Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on 3 Ways FIBERTOWN Prepares Customers for Possible Blackouts

3 Ways FIBERTOWN Prepares Customers for Possible Blackouts

Due to the scorcher in Texas this summer, people and businesses have faced water and energy restrictions.

Hot temperatures place a strain on the electric grid, and electricity issues, in turn, affect your computer hardware. And when servers are interrupted, business comes to a halt.

In this article, we outline three ways FIBERTOWN helps businesses stay running, even when facing hot temperatures and rolling blackouts.

FIBERTOWN Offers Redundant Power and Cooling

FIBERTOWN is a one-stop shop, a single-source solution. We’re a data center with two locations – Houston and Bryan, Texas. And as a data center, we provide redundant power, cooling, and connectivity. With redundancy, you have a backup plan. And that means your business is not vulnerable when rolling (or unexpected!) blackouts occur.

In July 2022, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (or ERCOT) issued warnings of rolling blackouts expected for many Texans. The power grid was under strain. To prevent rolling blackouts from being necessary, though, the Council first asked citizens to not use large appliances between 2:00 and 9:00 pm and to adjust thermostats to 78 degrees on specified days.

Fortunately, these preventive measures conserved enough energy to make the rolling blackouts unnecessary (for now). But an important question remains –  How would a rolling or unexpected blackout affect your business?

At FIBERTOWN, both data centers are equipped with a concurrently maintainable cooling configuration so the cooling system is always available. As for power, we have concurrently maintainable, redundant power as well, plus generators onsite.

While others are stressed about possible power outages, our customers are not.

Disaster Recovery Means Preparedness for You 

We’re not just a data center. We’re a “disaster recovery and business continuity office space.”

At FIBERTOWN, we provide 100% uptime for business-critical systems, and that means fewer effects on your business in case of a disaster. And whether power outages are planned or are a result of disasters, our disaster recovery (DR) clients have access to a range of options. We can be your primary and secondary site, only secondary site, hot or tape backup and highly available (HA) failover. Plus, we have office space ready for your team to work if your location is without electricity.

Staying Connected

Another major concern with blackouts is network connectivity. Relying on only one provider to keep you connected may result in you being down during maintenance or an outage. FIBERTOWN offers our blended bandwidth.

This way, no matter what’s occurring with one or two carriers, you’re still connected. Furthermore, our multiple carriers enter our building via numerous points of entry. It’s redundancy on top of redundancy. And that’s the FIBERTOWN way.

FIBERTOWN Can Help

We want you cool-headed during blackouts and/or disasters. With our redundant systems, we ensure power, cooling, and connectivity for our clients. And this means business as usual for you…no matter the temperatures outside.

We’d love to tell you more about our services at FIBERTOWN. Complete this form to start the conversation.
Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Feature 0 comments on Why A Dedicated Office Space – As a Second Location – Is Critical

Why A Dedicated Office Space – As a Second Location – Is Critical

At FIBERTOWN, we’re known for our colocation services, and we’re proud of that. But, we also offer dedicated office spaces for businesses, and that makes us different from our competitors.

Below are reasons why you should consider a dedicated office and how FIBERTOWN helps you keep running, no matter what.

What is a Dedicated Office Space?

A dedicated office space is a second location for conducting business away for your main building or away from home (if you’re a remote-first company).

Also note, when we write “dedicated,” we mean office areas set aside – devoted, committed, reserved – for your business when you need it. Some data centers offer workspace, but the areas are first come, first serve. There’s no guarantee you’ll have a work area when needed.

At FIBERTOWN, though, we provide a dedicated office space…just for your company.

Direct Connection

So, why should you consider a dedicated office space inside a data center? A major reason is for a direct connection to your servers and other hardware. This access means lower latency, offering almost real-time access to your data.

Also, if you have large projects using your on-site equipment, no need to work on the floor. You work in your office at FIBERTOWN. And that’s much more comfortable!

Ready with Generators at FIBERTOWN

We’ve got your back. As in…backup generators.

A major plus for a dedicated office space inside a data center is for the backup systems already in place. Unlike most work spaces, we’ve already considered and PLANNED FOR a loss of electricity. (We offer 100% SLA uptime to our data center customers so power supply is crucial to our business.)

We can ensure full power for at least 24 hours for the whole facility. You’ll stay connected no matter what’s happening with the electrical grid.

Office Space During a Transition

The one constant in life is change. So, there’s a good chance that your company will change office buildings at least once in its lifespan. And when that change occurs, consider FIBERTOWN’s dedicated office space.

