Factors to Consider When Buying a Colocated Server

DSC_0512-2Having an IT infrastructure that provides reliable and secure information management should be one of your organization’s top priorities. Many businesses have in-house data centers that facilitate the servers that run the company network.

Building, running and maintaining an on-premises data center can be cost intensive. This is why many small to medium sized businesses are looking for alternatives to traditional onsite data center infrastructure.

DSC_0518Colocation is a Cost Effective Solution for Data Center Migration

With colocated servers, your business sends their servers to be racked and patched into a robust network uplink, thus providing your workload a safe and secure environment. Did you know that colo prices are at an all time low? Placing your servers in an industry certified data center is the best way to minimize your IT staff’s overhead.

You should only trust your servers to a data center that possesses internationally recognized industry certifications. By doing so, you can ensure that your business meets all of its regulatory requirements while maximizing uptime and availability for your services.

Cost can be a determining factor in many IT departments. Switching to colocated servers can result in a financial savings for some organizations. While the initial purchase and setup can be costly in the short run, businesses win back that revenue over time by gaining operational savings.

DSC_0570Streamline Your IT Infrastructure By Purchasing Managed Services

A quality colocation center can help you save on the costs associated with power, cooling and data transfer. Colocated data centers will take care of day to day maintenance, which enables the in-house IT department to focus on the core needs of your business.

Your collocated data center can be contracted to take care of things such as backups, emergency generators, and disaster recovery. Using collocated servers will save on IT resources and manpower while providing advantages to your organization as a whole.

99.99% Uptime, Security & Customization of Services Consider this factor: When you build out your colocated data center, you’ll get to customize the server and surrounding infrastructure to your exact specifications.

Your business can purchase the servers and set them up according to organizations internal methodologies. When a business owns their own servers, they can easily upgrade memory, SAN storage and other critical infrastructure components by simply acquiring additional rack space.

A colocated data center can also provide services such as remote hands, which is a fancy term for data center employees that will make changes and adjustments to your servers according to your exact specifications.

Built-in security is one of the best reasons to use colocated infrastructure. Colocated data centers always feature secured environments that provide both physical and digital security perimeters.

Data centers for colocation can provide your organization with redundant power sources, in case of a widespread power outage or the interruption of a nearby public utility. Colocation data centers provide backup generators, which provide protection against unforeseen power events.

DSC_0509Your Organization Can Thrive While Using Colocated Data Centers

Finding collocation services for your workloads can be a challenging task. Colocated data centers provide strategic advantages for organizations that have satellite offices.

Since colocated data centers can provide your organization with a global presence, your businesses can provide apps and services near their end users without having to worry about issues such latency, redundancy, network availability or downtime. Contact ColoCrossing today if for your customized colocation quote.

WHMCS Integration

whmcsRecently the ColoCrossing development team has been making great strides at enhancing our customer interface system, which we call “Portal.” Some of those improvements include a fully featured API that allows our customers and resellers to interface with our system to perform countless fully automated functions. Upon releasing our API a few months ago we listened to feedback from many of our customers who desired a API module for the popular web hosting control system, WHMCS. Naturally we took this feedback and developed a turn key WHMCS module that allows our customers to interface with Portal directly through our API via their WHMCS installation. The process is easy, and if you would like assistance we’re happy to help — simply submit a ticket at https://portal.colocrossing.com and we’ll get you going in no time!

The fully featured WHMCS plugin is available here:

https://github.com/colocrossing/colocrossing-whmcs-plugin

With this integration, you can control all of your devices directly from your WHMCS panel. Resellers can use this functionality and provide it directly to their customers from within WHMCS as well, making reselling services from ColoCrossing easy and seamless! The module will make sure your customers enjoy the very same benefits as hosting directly with ColoCrossing and the power of our automated hosting platform!

As always, we’re happy to hear feedback and suggestions. Please contact us via email at support@colocrossing.com with your thoughts!

Windows Server 2016 Provides Significant Enhancements in Containerization, Virtualization and Cloud

Windows-ServerDid you know that Windows Server 2016 Technical Preview 3 was released on August 19, 2015? Microsoft is gearing up for the much anticipated release of Windows Server 2016 because the OS could prove to be a game changer in terms of hardware and application virtualization. The big emphasis for Windows Server 2016 is process isolation, ease of management, and cloud capabilities.

