server hosting environment in addition to network security. This involves intrusion protection and safety of equipment from malicious individuals. Unfortunately, importance of physical security is usually underestimated.

Reputed colocation hosting centers employ security guards and install surveillance cameras for round the clock security monitoring. This further backed by mantraps and biometric access control measures to prevent unauthorized personnel from entering into high security server rooms. It is obvious that in-house facilities cannot provide such extreme level security.

Assured protection from natural events

The most dreaded disaster in data center facility is that of a fire mishap. Fire can inflict irreparable damage to physical equipment as well as mission critical data. In view of this data canter architecture lays a great emphasis to ensure protection from fire mishaps.

It is a known fact that regular fire protection devices are of no use when it comes to protect electronic data storage equipment or servers from fire. Routinely used fire extinguishers are known to inflict more damage to these equipments than fire itself. Sensitive hard drives are damaged by the time fire alarms are activated.

In order to ensure effective fire protection, colocation data center providers use sophisticated fire suppression solutions and install high end smoke detection systems. Location of data center is usually selected in regions with low seismic potential and no past history other natural disasters such as tornadoes, floods and snow storms.

It must be noted that mere insurance protection of physical equipment cannot make up for lost business. Therefore colocation hosting providers leave no stone unturned to make sure that clients’ data and physical equipment is secured from a multitude of natural disasters.

Energy efficient data centers

Data centers are power guzzling facilities that consume a whopping eight percent of total power generated and major part of this energy is required for maintaining cooling.

One of the significant reasons for such huge energy requirement is that most of the facilities are made to accommodate into buildings that are not basically aimed at housing servers. There is use of improper supplementary cooling to maintain equipment within prescribed operating temperature.

This brings us to colocation centers that are designed to produce maximum cooling by consuming minimum power. This is termed as low cost cooling that maintains server equipment running at optimum temperature without wasting energy for cooling portions of data centers that are not required to be cooled.

Adroit and professional IT staff

No data center can dream to operate without an efficient and dedicated IT staff. Users of colocation hosting are relieved from employing in-house staff for round the clock monitoring of server performance and networking. It would be next to impossible to access highly proficient IT teams for small enterprises.

Takeaway

Managing in-house data center infrastructure is rapidly becoming an obsolete practice with efficient and affordable option of colocation hosting. Look for these key attributes before finalizing colocation host.

Colocation Helps Organizations Face the Challenges of Transforming IT infrastructure

An upcoming bank based in a prosperous town in western India planned to go for a complete transformation in terms of range of service offerings and overall efficiency of operations.

Transforming IT infrastructure- major hurdles

The need was to design a robust strategy that would be used to revolutionize business processes with an aim to enhance customer gratification and to meet diverse demands of internal as well as external customers.

The entire strategy had to rely on state of the art IT technology the whole IT team sprung into action and embarked upon a seemingly daunting task of changing the bank’s infrastructure for better.

Colocation Server mnbmn

The existing IT infrastructure consisted of a server room at the central office to host basic Core Banking Software and other routine application. The central IT infrastructure was designed to serve seventy five branches that were networked with help of point to point connectivity.

The major hurdles faced by the bank were related to bottlenecks due to limited IT resources, in addition to lack of scalability and reliability. Needless to mention, these issues were responsible for the stunted growth of the bank.

It appeared that the CIO had his dish full of issues with need to embrace new technologies and imparting training to employees for adapting to the cutting edge IT solutions.

It was observed by the CIO that the entire gamut of activities needed to be categorized into three vital buckets as under:

• Creating a robust IT infrastructure that is capable of scalability and is reliable for operating financial transactions
• Incorporating the most modern business applications that can accommodate diverse needs of the proposed transformational journey
• On-boarding proficient IT manpower to handle new generation IT infrastructure

Idea of setting up a dedicated on-premise data center was quickly discarded due to the huge costs involved for building the physical infrastructure, hardware purchases, procurement of networking components, and architectural planning to name a few. Bank’s financial and human resources could not cope up with operations of such a mammoth scale.

Relevance of colocation for the banking institution

This was the moment of enlightenment and the CIO realized that the answer to most of the problems related to IT provisioning could be found in ‘colocation’.

Outsourcing was indeed the key to all problems faced by the bank and its management that was lacked required expertise and financial resources to run in-house data center facilities. Outsourcing bank’s IT requirements to the right service provider that had all the resources and expertise was the most perfect solution.

Colocation proved to be the right hosting solution for this bank as it resulted in massive savings in terms of money as well as time. The bank was also able to design a customized solution that improved overall efficiency by enhancing flexibility of cash flow management.

The most significant advantage of colocation for the bank was cost efficiency of the utility based colocation model. It was possible for the bank to channelize the funds more effectively for business growth.

Key benefits of colocation

Availability resources- Any data center facility cannot run efficiently without assurance of seamless power supply. In-house data centers face frequent power outages and are not prepared to handle such events due to multiple limitations. This is more relevant during the stage of capacity upgrading. Colocation data centers are equipped with redundant power and other resources. These facilities have additional provisions of power supply such as diesel and battery operated generators. The power per square foot ratio of colocation facilities is way above the standard in-house data centers.

