Debunked: 5 Common Myths of Data Center Colocation 

colocationSome organizations may dismiss data center colocation as an expensive alternative to hosting your infrastructure onsite. Others might incorrectly assume that data center colocation is less reliable than hosting your servers in the cloud.

In this article, we’ll look at 5 common myths that have been perpetuated about data center colocation. To combat these myths, we’ll provide facts that will help you gain a clear picture of how data center colocation can provide unrivaled network uptime, network reliability and physical security for your servers. Continue reading

Does Your Organization Have a Disaster Recovery Plan?

IMG_0191If your organization encounters a disaster recovery (DR) scenario, how long would it take to get your systems back up and running?

This question may haunt some IT decision makers considering the fact that many small businesses haven’t even thought about implementing a disaster recovery plan.  Nationwide Insurance recently commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a poll among 500 small business owners.

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Colocation Grows as Enterprises Seek Capital Investment Reductions

Build-vs-Buy-Colocation-Data-CentersAnalysts at Technavio are predicting that data center colocation providers in the United States will flourish over the next 4 years. In a newly released report, Technavio predicts that the compound adjusted growth rate (CAGR) of the data center colocation market in the United States will grow at 9% until year 2020.

One of the main drivers for the rapid growth in the server colocation market is due to the fact that businesses are actively looking for ways to reduce their capital investments. Rather than building out a new onsite datacenter facility, businesses large and small are seizing the opportunity to colocate their enterprise infrastructure while paying a predictable fee each month.

Since many enterprises require services to be available to their end users on a 24/7/365 basis, finding a colocation hosting vendor that offers a 100% Network Uptime Guarantee can be critical. Enterprises are looking to get the most for their money and data center colocation provides the infrastructure needed to guarantee the maximum uptime for critical services.

Other Factors Driving Data Center Colocation Growth

Datacentervscolocation (1)Technavio’s research concluded three other contributing factors for data center colocation growth in the US. These three factors are:

  • The Rapid Adoption of SaaS within the Enterprise
  • SMEs Relying More Upon Sophisticated Technology
  • The Need for Robust and Advanced Networking

As we dig deeper into each of these motivating drivers, it becomes clear that data center colocation may become the new normal in terms of how enterprises are building, maintaining and growing their technical infrastructures.

SaaS and Colo

When you say SaaS and Colo aloud, it may sound as if you are ordering an exotic drink. In ways, that may be a somewhat accurate analogy. As organizations integrate their systems into SaaS infrastructures, there is likely a need to have a robust connection to the enterprises core network, which would hosted in the colo facility.

If you are a SME, hosting your infrastructure in a colocated data center may provide better connectivity between your cloud hosted apps and your colo hosted data. When you consider the fact that you can dedicate up to a 1 Gbps connection to your servers, it becomes easy to see why organizations that require robust connectivity between their apps and data would put their core infrastructure in a colocated data center versus hosting it in an onsite data center.

SMEs and Sophisticated Tech

IMG_0126In just the past 10 years, Small to Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) have come to rely upon sophisticated technology in order to remain competitive with the major players within their respective markets.

Colocation gives businesses the ability to deploy their own specialized infrastructures within a facility that likely meets or exceeds their industries specific security requirements. Some organizations cannot afford to have infrastructure fail when end users are beginning to use their online products.

When SMEs begin deploying specialized technology in colocated data centers, they are doing so to gain an advantage on the competition by being able to maximize uptime for the services that they provide to their end users.

Robust and Advanced Networking

IMG_1892When organizations begin mapping out their services, things can become quickly convoluted. When infrastructure is placed within a colocated data center, organizations simply need to connect to the remote infrastructure in order to configure and deploy.

Since colocated data centers can guarantee a specific amount of bandwidth with a real, hard wired connection into your servers, your business can gain maximum throughput for the services that are being utilized the most.

As a result, organizations are increasingly choosing data center colocation over building their own data center. Many private data centers allow you to configure each rack with the exact types of networking infrastructure needed in order to achieve your organization’s core objectives.

Businesses get more for their money when they select data center colocation over investing in costly onsite data center facilities.

7 Reasons to Choose Dedicated Hosting

IMG_2216-X3When your enterprise decides to deploy a new server, can you really justify the cost of a depreciating asset that your organization will have to write off the books in 3 to 5 years?

