Data Center   Healthcare 0 comments on Hurricane Ike Pushes Kelsey-Seybold Clinic to Seek a Safe and Reliable Colocation Data Center Solution

Hurricane Ike Pushes Kelsey-Seybold Clinic to Seek a Safe and Reliable Colocation Data Center Solution

When Hurricane Ike made landfall in the wee hours of September 13, 2008, it left damage and deaths in over 34 Texas counties. Still today, it’s the third costliest hurricane in American history, only behind Katrina (#1) and Andrew (#2).

Long before Hurricane Ike’s landfall, the staff at Kelsey-Seybold dedicated itself to serving patients with a dose of old-fashioned personal attention. (The Kelsey-Seybold Clinic was founded in 1949.) But the staff didn’t stop there. The clinic invested heavily in information technology (IT) to improve the patient experience and to give physicians greater access to medical information.

With Hurricane Ike’s landfall, leaders of Kelsey-Seybold were prompted to find a safe and reliable colocation data center. Patients desperately need them during emergencies, and they always – no matter the weather and its destruction – need access to data to best care for their patients.

Challenges Facing Kelsey-Seybold

After investing significantly in IT in the early 2000s, Kelsey-Seybold experienced explosive data growth and the need for storage. Plus, the clinic had no long-term disaster recovery plan, which was amplified when it experienced several hours of downtime due to Ike’s destruction.

Clinic leaders considered building and managing a new data center. (Kelsey-Seybold already had three onsite data centers.) They soon realized the exorbitant cost of constructing and maintaining a structure equipped with security and backup capabilities, along with having room to grow. 

Why the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic Chose FIBERTOWN

After considering other options, Kelsey-Seybold chose FIBERTOWN for multiple reasons.

  1. 10-Year Growth Plan. FIBERTOWN delivered a plan for storing hardware securely as Kelsey-Seybold continues to grow and to collect more data.
  2. Accessible Business Continuity. With FIBERTOWN within driving distance of the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic in Houston, the clinic leased space in our Business Continuity Center for some of its full-time personnel to monitor and perform maintenance.
  3. Reliable Power, Cooling and Networks. Our Bryan-College Station data center has over a dozen Internet Service Providers connecting you to every major city in Texas. Plus, it’s a carrier-neutral, concurrently maintainable data center, offering high availability N+1 or greater power and cooling in a secure, hardened facility.
  4. Cost Efficiency. By contracting with FIBERTOWN, Kelsey-Seybold was able to consolidate three onsite data centers into one, plus have room to grow. They saved money and time.
  5. Knowledgeable, Round-the-Clock Service. FIBERTOWN’s data centers are staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year with knowledgeable IT professionals to answer your questions and to perform needed maintenance.
  6. Our facilities are built with redundancy for every component and can provide 100% uptime for our customers.

Contact FIBERTOWN to Learn More

Is your organization like the Kelsey-Seybold Clinic? You’re doing great work but know you need secure, reliable storage for your hardware to ensure business continuity. Even during a hurricane, ice storm, rolling blackouts and more.

We’d love to learn about your needs and determine if FIBERTOWN can help you too.

Use our contact form to start the conversation.

 

 

Data Center 0 comments on Top 9 Considerations for Selecting Your Data Center

Top 9 Considerations for Selecting Your Data Center

At FIBERTOWN, we believe extraordinary service should be ordinary. You should seek this same level of client commitment when you select your next data center.

Below we’ve highlighted the most important considerations. To see the full-length document about choosing a data center, use this link.

The Most Common Considerations

Location. Your data center should be away from coastlines to avoid major hurricane damage, out of flood plains, and outside of known tornado alleys. It should also have multiple routes to it and be located within driving distance for many employees.

Connectivity. The access you get to multiple telecommunications carriers is a major advantage of contracting with a data center. Therefore, ask critical questions. Is the facility carrier-neutral with diverse points of entry? If you need a high availability (HA) protocol, ask if that is an option. Is a service like Megaport, a platform that allows for a direct connection to cloud providers, available?

Reliability. Learning about reliability, or uptime, is a must. For a data center to ensure uptime, infrastructure for backup power and cooling should be in place. Inquire what a data center’s uptime is and how they accomplish this. (Hint – It should be at least five 9s or 99.999%. We at FIBERTOWN go a step further to provide 100% uptime.)

Service Level Agreement. Well-written SLAs include an assurance about response time, security protocols, bandwidth availability, and more. The SLA should also include what steps the data center will take if it fails to meet the contractual uptime.

The Most Overlooked Considerations

The remaining five considerations are more nuanced. Technology professionals in your company (or you) will guide your search for a location, connectivity, reliability, and a strong SLA. But, the other five components of a great data center relate to the humans who run it.

We can write article after article about redundant systems, circuits, cloud providers, etc., but it’s humans who are at the heart of a data center.

We discuss in more detail these human factors – reputation, on-site staffing, timeliness, workspace accommodations, and the ease of doing business – in more detail here. We’ve included questions to ask and how to gain insight into a data center’s customer relations.

Have Questions? FIBERTOWN Has Answers.

FIBERTOWN is a data center with two locations (Houston and Bryan-College Station, Texas), and we’re proud of the services we provide. The Top 9 Considerations document is a guide for choosing the best data center for your company.

If you have questions about the guide or about FIBERTOWN, we welcome them.
Data Center   Latest 0 comments on 6 Redundancy Measures to Consider When Searching for a Data Center

6 Redundancy Measures to Consider When Searching for a Data Center

The reason companies consider a data center is for a feeling of security – for an assurance that their hardware will be kept at optimal running conditions, no matter the circumstances. Because if this happens, then business continues as usual.

