The Importance of Physical Proximity in Selecting a Data Center

location-mapIf you have a satellite office in Buffalo, why in the world would you colocate your bare metal servers for that office anywhere other than Buffalo?

Physical proximity to your data center workloads is a big deal for some organizations. In case an organization needs rapid access to their rack, they can easily gain access to the facility after being thoroughly vetted by security.

This type of setup provides obvious advantages for most organizations. For example, if your office is limited on space and you do not have the extra room to build out a private, on-site data center, it may make sense to host workloads in a data center near you.

Finding the Data Center That’s Right For You

Think about the process a consumer uses to select a banking institution. If the bank is well known, has a good reputation and possesses branches in places that are convenient for the consumer, that bank will likely earn that consumers business.

Data centers operate on roughly the same model. Colocation providers that have a nationwide footprint in the USA can provide your business with the technology and facilities it needs in order to expand into new markets.

ColoCrossing can provide businesses with data centers in over 8 different markets in the USA. Did you know ColoCrossing can provide a home for your infrastructure in these cities:

  • Buffalo, NY
  • New York City, NY
  • Dallas, TX
  • San Jose, CA
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL

With so many regions covered by one company, ColoCrossing is one of the leading colocation hosting providers that has a facility available near your business.

digital data flow through optical wireLow Latency and Low Ping Times

When your data has to travel a shorter distance, it only makes sense that your business will experience lower latency and as a result, lower ping times. Having your end users near your data makes the most sense, regardless if you are hosting a website or hosting your businesses internal IT infrastructure.

Shopping for colocated services can be tricky. When you’re buying colo for your workloads, ensure that you given an IP address to ping from the location of your office in order test the response of the network. If the ping time is unreasonably high, that may be a red flag in terms of not wanting to select that specific data center.

Alternatively, a low ping time over a network connecting your onsite infrastructure and the data center hosting your workload could indicate that the specific data center you are evaluating could be the right fit for your next data center expansion project.

Is Your Server Prepared for a Cyber Attack?

cyber-attackGiven the recent international headlines concerning cyber attacks on private companies, it makes sense to check the health of your servers in order to ensure your workloads aren’t at risk for being impacted by a cyber attack.

What is a Cyber Attack?

The definition of a cyber attack is an attempt to intentionally damage or destroy a computer network or a computer system. If your network has poorly instituted safeguards, your business risks becoming the victim of a cyber attack.

Many business owners think that their business is too small to be targeted. Wrong! Many attackers intentionally look for easy targets, If you’ve made your business into an easy target, it’s quite possible that your assets could be at risk. So how do your protect your servers against a cyber attack?

Get Meticulous about Patching Your Servers

The best way to keep your servers safe from cyber attacks is to always patch your servers as soon as critical updates are released. Hackers are always using the most sophisticated methods possible in order to gain entry into your systems. Keeping your servers patches is the first line of defense against malicious attacks.

Real Time Malware and Virus Scanning Agents

The biggest argument against using real time malware and antivirus software is the fact that these services can take up precious resources on the host machine. SaaS options may be available that will relieve workloads from your host machines, giving you more flexibility in managing your entire fleet of servers. Knowing that your servers are being constantly monitored can give you assurance that your business is operating without malicious code within the environment.

5-21-15-Access-Denied1Your Servers Need a Firewall

Operating your servers without some sort of firewall is like sending your troops into a war with water pistols. Your servers must be able to deflect network scans, detect intrusions and alert your system administrators of suspicious activities. Firewall products from third party vendors can help enforce content management policies, which would deflect your server from inadvertently communicating with a malicious host.

How to Get These Products

Regardless if you colocate your servers or build your network using cloud servers, you can bring your firewall, antivirus and patching solutions into your environment. If your business isn’t large enough to have a dedicated IT staff, it may be practical to outsource these tasks to a managed service provider. If you’re interested in buying colo or cloud, you can most likely inquire about cyber security add on services, which will protect your workloads from common attacks.

How to Build a Disaster Recovery Plan for Your Business

Disaster-Recovery-Systems-300x300One of the biggest problems facing businesses today is the fact that they are operating without a business continuity plan in place. What will you do if your business is suddenly unavailable due to a natural disaster?

