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.

Data Center 0 comments on Small Town Data Center Means Big Support for Customers

Small Town Data Center Means Big Support for Customers

Small business, small towns, small groups – the relationships built in the “small” are the most powerful because they’re the most intimate. In “small” settings, you get seen. You stand out.

One of FIBERTOWN’s data centers is located in Bryan, Texas, a small city with about 90, 000 people. Bryan is about 100-170 miles from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, and Austin. It’s also located very close to College Station, a slightly larger city, giving the Bryan-College Station area a population around 250,000.

FIBERTOWN deliberately chose the small city of Bryan, Texas as a site for one of its colocation centers. Our team knows to not count out small-town data centers. Here’s why.

Benefits of Colocation Centers

Before we delve deeper into why “small” is a “big” reason to choose FIBERTOWN for data protection, we’re reminding you of the benefits of colocation centers. The prefix “co” means together, jointly, and sharing.

So, a colocation center is a shared location. It houses servers being used by many other businesses. These companies share the space and services provided by the colocation center. In doing this, companies reduce their costs.

Without a colocation site, businesses need to build and maintain their own data centers, as well as staff them. As you can imagine, that’s an expensive prospect and, frankly, not one many companies can afford.

Besides cost, the level of protection provided by a colocation center is another benefit. At FIBERTOWN, our data centers have N + 1 power supply, onsite generators, a backup fuel supply, priority access to emergency fuel, UPS capacity available, smoke monitoring systems, hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) 125 fire-suppression gas, and much more.

The best part of all of these features…our FIBERTOWN team manages them. As our customer, you focus on your business, and we focus on keeping your business’s IT running..

A final, very important note about colocation centers – they allow your data to exist offsite of your business. This is critical. If your building and hardware are destroyed due to fire or a weather event, your business can move forward because your data is stored securely at our colocation center. It’s risk management at its finest.

(You also may want to read about how we protect our clients’ data during tornadoes and hurricanes.)

Bryan, Texas Data Center is Situated Perfectly

Bryan, Texas is the ideal distance from four big cities. Bryan is about 90 miles northwest of Houston, 170 miles northeast of San Antonio, 100 miles east of Austin, and 170 miles south of Dallas. One these metro areas is probably home to your business.

Bryan’s distance from these booming areas is advantageous for a few reasons. One, as we discussed in the previous section, storing your data in an alternative location, away from your physical building(s), is a great idea. It puts literal space between your data and any disasters affecting your business at home.

But, not too much distance. Bryan, Texas is relatively close to these four metro areas. If employees from your company need to visit our Bryan-College Station Data Center, it’s a doable drive.

At FIBERTOWN, we offer disaster recovery services AND business continuity office space. Bryan’s distance from San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas make these offerings viable for many companies based in these metro areas. Don’t let a disruption stop your employees from having a safe place to work.

Also note, our FIBERTOWN Bryan, Texas Data Center has access to two separate, geographically diverse, frequently tested utility substations. Its primary substation also feeds the utility
company headquarters.

Our colocation center is strategically located to provide customers an offsite location for their IT infrastructure, but close enough to make a day trip.

 Nimbleness  

In the opening paragraphs, we addressed the “bigness” of being small. When you choose data centers in smaller cities like Bryan, Texas, you get the benefits of small town life. Our FIBERTOWN team knows YOU. We learn about your business and your team. Because of this, we serve you better.

Our team is able to be nimble, adapting to your needs quickly. If you want to know a great example, check out this article about how we helped Centennial Arts, a website and development firm, move quickly to our colocation site during Winter Storm Uri in 2021. A small, expert team like ours can adjust fast, and that nimbleness is required in businesses and events that move at the speed of light.

Furthermore, we allow for custom contracts. It’s one more example of being nimble. At FIBERTOWN, we don’t make you fit in a box or “do it how it’s always been done.” 

Why FIBERTOWN’s Bryan, Texas Data Center 

We at FIBERTOWN recognize the power in small-town business. Big businesses, perhaps like yours, enjoy benefits because our Bryan, Texas Data Center is located in a small city.

You get to situate your companies in the metro areas where the workers and supply chains are. All the while, your data is stored securely offsite by a team of experts and in facilities designed for this purpose. FIBERTOWN’s colocation center in Bryan, Texas is away from the coast, protecting it (and your data) from the brunt of hurricanes. But, we’re in driving distance.

Plus, we relish in “small.” It allows us to be nimble – move fast, provide custom offers – and that’s a benefit to our customers.

 

If you want to know more about our Bryan, Texas colocation center (or the one in Houston, Texas), contact us.
Data Center   Megaport 0 comments on FIBERTOWN Keeps You Connected with Blended Internet, Cross Connects and Megaport

FIBERTOWN Keeps You Connected with Blended Internet, Cross Connects and Megaport

Do you remember the cell phone commercials from the early 2000s, “Can you hear me now?” The actor traversed insane environments (high snowdrifts, torrential rain, skyscrapers, etc.) while talking on the phone, and every time, he stayed connected. He never lost phone signal.

The premise of the commercials was simple – If you’re our customer, your calls won’t drop. We keep you connected.

At FIBERTOWN data centers, we keep you connected too. And similar to those old commercials, we do so during insane events – hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, and more.

In this article, we’re sharing three ways we make sure you never lose network connection and always have access to your data…fast.

Blended Internet – What is it? Why is it important?

Blended internet is like the phrase suggests. It blends, combines, and brings together multiple internet providers into a single service for the data center customer. As a FIBERTOWN client, you don’t have access only to AT&T, for example, but to AT&T, Cogent, Comcast, Lumen, and more. See here for a list of our internet providers.