Leasing a dedicated server may make more sense when your organization is looking to rapidly deploy a server that can meet or exceed needs of your end users. Let’s take a closer look at what a dedicated server can offer an organization when they decide to extend their infrastructure using dedicated servers.

Dedicated Performance

IMG_2005The most obvious benefit to using dedicated hosting is that system administrators are able to configure services that are specific to the underlying hardware. When you compare virtual private servers to dedicated servers, many organizations will want assurance that the onboard system resources are available in all circumstances.

Rapid Deployment

When you purchase a new server, you must wait for your vendor to configure the hardware to your exact specifications. You must then wait for the server to be shipped and then you must install the server in a rack.

When you buy a dedicated server, the server may already be sitting in a rack waiting for you to use the resources once access has been provisioned. In many circumstances, dedicated servers can be configured in a matters of hours.

Perfect for Growing Websites

Those who host websites on shared web hosting providers may run into bottlenecks when end users are logging in and utilizing their services. Consequently, other websites that are over utilizing services on your shared hosting plan may be impacting your website’s performance.

When you host your website on a dedicated server, you can know for sure that your website is utilizing hardware that is 100% dedicated to the operation of your organization’s web facing properties.

Completely Customizable Infrastructure

IMG_2312Another limitation to shared hosting and VPS is the fact that there may be underlying system changes that you need to make in order to get your app to perform correctly. With shared hosting and VPS, you can be limited on certain system changes that your app may require, making dedicated hosting the logical next step for you growing enterprise.

Deploy Dedicated Servers with cPanel, Webmin and More!

In addition to being completely customizable, dedicated servers give you the ability to have operating systems pre installed on your system while simultaneously bundling popular apps such as cPanel and Webmin.

Since your dedicated server can be configured rapidly, you can begin building and migrating your websites and apps immediately after your new dedicated server has been configured for use.

Uptime Monitoring and DDoS Protection

IMG_2391If you host a critical service, dedicated servers can provide you with protection from common threats for a nominal fee. For only $10 per month, ColoCrossing provides uptime monitoring on your dedicated server which alerts you if a critical service is unreachable.

Another popular addon is DDoS protection, which can cost between $250 to $1,000 per month. If you are hosting a service that is prone to someone targeting it with a DDoS attack, the DDoS protection fee is likely a nominal fee and could be necessary if your website is frequently targeted by cyber criminals.

Dedicated Servers Save Time and Money

Piggy_on_Money1When you lease your infrastructure, your business will rest assured knowing that any problem that arrises with the underlying system architecture will be covered by helpful technicians at the data center where your server is being hosted.

Compared to buying new servers every 3 to 5 years, dedicated hosting could save your company time and money in terms of planning, deploying and hosting your own servers onsite. In fact, if your business outgrows its current requirements, many colocation providers help you perform a free basic migration to your new server, which will help you minimize any downtime that could be associated with making the move to a dedicated server.

Analyzing Popular Trends in Data Center Colocation Services

The data center colocation market is becoming more competitive than ever. As a result, colocation providers such as ColoCrossing have become a popular choice for enterprises that need to strategically locate servers near their end users.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the biggest trends in data center colocation services so that your business can know exactly what to expect when it decides expand into a colocated data center facility.

Renewable and Sustainable Energy Sources

NiagaraFalls2When data centers use renewable and sustainable energy sources such as hydroelectricity, data centers can pass along the energy savings to their customers. Different data center markets may have different pricing structures and much of this has to do with demand and how the data center receives energy. The ColoCrossing Buffalo datacenter, for example, benefits from the availability of renewable hydroelectric power due to its proximity to Niagara Falls.

As with all modern technologies, data center colocation facilities are striving to become as energy efficient as possible and this is a trend that won’t go away anytime soon. Data center colocation facilities of the future may implement exotic options as a way to reduce energy costs.

Colocation Data Centers Will Emerge in Localized Markets

As media becomes more centralized, localized and personalized, normal end users may require rapid access to their media which could lead to a spike of colocation providers that decide to extend into localized markets.