Uptime guarantee- This is one area where private data centers fail miserably. Mission critical operations such as banking need guaranteed network uptime for reliability of services. Reputed colocation providers provide over 99.95 percent uptime guarantee backed by Service Level Agreements. In addition to this, clients are free to choose their preferred telecom provider from a large assortment of service providers from these carrier neutral facilities for colocation.

Business availability and reliable Disaster Recovery – It is hard to predict disasters. These can present in the form of cyber threats, snow storms, earthquakes, fire, and prolonged power outage to name a few. Colocation provider provide facility of off-site servers that can offer failover capabilities and maintain the business continuity. There are multiple DR solutions in place to retain business critical data.

Security of data- In a business scenario, data is the most important asset that is vulnerable to repeated attacks from malware and is exposed to unauthorized intrusion attempts. Data breach can spell doom for many a organization. Mission critical data is protected by using multi-layered security provisions and presence of firewall and so forth.

Takeaway

Whenever the existing in-house data caters face repeated breakdowns and downtime, CIOs must initiate steps to upgrade these facilities by adopting server colocation hosting services. Every business has its own priorities and accordingly a plethora of options are available to choose from.

CIOs are entrusted with the decision making process to choose the right IT provisioning solutions that cater to the organizations needs. Colocation has been found to be the most logical choice of many a CIO. It is reckoned as a cost effective and flexible solution by its users.

Key Differences between Colocation and Managed Hosting that Influence Choice of IT Provisioning

Extensive adoption of outsourced IT infrastructure capabilities has given rise to development of diverse outsourcing models. The two major IT outsourcing alternatives that are most frequently sought after by organizations are data center colocation and managed server hosting services.

Major reason for popularity of these outsourcing solutions is their ability to empower organizations with robust IT services that are backed by guaranteed uptime and uncompromised security. Many organizations are facing dilemma of choosing between these two models of outsourcing for efficient management of their IT related tasks.

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The solution to this problem exists in thorough understanding of various factors in relation with types of workloads that need to be handled and unique needs of organization. In-depth understanding of colocation and managed server hosting can throw more light on different features of these solutions and facilitate an appropriate comparison.

Managed hosting for IT infrastructure outsourcing

The term managed server hosting refers to the model of IT provisioning that involves leasing of a dedicated web server and related hardware to a single organization. The server and networking equipment is installed at data centers owned and operated by Managed Service Provider (MSP).

Managed Server hosting allows hosting of specialized applications and overall web presence of the end user organization by offering round the clock support such as security, upgrades, and maintenance. Managed Server Service Providers have acquired remarkable expertise of running data center facilities with help of qualified IT professionals.

Their services are backed by industry certifications and are offered by stringently adhering to government regulations. MSPs are responsible for maintaining high network uptime and other supportive services that are governed by Service Level Agreements. Following types of services are usually outsourced by organizations from MSPs on utility basis:

• Network access
• Configuring and setting up of software
• Management and security of network and premises
• Web-hosting solutions
• Network security and patch management
• Network administration

Managed server hosting offers continuous technology upgrades and assures end users that they are able to leverage the latest technologies for management of their IT infrastructure. Organizations are also free to plan growth and expansion initiatives without worrying about additional resource availability.

There is no need to block funds by purchasing costly IT equipments to support expansion plans. The funds can be effectively channelized for implementation of more productive tasks and projects. Same logic can be also applied to IT talent pool of the organization.

IT personnel are not required to look after mundane tasks of server management. They can be roped in to work on more creative projects. Managed server hosting services are governed by Service Level Agreements that can be tailored to suit organizational priorities.

Colocation

Colocation involves shifting your own hardware to data center that are remotely located. The arrangement obviates the need to build and operate on-premise data center facilities.

Server colocation is implemented to maintain seamless server control in terms of servicing, operating systems, and installation of applications. The Managed Server Service Provider offers a secure and climate controlled environment of data center in addition to redundant power and networking support.

Server management, monitoring, and maintenance can be looked after by the Managed Service provider or colocation service provider. Major objective of colocation is to access MSP’s domain expertise, vast IT capabilities, and other resources including premises, security arrangements, without making any capital investments.

Server Colocation has been effectively adopted by several leading organizations that require compliance with regulations and protocols, as an effective IT provisioning solution to reduce data center footprint without losing control over hardware equipment.

This type of an arrangement is ideally suitable for organizations that are engaged in managing financial services, healthcare services, testing and development sectors, or are handling sensitive information of customers. These services are also preferred by organizations that have made huge investment in purchasing web servers and other IT equipment to ensure that the hardware is utilized effectively.

Organizations can enjoy freedom from day-to-day server related activities, security upgrades, and so forth. This allows the IT personnel to focus their capabilities on more productive projects and tasks.

Choosing between managed server services and colocation

Having gained in-depth knowledge about the two IT provisioning alternatives, you should be in a much better position to analyze these two options from different perspectives. While both of the options have their individual place with respect to requirements of different end users, the third option of the combination of colocation and managed server hosting can also be leveraged for handling specific needs of enterprises.