Many small businesses haven’t thought that far ahead, putting their valuable resources at risk. What can you do to mitigate this risk? The best action your business can take today is to be proactive and plan for the inevitable.

It may seem like money wasted if a disaster never happens, however, if it does, you’ll be thankful that your business was well prepared. Natural disasters aren’t the only types of disasters your business might encounter, your business could be a victim of:

  •  Cyber Attacks
  • Physical Security Breaches
  • Inside Jobs
  • Unexpected Downtime

If you host your servers on site, you can access your data in the event of a total loss. You could have tapes stored off site and those will likely take a while to backup onto the new hardware you must acquire.

disaster-recovery-planHaving a DR Plan is Essential for Small Businesses

If you have a disaster recovery plan, you’ll know exactly what to do when your business is completely inaccessible. You’ll be able to go your plan B, because you’ve practiced your plan B and you know that your plan B works. That’s the confidence you need in order to build your business knowing that you’ll have a backup plan should the worst possible circumstances arise.

How to Plan for a Disaster

One of the biggest problems with traditional data center backup jobs is the fact that it will take some time to bring up an infrastructure from scratch. That’s why many organizations will colocate servers in order to have either cold spares or warm standbys on demand.

This isn’t always cost effective, but some organizations need that type of assurance in order to build a network that they feel is resilient enough for their operations. More cost effective solutions could include cloud, which allows organizations to use infrastructure and pay for it only while the virtual machines are powered on.

Colo and Cloud Makes Good Business Sense

Whether you go colo or cloud, both options are terrific methods to getting backup protection for your organization. Keeping your business operating is the most important aspect of your company. When you have backup infrastructure ready to run your workloads, you will simply need to edit the network settings to give your end users the ability to connect to your services.

Rethink your backup and business continuity strategy with colocated and cloud hosted services.

3 Noteworthy Data Center Disasters and How To Avoid Them

amazon-outageThe cost of a data center outage can impact the financial bottom line of your organization. When you have a data center disaster recovery plan in place, you can begin building out your infrastructure with confidence. When you colocate your servers, you can put your confidence in an industry certified data center that is rated to withstand many of the common disaster recovery scenarios. Here’s a few data center disasters that have happened in recent years:

NSA Data Center Impacted By Electricity Surges

The notorious Nation Security Administration data center in Utah was hit by 10 electricity surges in 13 months. Each outage cost the agency up to $100,000 per incident. This unique disaster scenario in the NSA Utah facility remains one of the most talked about data center disasters up until this day. A Business Insider article mentions that the engineers at the Utah facility were unsure of the root cause of each incident. Power surges can impact the integrity of your data. Some experts speculate that the servers which held sensitive data could have potentially become impacted although whether or not data loss actually occurred is unable to be determined.

Amazon EC2 and Microsoft’s Data Center Outages

amazon-downLightning isn’t supposed to strike twice, yet in the case of Amazon and Microsoft, lightning can certainly strike in two places at once. That’s exactly what happened in Dublin, Ireland back in August 2011.

Data centers of Microsoft and Amazon were hit by the same lightning storm which impacted both services ability to provide services. In fact, backup generators were rendered useless as a result of the violent storms. As per the Amazon spokesperson, a fire ensued because of the lightning attack and it resulted in complete power outage. Websites using Amazon’s Elastic Compound Cloud (EC2) were affected. As a result of the lightning strike, Microsoft’s Business Productivity Online Suite went offline for some time.

The Yahoo Data Center disaster of 2010

When you build your data center, you must try to prepare for the unexpected. Did you know that Yahoo’s data center suffered an outage in which 50% of its Santa Clara data center was rendered useless due to a squirrel?

Although the exact cost of the loss incurred by Yahoo is unknown, experts believe that the amount must be staggering. Given the fact squirrels can chew through just about anything, it’s incredibly plausible that a squirrel could be the root cause of your data center operations grinding to a halt.

The end users that beared the brunt of the outage were those who used Yahoo Mail. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer was forced to tender a written apology describing the data center outage issue as a complex, once in a lifetime type of outage.