Yet, not all data centers are created equally, and if you contract with a subpar data center, your hardware and business continuity can’t be guaranteed. Below are six standards to consider when searching for a well-prepared, well-equipped data center, one you can count on during weather events, power outages, and more.

For a detailed look at these six standards, click here.

1. Accessibility via Automobile 

Considering the roadways to and from your data center is critical. Determining if there are alternative routes is just as important since roadways may be blocked with debris during inclement weather.

Look for a data center with diverse roadways – major highways, plus smaller roads – leading to it. Employees can access hardware and continue working during catastrophic weather events.

2. Diverse Connectivity

Contracting with a data center that utilizes a variety of internet providers gives you “layers” of internet. If one provider isn’t available (bad weather, equipment issues, etc.), you still have internet access. Seek a data center with multiple, unique carriers and network providers with diverse paths of entry into the facility.

3. Redundant Power

Redundant power, or a power source in case the first source fails, is critical. Without it, equipment troubles, a backhoe digging in the wrong area, or severe weather shuts down power, possibly damaging your hardware and causing downtime. And downtime is expensive. Hardware is too.

Search for a data center with the infrastructure for redundant power. And ask, is the redundant power fully operational, partial, or distributed.

4. Redundant Cooling

Much like connectivity and power, a data center must have multiple ways to ensure cooling. Since the environment inside can never change, a data center’s infrastructure must be designed so a malfunction does not cause fluctuation in humidity or temperature.

Ask about the specifications for the data center’s HVAC system and what processes (for people and equipment) are in place to ensure a steady environment.

5. On-Site Staff Availability

This standard is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be. With technology taking center stage in a data center, the human beings who staff it are the real superstars. Look for a data center that guarantees a trained on-site staff, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

6. Service Level Agreement (SLA) 

Yes, the infrastructure for redundant power, cooling, and connectivity is vital. But, it’s the 100% uptime SLA that makes these measures the expectation…the norm…the standard for a data center.

Read carefully SLAs. Some data centers rely on insurance policies to provide 100% compensation if downtime occurs. Seek a data center with 100% uptime, even in the fine print.

About FIBERTOWN

We examine each of these six measures in more detail in this PDF. Download it and consider them as you search for a data center.

But know…at FIBERTOWN, we confidently meet – and exceed – these measures at both of our locations (Bryan-College Station and Houston).

We’d love to serve you and your company too.

Data Center   New Construction 0 comments on Time and Power Availability – 2 Reasons Why Co-Locating in Bryan-College Station Makes Sense

Time and Power Availability – 2 Reasons Why Co-Locating in Bryan-College Station Makes Sense

FIBERTOWN’s Bryan-College Station data center is within driving distance of Texas’s four largest cities. The location of our data center is already an advantage for several reasons. Yet, if you’re considering building an on-premise data center in the Austin area, our Bryan-College Station site may be a better alternative than construction.

Building is Time Consuming AND Expensive

Convenience is one the strongest arguments in a sales pitch for any product, and the same is true when the product is colocation services. Our Bryan-College Station data center has been in operation for 25 years. It’s already built. It’s ready. It’s convenient.

The site is constructed with redundant power and connectivity, and both are concurrently maintainable. In fact, our data center has N+1 redundancy or greater. We’ll always have power due to this infrastructure.

We have generators on site, and they are tested on a schedule to ensure reliability. As for networking, our data center is located on a major fiber interexchange and is carrier neutral.

On-Premise Data Centers…

On-premise data centers need the same infrastructure as in our Bryan-College Station center, otherwise, you’re susceptible to downtimes and system failures. Finding an experienced architect or engineer to draw plans for your structure may take months, plus the time to construct the building. (Our latest research suggests a year or longer to build a data center.)

Furthermore, you must staff your on-premise center. You need knowledgeable people to maintain the day-to-day operations, plus clean and store fuel, perform preventative maintenance on generators and chillers, and provide security to the building 24x7x365.

While time to build and hire is an issue, money is a factor too. You have salaries, retirement packages, and taxes to consider for data center personnel. And currently, it’s about $1,000 more a square foot to build a data center compared to a typical office building. If you factor in the supply chain troubles of late, we’re back to where we started; it’s very time-consuming to build a data center.

Power Grid Limitations in Austin, Texas

With a population influx in Texas over the last two years, power grids have been strained. There’s a continual threat of rolling blackouts in the metropolitan areas. In fact, Austin city officials are not allowing any more data centers to be built on the Austin Energy Grid. This is forcing companies to look for sites outside of Austin, usually east of city.

With Bryan-College Station just 90 miles east of Austin, we’re situated perfectly to be your colocation site. We have power readily available. We have priority fuel too. (Do you? We’re guessing not.) There’s no wait time, and no building permits needed!

(You can get started with our services with a phone call. It’s that easy.)

Bryan-College Station Data Center is Ready for You

The bottom line – FIBERTOWN’s data center in Bryan-College Station is a state-of-the-art colocation site ready to serve you. There’s no wait time to get started with us, unlike the lengthy process of building your own data center and then finding and hiring qualified personnel to maintain it.

Also, building a data center without considering the maintenance is like purchasing an apartment building without considering the upkeep. Colocation services like ours save companies money and stress over the long haul. Every FIBERTOWN customer shares the expenses of maintenance, security, and personnel with the other companies using our data center. You don’t have to go it alone.

And remember, because we’re an established site, we’re not facing the permit issues for power that others are facing in the Austin area. We already have power and multiple sources in fact!

We’d love a chance to tell you more about FIBERTOWN’s colocation services. Start the conversation here.