Data Center   Latest 0 comments on Keys to Collaborating Across Your Organization When Shopping for a Data Center

Keys to Collaborating Across Your Organization When Shopping for a Data Center

From building stats to site visits, researching a new colocation provider can be overwhelming.

There are a lot of moving parts and people from multiple departments who need to be involved in a project of this level.

It’s up to your team to plan it well and give it due diligence.

Here are our top tips to making sure your team keeps everyone informed while evaluating potential data centers.

What are the important factors to consider?

When you’re making big decisions about technology, it’s not something you can decide in a day and make a change.

You must make sure the decision is fully vetted throughout your organization and goes through the proper channels.

Project management. From the very beginning, you should include your company’s project management team. Discovering the scope of the project from the very beginning saves time, money and effort down the line. You don’t want to be three months in and have a change in budget or timeline. Project managers are trained to ensure that everyone up and down the ladder is included at the proper time in the planning.

Planning. When you’re considering a new colocation provider, there are a lot of valuable questions to ask. Make sure you have the subject matter experts (SMEs) included during the planning stages. But be cautious about a huge invite list. Not everyone needs to be included in every planning meeting — don’t waste people’s time by inviting everyone to everything. It can be more helpful to send an after-meeting summary, and direct questions to specific attendees.

Finance team. During the planning stages, make sure the finance team is represented. When you’re just starting information gathering, it’s important that the finance team understands the viability of company options. They should be in the know about what your SMEs are recommending. Is it more cost-effective to use a rented facility, or one that’s owned? It’s also important to fully understand the pros and cons of buying or leasing colocation space.

Network team. The network team can offer specific insight about how colocation and your internet connectivity will intersect. Make sure to include important conversations around what you currently do, and what colocation can offer. How does your company connect its IT structure and people? Where are they going to connect? What are the secondary effects of your decisions?

Working within your timeline

Before contacting a potential vendor, make sure you understand your own timeline to go live. Work backward from your “go live” date.

You’ll need to consider the physical move, carrier circuit moves, the backup/testing period, and vendor installs in order to make your space ready.

Some data centers can quickly accomplish their own tasks and in some instances, may even assist with referrals and leverage relationships they may have with other providers.

Moving your organization’s IT infrastructure can be daunting, but knowing you’ve selected the right provider can bring some peace of mind to the project.

You can learn more by downloading our Top 9 Considerations When Shopping for a Data Center.

Want to see if FIBERTOWN is a good fit for your organization? Contact us today to set up a site visit.

Data Center   Latest 0 comments on These 5 Physical Security Measures Help Keep Your Data Safe

These 5 Physical Security Measures Help Keep Your Data Safe

Security.

In the IT world, you’ll hear that word almost daily.

But it’s more than just firewalls and cybersecurity.

Guarding your physical equipment inside the data center is also vital.

At FIBERTOWN, we take care of your physical security so you can focus on your network and growing your company.

Best in class security measures

While it might seem like the most important part of security is to lock down your digital access, the physical side is just as important.

Is your data center protecting you?

Unauthorized access to your servers or equipment can trigger massive problems for companies.

Make sure that your physical security is just as top-of-the-line as your cybersecurity.

Here’s a list of the top 5 ways we keep our clients’ equipment safe inside our data centers in Houston and Bryan, Texas.

Security guards.

Our facilities start with a guard-controlled entrance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. You can count on our security team to follow scheduled protocols for our buildings. Our 24/7 on-site NOC and security teams perform multiple walkthroughs of the interior and exterior of our properties every single day.

Difficult physical access points.

When we designed the buildings, we took security up a notch. Architectural man traps were designed between the exterior of our buildings and the interior. We also have a single entry/exit with secure alarmed emergency exits.

Badged entry.

Not only do we require badged entry with multi-factor authentication, but it’s required for each access area.

First, to get into the interior of the building, second, to go up the elevator, and third, to get into the data center suite. We do not allow any unauthorized entry.

Locked cabinets and cages.

Our cabinets require locks, and our cages have a keyed entrance; some even require access with a key, badge, and a biometric lock. If you’re interested in the second-tier security access for your gear, ask our team about how to upgrade.

24/7 monitored video surveillance.

We always monitor our facilities with 24/7 video and a digital archive. Access reports are also maintained and can be sent to clients to ensure only authorized members will get in.

While we generally don’t have locked cabinets or cages in our disaster recovery office space, all of the other security measures apply.

Physical security is important at FIBERTOWN.

It’s just another way we offer our customers peace of mind; so you can focus on what you do best — running your company.

For more specifics about how we keep your equipment safe, download our data center information sheet.

Data Center   Latest 0 comments on 5 Key Factors for a Quality Maintenance Program

5 Key Factors for a Quality Maintenance Program

In order to prepare for future events, you must be forward-thinking.

Data centers in particular should be consistently looking for ways to stay ahead of the game.

For example, best practices ensure that teams do not wait for equipment or systems to fail before being replaced.

Proper maintenance is an important factor to prevent failures that will inevitably lead to downtime for customers.

FIBERTOWN is ready for the future.

We follow these 5 maintenance factors in order to keep our equipment and systems in peak operating condition.

#1: A network of qualified OEM certified service providers

Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) are the equipment brands that are highly recognizable.