An end user in Upstate New York may currently have to retrieve data from a data center in Atlanta or Chicago. In order to provide a higher quality of service, a media conglomerate may choose to host the end user’s data in a data center in Buffalo or Toronto, in order to provider a shorter path for the data to reach the end user.

Colocation Providers Will Sell More Managed Services

IMG_0227-revisedData center colocation providers are typically willing to provide discounts for enterprises that lease multiple racks or cages within a facility. In efforts to better serve the customer, colocation providers will begin offering more managed services as a way to increase profits and simplify the process of securely deploying services in a colocated data center.

Colocation hosting providers are quite busy these days. While many tech pundits may claim that everything will be hosted in the cloud, the truth is, many businesses will keep their colocation hosting provider on board to host the organization’s core infrastructure. As a result, many colocation provider may end up offering more services that are traditionally performed by managed service providers.

Colocation Hosting Market is Predicted to Double by 2020

colocation-supply-and-demand-201221Back in 2015, ReportBuyer’s research found that the size of the colocation hosting market will double by year 2020. In 2015, the colocation hosting market was worth $25B and in 2020, ReportBuyer predicts that the size of the colocation hosting market will exceed $50B.

This rapid growth of colocation hosting services equates to a compound adjusted growth rate (CAGR) of 12.26%. With so much rapid growth in the colocation hosting market, many businesses have begun evaluating the pros and cons of hosting their data centers onsite versus deploying their infrastructure in a colocation data center.

Colocation Will Continue to Solve Unique Problems

IMG_4015-3-X3Perhaps one of the reasons that the data center colocation market will flourish is due to the fact that server colocation may continue to be the best option for small to medium sized enterprises.

Some organizations may need their services hosted in the United States while maintaining excellent connectivity to services in the Asia Pacific region. To solve this problem, many organizations host their infrastructure in Los Angeles. This is just a simple example of how server colocation could solve a problem unique to specific business.

Since many organizations prefer to own their own servers, server colocation becomes a natural fit for enterprises that have outgrown their onsite server closet. With colocated servers, your business can maximize network uptime by minimizing outside factors associated with onsite data centers.

For organizations that need to maximize the uptime of their public and private infrastructures, strategic data center colocation becomes the logical choice.

Private Cloud Platforms Common in Colocation Data Centers

DSC_0570Organizations commonly setup hypervisors in colocation data centers to maximize server efficiency while simultaneously virtualizing their workloads. What if businesses could take this a step further and use server colocation as a way to build a private cloud?

When enterprises begin talking about moving to the cloud, many CIOs blindly assume that public cloud infrastructure is the only way to build their cloud. Many CIOs shy away from cloud for this reason alone.

Some industries have found that public cloud is not a viable solution for their business model. As a result, private cloud is surging in popularity with both open source and enterprise solutions available to businesses.

Examining Popular Private Cloud Solutions

The idea of private cloud has been around for the past decade, although some organizations are slow to adapt.

With private cloud solutions, your organization can automate the deployment of infrastructure, making it simple to spin up a new virtual machine, provide more storage or dedicate more computing resources to a particular app.

Let’s take a look at two of the most popular private cloud infrastructures used by enterprises today.

OpenStack: Free Open Source Private Cloud

openstackIt is impossible to have a conversation about private cloud without mentioning OpenStack. When modern cloud computing first hit the scene back in 2005, organizations such as RackSpace, NASA and others were contributing to the OpenStack project.

Since OpenStack’s inception, it has become the gold standard for open source private cloud computing. According to a survey conducted by Talligent, OpenStack has made significant progress in breaking through on the enterprise level. Talligent says:

  • 61% of OpenStack enterprise implementations were motivated by cost savings.
  • 59% of OpenStack deployments were motivated by the allure of streamlining IT service delivery.
  • 54% businesses using OpenStack anticipate their workloads to be private, not public, in the next 5 years.

OpenStack also provides automation within different hypervisors that you may already have in your environment. OpenStack can orchestrate complex private cloud environments which includes Microsoft Hyper-V, VMware ESXi and other various hypervisor ecosystems.

With these motivating factors in mind, enterprises are rushing to implement OpenStack as method of automating their IT infrastructure.

Microsoft Azure Stack

Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to purchase a Microsoft Azure subscription to use the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure inside of your colocated datacenter.

