You’ve heard it before in interviews, sales meetings, political debates, and even on The Bachelorette. You’ve even asked it before when the decision was yours to make. You tee your prospect up with that classic question that basically invites them to leave it all on the table. Every ounce of drive to make the connection pours into this well-crafted, often thought of, highly rehearsed final petition.
When someone hears it, they know the bases are loaded. You have one last chance to knock it out of the park, or no one is going home happy.
You toss the pitch right to their sweet spot. It’s make it or break it, and then it’s out. “Why should I choose you?”
Please allow me to swing away and tell you how we answer that question. When comparing data center providers you can expect that most will all have some things in common.
We’ve got the power! After all, why on earth did you choose to send your servers away to boarding school at FIBERTOWN prep? Because after the umpteenth time your building lost power to a forlorn and heartbroken squirrel who sacrificed himself to the local substation, you finally decided to make keeping the lights on someone else’s problem. FIBERTOWN standardizes on dual path power with independent and concurrently maintainable power distribution elements all the way through from the utility provider to the cabinet. This means one side can be maintained while the other side keeps you running. We plan to be up and running long after the zombie apocalypse has claimed everyone except the small contingent of American crossbow aficionados.
Don’t forget to pack your hoodie as you conveniently decide to complete that annual data center hardware audit you were supposed to do back in February.
Visiting a data center during July in Texas is like taking a dip in the pool, but you can justify doing it on the clock. Sufficient cooling in your tier II facilities is nice, but your more fault tolerant upper tier data centers will have room to compensate for a device failure.
FIBERTOWN employs fault tolerant installations of chilled water systems, CRAH/CRAC units (it means computer room air conditioner, we do not deal in narcotics), and resilient chilled water distribution systems all geared to keeping you and your critical infrastructure nice and chilly.
Levels of security will vary from perimeter fences and obscure, unmarked buildings to dual factor authentication with biometric scans and 24x7x365 on-site security staff. Sometimes you could see gun turrets, high fences with razor wire and armed personnel should you wish your servers, routers, and switches are securely incarcerated. These are easy line items to check off.
Serious facilities will lean towards the more secure methods including full-time security staff, solid locked down facilities, dual factor authentication and extensive monitoring of entry points to maintain accountability. The FIBERTOWN server zoo has no intentions of letting the lion out of its cage.
Even tier II designed data centers will have bandwidth in spades. With your favorite carriers riding other carriers the last mile, you can bet you get what you need for connectivity. Both FIBERTOWN data centers sit on a nexus of fiber connectivity, otherwise we may as well have named ourselves COPPERTOWN.
So what is the difference? Are all data centers alike? You are deliberately avoiding answering the million dollar question!
There is one more key differentiator. Can you guess what it is? Stay tuned and check out part two of The Million Dollar Question!
A tragic trend to hit the video game industry in recent years has been the pressure to have a game on the market before the designers were ready for it to be released. Two major examples of this are the massive multiplayer online game Star Wars: The Old Republic in 2011 and more recently Batman: Arkham Knight in June of 2015.
Both were wildly anticipated game releases that were expected to make millions for their producers. However, both were rushed to release by their parent companies and were a disappointment both to the game designers and to the players.
The same thing happens to IT and operations teams when executive expectations are not properly aligned with IT or operation team goals. Often the executives completely ignore IT and operation recommendations.
Nothing is worse than installing a major piece of IT infrastructure in your production environment before it has been tested properly in a lab environment. Downtime and loss of data can occur in this situation. If infrastructure was not given the proper timeline for testing, something as simple as a software update can wreak havoc in a production environment.
IT and operations teams should be afforded the trust of setting a timeline and the ability to set standard operating procedures for new hardware or software implementations.When done correctly, the product will be more successful and the users will be much happier in the long run. In addition, you will be reducing risk to your environment and your company. However, if implementations are rushed, then they could become a disappointment to everyone involved.
For more information on avoiding downtime
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Since the inception of the high tech career, responsible IT professionals have struggled to maintain a normal work schedule knowing they could be called into action at any moment of the day or night.
For some, it feels like the life of super hero, always on-call for a shot at glory.
For others, it’s more like the life of a firefighter, waiting for the next fire to start hoping it doesn’t get you burned…or fired.
Imagine a bedtime scenario for an IT professional:
We see them getting in bed, still slightly wired from the numerous cups of coffee consumed while pouring through technical manuals that day troubleshooting an issue. An issue eventually resolved with the magical reboot of an end user device.
They climb into bed and fumble for their cell phone charger with the thought must be connected at all times. Then they confirm volume is set to max so as to wake the dead.
They anxiously drift off and a ding brings them surging back to life to check that “Patch Tuesday” has not claimed another victim.
“Ugh, it’s just that sales guy from the west coast. No chance I’m buying from you now, buddy. That’s what you get for spamming me at 11pm.”
They are wired with a hair trigger to respond at a moment’s notice. They know how fast they can get to the office at 3:27 am because they’ve done it once, or twice, that time they neglected to turn off auto updates on the old BES server, seriously when is that executive going to upgrade and use the exchange like everyone else?
Every department has similar aggravations. The finance group gets antsy when the quarterly reports are due. The accounting team dreads the beginning and end of every month, year and tax cycle. The marketing department bites its nails as the email campaign they’ve been pouring over finally launches. The goal is to minimize these hardships where we can.
For an IT guy, handing off this after-hours accountability is the best course of action.
What does that mean? Am I going to have to hire after-hours staff, then train them and provide management for them? Oh, what happens if they’re sick?
Monitoring-as-a-service allows for a third party to provide monitoring and escalation for you. Your service provider manages the staff and involves multiple individuals to interact in an emergency situation, so your IT team can sleep at night. They make your IT department of three: systems administrator, network administrator and IT manager become a 24×7 beacon of reliability.
How can I trust anyone with overseeing my critical infrastructure? They won’t possibly have the commitment my team will. What good does this unaffiliated third party do? We still have to wake up and drive to the office 3 am!
Your critical hardware is housed in a data center where a 24×7 staff that you trust and turn to keeps a careful watch over your infrastructure. When was the last time you called your data center for a server reboot? How long did it take? You should expect 15 minutes from the time the request hits their inbox to completion.
At FIBERTOWN, we are an extension of your IT team and involved every step of the way. You know each one of us from top to bottom because we are accountable to our customers 100% of the time. Our team is stacked with firefighters and super heroes. Ready to act at moment’s notice.