Most data centers use equipment from several OEMs. Usually, this is a result of cost, an OEM switch or simple staff preference.

At FIBERTOWN, we rely on qualified OEM-certified staff that can respond immediately to our service requests. Whatever OEM team we call, we require the best technicians who can help us keep our high standards.

OEM-certified providers can also ship spare parts from warehouses when equipment needs to be replaced.

Maintaining these relationships within our network of providers is critical to our data centers’ upkeep.

#2: A preventive maintenance schedule that exceeds OEM specs

At FIBERTOWN, we don’t wait for something to fail before we replace it.

Our maintenance schedule exceeds what our OEMs specify, and that’s because we do what keeps our customers happy.

Our 100% uptime service-level agreement is our ultimate promise.

While monitoring current products, we not only check for failures or issues, but for efficiency and ensuring those products still make the best fiscal sense.

#3: An in-house team dedicated to customer success

At FIBERTOWN, each client is like family to us. We don’t scoop up new clients with sweeping promises and then leave them high and dry.

In tandem with our regularly scheduled preventative maintenance, our in-house team seeks out things that are not right or not in their place and take immediate action to fix issues — long before they become a redundancy reducing or impacting event.

“In everything we do, we ask ourselves, ‘Is this best to support the success of our customers?’” confirms Joe Langston, Vice President of Operations.

We have staff on-site 24/7/365 in order to identify and respond to issues immediately.

#4: Redundant monitoring systems

In addition to FIBERTOWN’s on-site staff and escalation teams, we use redundant apparatus to provide continual monitoring of critical equipment and systems.

The reality is, even with dedicated on-site staff, we can’t be everywhere at once.

The solution is to offer redundant monitoring systems for peace of mind.

It’s just another way we ensure our infrastructure is maintained to our high standard.

#5: Excellent record-keeping practices

Not only do we schedule preventative maintenance exceeding OEM specs, but any faults, issues or discoveries are documented to reduce future risks.

We want to make sure we know what equipment is operating at peak performance, what is doing okay and what is phasing to its end of life.

No surprises is the best policy.

Into the future

FIBERTOWN has recently upgraded its wireless access points in both data center sites in order to give faster speeds and better service from all areas.

We’ve also upgraded systems for our blended internet service to help find the best route to your desired site.

If you’re interested in learning more about what our FIBERTOWN service team does for you, contact our industry experts today.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on Business Preparedness for 2022

Business Preparedness for 2022

Now that we’re into October, most businesses are in the middle of strategic planning for 2022.

Evaluating company and employee performance.

Checking the actual numbers versus projections.

Allocating resources.

Prioritizing next year’s objectives.

But as we look ahead to the winter season, make sure that your IT goals and emergency preparedness are both a consideration in your company’s planning.

IT strategy aligning with business goals

While the next year will undoubtedly bring its own set of challenges, one thing that shouldn’t be a surprise is how your IT plans align with business goals.

Where are the areas that your competition is ahead of you?

Can you catch up with help from your IT group? Considerations must be made for IT spend and how its long-term payoffs ultimately marry with business objectives.

Clear direction helps everyone involved to see the big picture. Those small steps toward the end goal seem incremental, but are crucial to success.

Technology plays an important role in being effective and lean within the business.

Every aspect of a proper IT strategy should support the goals of your business.

As you look to next year, FIBERTOWN can help. If you’d like to see how we can help you hit your IT goals with a strategy session, give us a call.

Reflecting back on last winter

If your base of operations is in Texas, you are well aware of Winter Storm Uri from February of 2021.

The storm and resulting freeze and local disasters were devastating. Uri was unique because it blanketed the entire state of Texas for several days.

And as we all know, Texas is not prepared for that level of winter weather.

Some estimates put the damage at up to $200 billion. That includes property damage, disrupted oil and gas production, stopped food processing facilities and manufacturing plants as well as agricultural losses.

During Uri, FIBERTOWN was able to maintain its 100% uptime service-level agreement for all customers. No services were lost or affected. In fact, not only did we keep everyone up and running, we added a new client who couldn’t afford to be down during the freeze.

The supply chain has been so disrupted, we are still feeling the effects even today.

Planning for a business disruption and implementing disaster recovery procedures is critical for any company, especially for organizations along the Gulf Coast.

While Uri power outages were extensive, Texas is normally hit with some severe weather during the winter months that the state is not equipped for (be it 1-2 days or a full week like we had with Uri).

Without any remediation to the power grid, it leaves us just as vulnerable if not more so than we were last winter.

Be prepared for the unexpected

Now we’re looking ahead to 2022, and getting ready for a new year.

As a result of last winter’s storms, has your company changed how you look at emergency plans?

Instead of deciding that Uri was a fluke and that it won’t happen again, responsible businesses will look to learn from the storm.

What action items have you added to your plans for 2022?

Disaster recovery should figure prominently into your list.

At FIBERTOWN, we help companies address two key factors: maintaining the availability of critical technical systems at our colocation facilities, and work area recovery office space.

Our office spaces are adjacent to each data center location with backup power, blended internet solutions and connection to the customer colocation space available to ensure our customers always stay connected.

We always want to help our clients be ahead of any severe weather or natural disaster, no matter what comes our way.

For more information about disaster recovery planning for your business, contact a FIBERTOWN expert today.