Blended internet is an important option for several reasons. First, it’s more time effective and easier for the data center customer. We at FIBERTOWN manage the connectivity for you and provide one invoice for the billing cycle (i.e., you don’t receive bills from multiple providers). You have a single point of contact when you need help, saving you time and frustration.

Second, FIBERTOWN’s blended internet offers Smart Routing. FIBERTOWN’s Smart Routing factors, in real-time, latency, transit costs, jitter, and more to send your data the smartest (i.e., the most efficient) route. Blended internet typically moves traffic the shortest path so your data gets to its destination the fastest.

Third, blended internet offers you more reliability. Our data center already provides you with redundant power and cooling. But why stop there? Blended internet completes the redundancy trifecta, so you stay up while others are down. With multiple network providers at your service, failover is already configured. This also means you no longer need to buy a backup internet circuit.

In summary, due to our strong partnerships with internet service providers (ISPs), FIBERTOWN offers blended internet that gives you peace of mind. Failover configurations, redundancy, and faster routing are just some of the advantages.

Cross Connects – What are they? How are they useful?

Do you remember in the early days when we actually plugged into the internet? We used an Ethernet cord to attach our device to the phone line in the wall where the internet lived. For the time we were plugged in, we had internet, 56Kbps internet, and it was glorious.

Cross connects in a data center are like the early days of the internet (but more sophisticated, obviously). Cross connects use cables like Ethernet or Fiber Optic to connect one unit to another unit in a data center. You may see it described as a “point to point connection.” A common example is when trading companies utilize cross-connects between servers in a data center to ensure trades are made quickly.

Cross connects are beneficial for a variety of reasons. Two of the most apparent are reliability and fast traffic. With a hardwired connection, the only variables are the connection points. Cross connects are not subject to wireless traffic congestion, which reduces latency and improves data security.

Megaport – What is it? Why is it important?

Megaport is similar to what the word implies – a port that offers big capabilities. Megaport, through a single gateway, gives customers access to cloud services like AWS, Office 365, Oracle, Google, and many more. Essentially, Megaport does the complex tasks like housing ports worldwide and performing maintenance, while you enter the global cloud simply through a single port.

At FIBERTOWN, we’re proud Megaport providers. Through our partnership, we offer your business cloud connectivity that is fast, agile, and scalable. You are able to contract it through us to avoid more contracts and invoices. Let Fibertown be your pass-through and enjoy the same service for the same price without having to read and sign more legal documents!

Advantages to Megaport include a fast spin up, reduced latency, more secure data, and cost-effectiveness. (You pay for your port on your FIBERTOWN billing cycle, meaning you do not sign a contract with Megaport.)

FIBERTOWN customers enjoy redundancy and reliability for cloud services without the hassle of cloud maintenance and complicated billing. Megaport makes cloud connectivity easy. We and our customers like that.

Why Choose FIBERTOWN

“Can you hear me now?” was a popular phrase in the early 2000s because of the phone commercial. And the premise is still an important one for businesses. Without connectivity, customers are not served because data is compromised or is moving so slowly that it’s not useful.

FIBERTOWN data centers in Houston, Texas, and Bryan/College Station, Texas provide customers with reliable connections. Through blended internet, cross-connects, and Megaport, we keep you connected and business moving forward.

To learn more information about these offerings and how they’re beneficial for your business, contact us.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on Do you have dedicated disaster recovery office space?

Do you have dedicated disaster recovery office space?

A critical component of any business continuity plan is a convenient, reliable and secure contingency work site.

In the event of a disaster, relocating people and operations is crucial to getting a business back up and running as soon as possible.

Does that sound like you?

The last thing you want is to be caught in a bad weather disaster and not have a plan in place.

Here are a few top benefits to look for when searching for disaster recovery office space.

A secure site

Are you located in an area prone to hurricanes, tornados or other severe weather?

Look for a hurricane- and tornado-proof facility that is secure and reliable.

How many generators provide emergency power?

Are there strong data connections — which are needed in an emergency situation?

Disaster recovery office space must take into account what their surrounding area will look like when severe weather hits. Will you be able to access the facility if there’s heavy debris, ice, or snowstorms?

Room to grow

How many square feet of space is available to you?

Can you scale the space as your business grows?

Looking to the future is important for physical space. It’s not just about what you need now, but what your growth projections are for the next 5-10 years.

Reliable partner

Can you buy space that is dedicated to you and use it when it’s needed?

Does the partner offer blended internet options for your team?

What does the redundant power and generator maintenance schedule look like?

Can the space support your backup needs and remote workers?

A reliable partner looks out for your best interests. They should be offering you ideas and making the space fit you, not the other way around.

Options for work-from-home or remote workers

Disaster recovery office space isn’t just for corporate offices.

When working from home, if your power or internet goes out, you can’t do any work at all.

A disaster recovery office space allows those who work from home a backup in case they lose services.

This can be used not just for emergencies, but for power failures, construction that knocks out internet lines in the area, or any other event.

FIBERTOWN work area recovery offerings

Different businesses have different Work Area Recovery (WAR) needs.

FIBERTOWN disaster recovery customers have access to comfortable workspaces including desks and tables with voice and data capabilities, conference and meeting rooms, 24×7 security and secure access via card readers or biometrics.

100% up-time for business-critical systems

FIBERTOWN offers fully redundant, secure and reliable data centers to keep your business-critical systems available 100% of the time. As a colocation provider, the range of disaster recovery solutions is nearly unlimited.

You can use FIBERTOWN as your primary & secondary sites, only secondary sites, hot or tape back-up, and for Highly Available (HA) fail-over.

We can help you configure your systems in the way that is most efficient and appropriate for your disaster recovery needs.