With Microsoft’s Azure Stack, you can manage the workloads in your colocated datacenter using a robust resource provisioning suite that allows you to deploy resources on the fly. When your enterprise uses Azure Stack, your IT team will gain access to the robust Microsoft Azure private cloud infrastructure.

Although Microsoft Azure Stack has upside for organizations wanting to implement private cloud, businesses must carefully weigh the downsides of using this relatively nascent technology. Currently, Azure is being bundled with specific vendor hardware.

There was speculation that Azure Stack would only be available those who purchased servers from Dell, HPE and Lenovo. The rumor proved to be false as Microsoft has clarified their position saying they would allow customer owned hardware to be used in final releases of Azure Stack.

Azure Stack is currently in technical preview, however, the final release could become available enterprises in mid 2017.

Which Is Best For My Enterprise?

white_paper_c11-543729-5Organizations that exclusively use Microsoft products may already be tinkering with the Azure Stack technical preview in their dev environments. If your enterprise is vendor agnostic or sensitive to infrastructure costs, deploying OpenStack could be the best bet.

There is no true solution that is superior to the other. With Microsoft Azure Stack, your organization may want to keep its core services collocated inside of a data center, while simultaneously being able to expand into a hybrid cloud when needed.

OpenStack is rapidly becoming adopted in large industries all around the world. In fact, OpenStack is being used by popular corporations such as Walmart, BMW and BetFair.

With so much evidence pointing towards enterprises adopting private cloud at a rapid rate, IT decision makers should also consider which data center colocation partner is right for their private cloud workloads.

IMG_2380ColoCrossing is a highly rated data center colocation provider that has private data center facilities located in all across the USA in 9 cities. Call ColoCrossing’s toll free hotline at 1-800-518-9716 for a free, no-hassle consultation regarding server colocation, dedicated servers and managed services for your growing enterprise.

How Managed DDoS Protection Shields Your Critical Web Applications

Reading the headlines? You might not be surprised to see that Akamai found DDoS attacks have doubled between 2014 and 2015. The threat of DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack looms large for business of all sizes.

DDoS attacks are somewhat unsophisticated attacks that flood your network with malicious traffic, executed by botnets, hacked servers and hacked routers. When hackers can simultaneously flood your public network with malicious packets, it can prevent legitimate customers from accessing your website.  IMG_0126

And for most businesses, loss of traffic and website functionality means — you guessed it — loss of revenue. 

DDoS Attacks Can Cripple Your Organization

Like the old train robberies of the Wild West, DDoS attacks have become a sort of high stakes online ransom for organizations. DDoS attacks are big business for hackers, who will use the threat of DDoS attack to literally solicit ransoms from high-profile organizations. High profile attacks in recent years have hijacked sites like Evernote and Feedly, to name a few, and they continue to find ways to affect millions of users. These two recent DDoS attack examples offer some insight into the potential damage for organizations:

  1. ProtonMail Endures Sophisticated DDoS Attack Requiring Help from Swiss Government

In late 2015, ProtonMail faced one of the largest DDoS attacks in history when its servers were slammed by an attack that sent over 50Gbps of junky packets to its servers.

The secure email provider reports that its administrators received a ransom email demanding Bitcoins prior to the attack. ProtonMail’s administrators ignored the email and 12 hours later, their services became unavailable, preventing thousands of people from accessing their email.

After unsuccessfully battling the attacks, ProtonMail succumbed and paid the ransom…but the attacks continued. In fact, ProtonMail was unable to deflect the attack until they got the Swiss government’s cyber security agency MELANI involved.

  1. BBC Website Gets Hit by 600Gbps+ DDoS Attack

Even mainstream news websites are not immune to DDoS attacks. The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) was hit by a massive DDoS attack in early 2016. Security experts suggest the DDoS attack impacting the BBC was the biggest DDoS attack to date.

With the international news agency receiving over 600Gbps of malicious data, many BBC users were unable to access the website. There is no indication that a Bitcoin ransom was requested, therefore many security experts suggest that this DDoS attack could have been a show of power by the cyber gang that perpetrated this attack. For sites like the BBC; however, where timely release of news stories is essential, this type of attack can be particularly harmful.