Nano on Windows Server 2016

1805.NANO-SERVER_6373D571With the release of Windows 10, Microsoft has taken the opportunity to revamp their Windows Server OS and equip the platform with modern capabilities. One of the top features found in Server 2016 is Nano Server.

Nano does not replace a Windows Server distro; Nano is a scaled down instance of Windows Server 2016 that is optimized for IoT, cloud and specialized devices. Nano Server will be smaller, faster, and since there are less moving parts, the microserver will be less likely to experience blue screens.

Management of Nano can be accomplished using WMI and PowerShell. Other virtualization enhancements are rolling upgrades for Hyper-V. With the new Hyper-V, you’ll be able to hot add or remove virtualized hardware such as hard disk space, network interfaces and RAM.

Using Containers w/ Windows Server 2016 

Containers are another way to manage storage and your organization’s applications within a fast and secure environment. Windows Server 2016 will offer Windows Server containers and Hyper-V containers.

Using containers, applications can be isolated from the underlying operating system. This keeps the OS secure and separate from the applications running on top of it. Some analysts have suggested that the popular Docker platform will be able to run on the Windows Server 2016 architecture.

hyper-v-logo1-620x264Advanced Virtualization with Hyper-V

Windows Server 2016 has introduced a rather unique concept called nested virtualization support (NVS). With NVS, you’ll be able to run Hyper-V servers within an existing Hyper-V environment. This is helpful for building testing labs or dev labs for your programming team. This advanced feature allows you to build an environment that is separate from your production infrastructure without having to buy additional hardware.

Windows Server 2016 Security

Enhanced security services include the Host Guardian Service and Shielded VMs. Shielded virtual machines can only run from hosts that are designated as owners of that virtual machine. Shielded virtual machines can be run as an encrypted node.

Think of the Host Guardian Service as a lock that prevents unauthorized hosts from accessing the Shielded VM. VMs can also be encrypted using Windows Server BitLocker through a Virtual Trusted Platform Module (vTPM).

Windows Server 2016: Microsoft’s Best Server OS Yet?

Besides storage, security, and speed, one of the biggest draws for Server 2016 is its system management improvements. The biggest upgrade for system administrators is the introduction of PowerShell 5.0. Improvements in Powershell give administrators the ability to manage the entire network using scripted commands. PowerShell was designed to replace the command prompt and the scripting language provides Windows with a nascent management infrastructure since the code is based on the .NET Framework.

Windows Server 2016 offers PowerShell Direct which provides administrators the ability to run commands inside of a VM. Systems administrators can directly connect using authentication credentials which helps them avoid going through firewalls and network security protocols. These new enhancements should make Server 2016 faster, more secure, and easier to manage than its predecessor Windows Server 2012 R2.

 

 

ColoCrossing adds Telia to Buffalo network

teliasoneraic-map2We’re excited to announce that today we enabled new bandwidth connectivity in Buffalo to the Telia Sonera network. For those who are not familiar with Telia Sonera they are amongst the worlds highest quality, most reliable, network bandwidth providers. Their European presence is especially large which means customers all over Europe and Asia will see better performance and lower latency when connecting to ColoCrossing’s Buffalo Network. Our blend of performance tuned bandwidth in Buffalo now consists of Telia Sonera, XO Communications, Zayo and Hibernia.

You can test your performance and latency to our network using our Looking Glass located at http://lg.buf.colocrossing.com.

We’re always working to improve our service in every way possible, and this is just one element of our ongoing plans to ensure we’re providing a world class customer experience.

Important Factors to Consider When Selecting a Colocation Provider

IMG_0227-revisedFinding the right data center for your servers can prove to be a more difficult decision than it appears on paper. Do you colocate close to your headquarters or should you federate your workloads in different locations around the world?

The answer is often dependent upon your organizational goals, which are can be diverse depending upon the services you are offering to your clientele. In this article, we will navigate some of the factors that technology decision makers must take under consideration before selecting a colocation provider for their servers.

Determine Your Service Level Criteria and Crunch the Numbers

Do you need managed services? What about unmetered bandwidth or disaster recovery services? When you make the commitment to host your workload inside of a colocated data center, it is usually best to go ahead and determine what services you will need before you make the transition.