Our office space is ideal for leasing while you wait for your new building to be built or for the old one to be renovated. Or, perhaps you’re downsizing due to more work-from-home employees. Our office space is perfect for downsizing or working through a transition.

We offer both short-term and long-term leasing options.

Tape Storage Solution at FIBERTOWN

We love the Cloud like the next person! Heck, we offer Megaport so our colocation clients can access multiple cloud services with a single-entry point.

The Cloud is excellent for storing and accessing data 1-3 years old. But magnetic tapes are great long-term storage options. This is especially true for “cold” data that doesn’t need to be accessed often but, due to industry specific retention rules, is required to be saved. In fact, tapes can store large amounts of data for 30 years or more if cared for properly.

Rest assured, our buildings have security 24x7x365 and are temperature controlled, making our dedicated office space a perfect place for tape storage.

Disaster Recovery

As a data center, our goal is to keep our clients’ servers and hardware up and running 100% of the time. Therefore, we have many systems in place to do this. To name a few – concurrent and redundant power, access to emergency fuel supply, fire monitoring, and backup generators on site.

To speak frankly, ordinary workspaces and office buildings are NOT designed like ours. Our buildings were created to withstand disasters. (Read more here about the specialized engineering required for our buildings.)

Your dedicated office space inside one of our two locations – Bryan, Texas and Houston, Texas – allows your employees to relocate during a disaster and keep business going.

Dedicated Office Space at FIBERTOWN

We offer office space for 2 to 200 people. We’re not just an office building; we’re a data center with offices to rent. That’s a big difference!

That means, we always have…security, personnel on staff, power, and internet connectivity. Normal office buildings cannot boast those things!

In fact, Brazos Valley Community Operations Center (CEOC) calls us its second home. Brazos CEOC is a multi-jurisdictional, emergency management organization that leases dedicated office space at FIBERTOWN. During COVID, Winter Storm Uri, and hurricanes, dozens of personnel relocated to FIBERTOWN and continued the important work of saving lives and sending resources. We’re proud of their work!

And we have room for more great organizations and businesses like yours.

Reach out if you want to talk with us about colocation services. We’d love to speak with you. Use this form to start the conversation.
Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on 3 Reasons Why Colocation Services are a Better Choice than On-Premise Data Centers

3 Reasons Why Colocation Services are a Better Choice than On-Premise Data Centers

Perhaps this is a strange start to a data center article. But consider these questions – If you had an aching foot, would you rather see a podiatrist or a general practitioner?

 If your vintage car no longer ran, would you rather a mechanic well versed in 30-year-old engines or a general mechanic?

 If you were running a marathon, would you rather shoes designed for distance running or just any pair in your closet?

 Most of us would choose the first option in each one. We would want the specialist.

And the “specialist” mentality is how we approach this next question – Should a business invest in colocation services OR build and maintain its own on-premise data center?

At FIBERTOWN, we’re experts at colocation. It’s our business. It’s our focus. We do it every day. All day.

And because of this laser focus, we’re effective. Unlike a company that’s pulled in lots of directions while building, staffing, and maintaining its own data center.

Below are 3 reasons why you should choose FIBERTOWN’s colocation services.

Reason 1 – Infrastructure is Ready to Go

Ease is the first reason you should invest in colocation services. On average, it takes 6 months to build an on-premise, or “on-prem,” data center. To build requires a specialized architect or engineer because of the redundancy needed for power, cooling, and connectivity. Any single point of failure can cause all of the other redundancies to be ineffective.

And of course, the cost of building, in general, has increased. But for materials and systems specific to a data center, these costs have been rising for the last 3-5 years. It is now 10 times the cost per square foot to build a data center compared to a standard office building. So, a low estimate comes to about $1,000 per square foot to build a data center.

We share these numbers to demonstrate the ease – the lack of hassle – you get when choosing colocation services over building an on-premise data center for your company. Even if time (or money) wasn’t an issue, what about the building know-how.

For example, redundant power (or multiple sources of power) requires different substations, plus generators, switchgear, and battery backup. These must be considered in the planning phase as they are very difficult to correct retroactively.

Redundant cooling doesn’t just happen either. Not only do you need enough chillers to cool your gear, but what if one breaks down and needs repair? Will you have an extra one ready to keep your gear cool while the other is being fixed? It gets VERY hot, VERY fast if the cooling fails.

And like power and cooling, redundant connectivity requires specialized engineering from the onset. A few questions to consider: Do you have more than one Internet Service Provider (ISP) coming into your building? Are those ISPs entering your building at different areas? Do they travel diverse paths directly outside of your building?