How to Prevent a DDoS Attack

There are a few steps you can take to prevent DDoS attacks from crippling your organization:

  • Increase bandwidth to prevent a DDoS attack.  Ultimately, DDoS attacks strangle your servers because they use up your bandwidth. Although far from foolproof, one of the simplest ways to stifle attempts at a DDoS attack is to increase your server bandwidth (Hint: We can help you increase server bandwidth here at ColoCrossing).
  • Implement a Network Firewall Appliance to Deflect DDoS Attacks. Network administrators agree that it is a best practice to use a firewall to help mitigate DDoS attacks. Vendors such as Cisco, Juniper, Palo Alto and SonicWALL provide administrators with robust features such as Intrusion Prevention and Real Time Block Lists that help deflect DDoS attacks.
  • Partner with a managed IT provider that offers DDoS attack prevention. Here at ColoCrossing, our managed IT services include robust DDoS attack prevention. We’ll shield your servers from a DDoS attack so that cyber criminals become discouraged (and ultimately shift their efforts elsewhere).

Our DDoS attack prevention service offers sophisticated, automated protection for your server. We help you sleep easy knowing your servers are backed up with 100% network availability and true 24/7/365 support for our nine US-based data centers.  Wondering how ColoCrossing can protect your organization? Contact us today to learn more.


Data Center Colocation is Booming

DSC_0509451 Research recently released it’s latest report on the state of the data center colocation industry. The main takeaway from the report is that data center colocation will be a $33 billion dollar a year business by 2018.

Who stands to gain from data center colocation and why is the market booming? Let’s take a closer look at each of these topics in order gain clarity on the state of the data center colocation market.

Onsite vs. Colocation vs. Cloud

Now more than ever, organizations are finding that data center colocation gives their business more flexibility in deploying hardware and managing servers.

Onsite data centers have proven to be costly while cloud gives organizations the ability to buy infrastructure on a per minute basis. The happy medium between onsite and cloud is colocated servers in strategic geographic location. Businesses are rapidly moving their workloads into colocated data centers for a variety of reasons.

One big reason that organizations have given colocation a second look is the fact that colocated data centers are carrier neutral, giving your end users amenities such as a faster connection to website applications, a lower ping time to the outside world and lower latency on the apps that your business hosts.

Build Your Own Cloud Using Colocation

openstack-private-cloudThe biggest barrier to entry for public cloud computing is security. After all, if your business is renting someone else’s equipment just as you would with any IaaS provider, how do you know exactly where your data resides?

Colocation gives businesses the ability to deploy their own cloud using customized security policies. Open source cloud platforms such as OpenStack are free to deploy while more proprietary cloud stacks such as Azure stack and Eucalyptus can also be configured.

When your business provides its own hardware, rents space in a colocation facility and sets up its own cloud using a suite such as OpenStack, this setup is referred to as a private cloud. With a private cloud, your organization owns the hardware and pays the colocation leasing fees while end users can spin up servers and request additional storage space on the fly.

Hybrid Cloud is a Motivating Factor for Colocated Data Centers

While many organizations prefer to use their own hardware, IaaS definitely has a place in today’s ever-changing technical landscape. As a result, businesses are increasingly using colocated data centers to host their private cloud infrastructure while simultaneously connecting that infrastructure to public cloud infrastructure.

The end result is a hybrid cloud infrastructure. Hybrid cloud uses both public and private cloud hosting simultaneously. The advantage to hosting your private cloud in a colocation data center is the 100% network availability guarantee and the ability to retain full control over the data center hardware that you deploy.

Managed Service Providers Benefit From Colocated Infrastructure

datacenter_floorManaged service providers (MSPs) often utilize the services of colocated data centers to facilitate the rollout of their apps and services.

By handing off all of the critical infrastructure tasks to a team of seasoned professionals, an MSP can focus on converting leads rather than sinking significant amounts of capital into an on-site datacenter.

When your organization begins providing custom tailored solutions to businesses all around the world, you can use the infrastructure that you’ve deployed in your rack to help meet the specific needs of your clients. Whether its virtual or bare metal servers, colocation hosting helps managed service providers gain the most flexibility from their investments in technology.