The benefit to this approach is twofold; When you map out the services that you think your organization will need ahead of time, you won’t be caught off guard when your organization suddenly needs a managed service integration that wasn’t originally factored into your plan. If you’re working with a sales representative from a prospective colocation provider, you may be eligible for bundled or bulk discounts.

Physical Proximity to Your Branch OfficesIMG_0184

Some organizations may want to colocate their equipment within a short driving distance from their offices for various reasons. When you are selecting a colocation provider, it is important to differentiate those who will let you have 24/7 access to the facility, should you need to perform emergency work on your servers.

When you choose a location that is physically close to your end users, your apps and services will benefit from lower latency and faster ping times. This helps your organization provide the highest levels of services while reducing complications for communicating with your sites and services over the WAN.

Planning for Future Growth

IMG_0254 (1)It’s important to select a colocation provider that can help your organization with future growth. If your business has several branch offices located around the globe, it may make sense to select a colocation provider that has a global data center presence rather than a regional provider.

Colocating your workloads with a global data center provider can prove to be advantageous for several reasons. Most businesses enjoy only dealing within one vendor, your business will gain a global presence and you’ll be able to communicate your visions and your concerns going forward as you continue to build and expand your colocated infrastructure.

ColoCrossing opens new downtown Buffalo HQ

IMG_20150910_163101It’s been an exciting few months here at the company! In July ColoCrossing took occupancy of our new headquarters, located at 325 Delaware Avenue, in downtown Buffalo. The new office is on the same floor as our newest 1 megawatt datacenter, which we opened June 1st. ColoCrossing is now one of the largest tenants at 325 Delaware, one of the cities telecom-hubs, with nearly 20,000 square feet of space leased! Many of our local customers have already toured the new datacenter and office and now our customers all over the world can get a peek. The new office, at 8,500 square feet, provides plenty of space for our operations staff, management and provisioning department to work efficiently thanks to the direct proximity to the datacenter. When customers order servers they are built only 50 feet away from the secure cabinet inside the datacenter where they’ll eventually live. That cuts down on deployment times and improves the customer experience. After being open only a few months our newest Buffalo facility is home to over 4,500 servers and that number is growing daily.

cc-wallAs part of making our new office a home we’ve leaned on the services of our local design partner, Luminus Media who hand painted our “shield” logo onto one of the walls. They’ll be back soon working on a large mural piece that focuses on our Buffalo corporate heritage. ColoCrossing is proud to be a Buffalo born and based business.

IMG_20150910_170031One area that we are especially proud of is our network operations center (or NOC for short). The 12-desk space, staffed by our talented group of technicians and network administrators, constantly monitor our network and customers to ensure that your service is online and stable. Naturally, our network operations center never closes and is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That means customers, both local to Buffalo and around the world, can call us and instantly be connected to an expert who can react quickly to resolve your problem. The large screens in the front area of the network operations center detail, in real time, information to our technicians so they are able  to pro-actively respond to customer outages — that means we’re working to solve your problem before you know it even exists.

ColoCrossing celebrates opening of new Buffalo 1 megawatt datacenter!

BUF-1Buffalo, NY – 29 July 2015 – ColoCrossing, a leading server and datacenter management company with datacenters throughout the United States, announced on 29 July, that it has completed phase one of its datacenter build at its new facility in Buffalo, New York. This build completes construction of phase one operations with ColoCrossing’s highly skilled technical teams at the companies’ datacenter at 325 Delaware Avenue. This consolidation further enhances the companies’ 24/7/365 days per year service levels to its customers throughout the Western New York and Mid-Atlantic regions.DSC_8653 (2)

“325 Delaware is one of the major Telecommunications hubs in Western New York and the City of Buffalo.  This location offers significant availability of network connectivity to major internet networks including Verizon and Level3” notes Jon Biloh, President of ColoCrossing.

Additionally, the 1mW of power capacity and substantial power density availability improves customer scalability and flexibility as well as enhances ColoCrossing’s information management, security, and reliability services to its customers.

The newly constructed data center location provides ColoCrossing customers highly advanced redundant Generator and Uninterruptable Power Supply advantages that increase customer system availability and reliability 24/7/365 days per year.