All of the specifics about power, cooling, and connectivity are already done at FIBERTOWN’s two data centers. The infrastructure is ready to go, and that makes it easy for you.

Reason 2 – Cost Efficiency

Utilizing the ready-to-go, state-of-the-art infrastructures at our colocation centers in Houston, Texas and Bryan, Texas is cost-effective for your company. (With the numbers we shared above – average time to build, cost per square foot, etc. – we’ve already hinted at this second reason.)

Contrary to an on-premise data center, a colocation center houses the servers and computer hardware of multiple businesses. This shared location also leads to shared expenses. Or, as we like to point out, cost efficiency for your company.

Multiple businesses share the cost to maintain redundancies within the facility (i.e., generators, cooling systems, and connectivity providers). THIS SHARING is what makes co-location work. Because without it, your company builds the center and then hires the people needed to maintain it.

For example, you need a team to run the generators every week, plus conduct load tests monthly. Parts will need to be fixed. Someone will need to plan for replacing equipment, as every piece has a shelf life. Within 5-10 years, most equipment will need to be repaired or replaced. The people and the parts cost money.

Oh, we also should mention insurance on the building, fire systems, utilities cost, and much more.

The good news, though – colocation services already factor in all of these costs and provide the needed services. The even better news – the costs are shared across all of the companies housed at a colocation center. And the best news, yet – a team of experts work at each FIBERTOWN facility. So, you’re not hiring your own data center team and determining health benefits, salaries, and vacation plans (so that someone is always working, which is imperative for a data center).

Simply put, building, maintaining, and staffing a data center is costly. Sharing a facility already equipped with experts and equipment is a cost-effective option for your company.

Reason 3 – Disaster WILL Strike, Not If 

Disaster recovery is an important reason for investing in colocation services. At FIBERTOWN’s facilities in Houston and Bryan, Texas, we have backup generators onsite, plus an uninterrupted power supply (UPS). We have N+1 or greater cooling redundancy and house servers in a hot-cold aisle layout. And that’s just for starters!

Our facilities are strategically located away from tornado alley and the Gulf Coast to prevent as much storm damage as possible. BUT, we’re near major highways for easy access and located outside of the flood plain.

Our two buildings were constructed to withstand strong winds, and our equipment is tied to the roof to keep it from lifting off the building in 100+ MPH winds. If antennas, cables, rods, and lights fly off, they can easily penetrate other equipment, leaving a large path of damage.

There’s also temperatures to consider.

We know it’s hot right now (over 100 degrees in Texas in July!). And our chillers are keeping things cool. But, will your on-premise data center run without fail during the cold, like in Winter Storm Uri? Will your generator be ready when the utility power shuts off for extended periods of time? Will your generator fuel line freeze up because you weren’t prepared for temperatures that cold for so long? Will you run out of fuel because you don’t have priority or because roads are iced over? How large is your fuel tank? Will it hold the load for 24 hours or longer?

All of these questions must be considered.

But also note, people often use “major disasters” as a reason for using data centers. BUT, what if a hard drive fails in the middle of the night? That’s a simple fix. Without a designated night team, though, no one notices for some time. That’s where our 24x7x365 on-site staff comes in for the win.

Will you have someone available 24x7x365? Rather than hiring someone to be there when this occurs, use FIBERTOWN’s on-site staff. (And simple hard drive swaps are completely free. Even at 3AM.)

It’s not a question of if a disaster will strike; it’s when. So, be prepared. Our colocation centers are ready for you.

At FIBERTOWN, We Specialize in Data Centers

Data centers are what we do. We don’t buy and sell stocks or fix broken bones. We make sure your computer hardware stays up…so your business continues to run. We’ve been doing this for 25 years, and we’ll keep doing it for another 25 (and hopefully more!).  

At FIBERTOWN, we’re staffed with experts. Our two facilities are fitted with the latest equipment and security to keep your servers and hardware safe and running. This is our specialty.

Reach out if you want to talk with us about colocation services. We’d love to speak with you. Use this form to start the conversation.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on Is Your Data Center Ready this Hurricane Season?

Is Your Data Center Ready this Hurricane Season?

June 1st marks the beginning of hurricane season for regions on the Atlantic Ocean. And not to be an alarmist, but meteorologists are predicting 2022 to be a busier than normal hurricane season.

While human safety is the most important issue, data protection is critical. After all, functioning data systems help keep people safe and assist them in returning to normal life after weather events.

Now is the time to be considering data protection, specifically a data center, in preparation for hurricane season.

Use the questions below to guide your search for a data center or to evaluate the readiness of your current one.

How strong is the data center?  