Flexibility: The Key for MSPs Who Want to Gain Value

IMG_2344-X3Getting the most out of your investments in technology will play a huge role in the overall success of your endeavor as a Managed Service Provider. MSPs often specialize in a specific discipline; Some MSPs are focused on disaster recovery, while others focus on app hosting, file storage, VoIP and more.

Given this broad spectrum of potential needs, MSPs should seek out a versatile colocation partner that provides a presence anywhere in North America. Additionally, your provider should have industry recognized certifications that ensures both data privacy and industry compliance. When MSPs utilize a colocated datacenter space, they can gain tremendous value by permanently housing all of their servers, appliances and network gear within an enterprise grade datacenter ecosystem.

MSPs Should Establish a Relationship with Colocation Hosting Providers

DatacentervscolocationIn many instances, an MSP will establish relationships with different colocation providers located all throughout the world. Managed Service Providers must be able to provide unique solutions for their clients. The relationship that your business develops with a colocation provider can dictate the level of service that you can provide to your end users.

When datacenters are able to rapidly provision services, MSPs are able to provide solutions for their customers that meet or exceed their needs. Many MSPs only use colocation hosting to offer services to their customers. The reliability of colocated infrastructure tips the scale in favor of server colocation while providers such as ColoCrossing are able to guarantee 100% network availability.

Don’t Risk Your MSP’s Reputation to IaaS

amazon-outageManaged service providers can gain measurable value by gaining access to low and predictable monthly pricing offered by a colocation provider. When compared to cloud, your organizations monthly bill could heavily fluctuate, which could become more of a hindrance than a help in terms of monthly expenses related to running a managed services business.

IaaS also contains inherent risks. For example, how do you explain random cloud data center outages that have impacted services such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform over the past several years?

When your business hosts its servers within a colocated data center, your MSP business can feel confident about the safety and security of the data retained by your clients.

8 Reasons to Choose ColoCrossing for Your Next Infrastructure Deployment


Nationwide ColoCrossing Presence

Extending your infrastructure using ColoCrossing’s network of colocated data centers can help your business provide core IT services to end users at a fair price.

With tech companies investing so much of their advertising budgets into promoting cloud services, it’s possible that you may have overlooked the prospect of colocating your servers in a nearby data center.

Did you know that ColoCrossing has data centers strategically located all over North America? In fact ColoCrossing offers data center colocation services in the following cities:

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

No matter where you decide to collocate your server, ColoCrossing has a datacenter that is within proximity of your business. Here’s a list of reasons that you should choose ColoCrossing for your next colocated server deployment:

Uptime100sla100% Network Availability: ColoCrossing’s motto is “Dedicated to Uptime.” We can’t live up to our motto unless we hire seasoned IT veterans while simultaneously investing in the best data center infrastructure available on the market today.

Location: Regardless of where your business is located, ColoCrossing has a data center with excellent connectivity to all major points of presences around the world. For example, our Los Angeles data center provides robust connectivity to the Asia-Pacific Region while our New York City data center provides excellent connectivity to Europe and abroad.

Uptime: ColoCrossing provides its customers with an unprecedented 100% network availability SLA. In fact, 3rd party vendors have verified our 100% network uptime guarantee, further bolstering our claims of being one of the top server colocation providers in all of North America. Visit our SLA page to learn more.

Compliance: Does your business require HIPAA, PCI-DSS or SAS70 Type II compliance? ColoCrossing can rapidly provide compliant services to businesses that operate within heavily regulated industries. See our industry solutions portal for additional information.

Expertise: Need to talk to a seasoned data center professional about your collocated servers? ColoCrossing can be reached by calling our toll free number (1-800-518-9716), by opening a support ticket or by clicking on our live chat link.

DSC_8653 (2)Facilities: At ColoCrossing, we can host your servers in some of the best data centers facilities in the world. Our facilities are staffed 24/7/365 and our data centers possess physical security solutions that exceed industry standards.

Redundancy: ColoCrossing datacenters have backup generators, backup network backbones and backup cooling systems in place. We proudly use vendors such as Cisco, APC, Liebert and Brocade in each of our facilities.

Affordability: Implement solutions that are custom tailored to your infrastructure at a fraction of what similar cloud solutions may cost. Not only that, your business can potentially avoid costs related to on-site data center outages by moving your servers into ColoCrossing data center.