This is an obvious consideration. More questions are listed below to determine the building’s strength and its likelihood for being affected directly by a hurricane or its aftermath.

-Is the data center located in a flood zone? And the best scenario – It’s located outside of a 500-year floodplain.

-Has the data center always been accessible by vehicles in previous weather events?

-Is it deemed “storm-hardened”?

-Is the roof wind rated? If so, what is the rating?

-Are the windows covered with a blast guard window film?

After all, if the building is no longer standing or not accessible by vehicle after a weather event, it’s failed to serve its purpose – to keep business moving forward, even in tough conditions.

What about continued service for the data center during storms?  

Colocation services allow companies to store their private servers and equipment in an off-site location for a monthly fee. This solution is cost-effective for businesses, as on-premise data centers are expensive to build, staff and maintain, and they provide no distance from a weather event affecting the parent company.

But, clients like you want to know that your colocation services at a data center will continue even with a hurricane bearing down on the Texas coast.

Here are some questions to ask to ensure likely service.

-What is the data center’s uptime service level agreement (SLA)? Word of caution, many centers offer 100% uptime. However, in the fine print, you’ll often find that they’re reliant on insurance policies to offset any failings. You want a data center that provides 100% uptime due to its infrastructure, not its willingness to pay you if something fails.

-Does the data center offer redundancy and concurrency for power, connectivity, and cooling? In layman’s terms, does the data center utilize multiple components and pathways so failures in equipment don’t derail data protection?

-Is blended internet used?

-Are backup generators ready and on-premise?

-Does the data center ensure full power for at least 24 hours for the whole facility?

-Is there access to backup fuel? Is it on standby or on-premise?

-Is the data center’s cooling system dependent on cooling towers linked to public utilities? Best case scenario – Its cooling system is not reliant on public works.

-Does your data center use standby equipment in a lead or lag rotation? This routine ensures backup equipment is operable when needed.

Is a human available onsite to assist my team during a storm?

You’ll want to hear a “Yes” to this question. Below are others to ask to further confirm human assistance during a crisis.

-Does your data center staff employees on-site24/7?

-What is the process for seeking assistance? Is a support ticket required? If so, who addresses the ticket? During a crisis, does this process for assistance look different? If so, how is it different during an emergency? 

-Does the data center personnel routinely check lights and cables, rack equipment delivered to the center, and replace faulty or old hardware?

-Does the data center team prepare the area for my group’s arrival during an emergency event? Set up office space? Provide food and drink?

Is there office space for us at the data center or nearby? 

For business to continue as usual during a horrific weather event, workers must have a viable space to work – a place with power and access to the company’s data.  

The questions below will help ensure a business continuity plan for your team.

-How far is the data center or the affiliated office space from the company’s home base? Ideally, the drive should only be a few hours, and the “office space” should be located on major roads with food and lodging options.

-If the workspace is not adjoining the data center, how resilient is that office building? (Many of the questions in the first two sections of this article are relevant here.)

-Does the contract with the data center include assistance with setting up workspace during a time of crisis?  

What about entrance into the data center during an emergency?

You want to know, in advance of a crisis, how your team can physically access equipment inside the data center. Ask the questions below to learn more about a data center’s security plan.  

-Can the data center grant entrance using biometrics or an access card? Preferably, you want multi-factor authorization as well.

-Does the data center maintain an up-to-date list of approved employees who can access equipment there?

-Are data center personnel trained for how to grant access (or remove it) during a crisis?

-Are security guards employed by the data center 24/7?

Has the data center “withstood the test of time”…and storms?  

Yes, we know new data centers are popping up every day. And many of them are great options. But, you’re not wrong to ask about any storms a data center has already weathered.

-When was this data center built?

-What storms has this data center already weathered? How did it fair during the storm(s)?

-Will you share some references/companies who rode out the storm with your data center?

-Can you quickly boost bandwidth, etc. and then do the paperwork? Basically, you want to know how much red tape is in the way of protecting your data in an emergency situation and for business to continue on.

FIBERTOWN Has Answers to Your Data Center Questions

We wrote this article to help you prepare for hurricane season. Plus, we’re confident in our answers to the questions above. Hurricane season, middle of the winter, or on a sunny Tuesday in the middle of October – we’re ready to answer them.

If you’re looking for a data center or unhappy with your current contract with a data center, we should talk. With hurricane season beginning soon, now is the time.

 

NOTE:

This article is an addition to one we published in July 2020. Read our original article 7 Key Questions to Ensure Your Data Center is Hurricane Resistant for more insight into protecting your data and, ultimately, your business during hurricane season.