Data Center   Feature   Latest 0 comments on FIBERTOWN Turns 25!

FIBERTOWN Turns 25!

We are celebrating 25 years in business! What a feat!

FIBERTOWN got its start in 1997. And to put that in perspective, Napster was not invented yet. Worry over Y2K was, well, no worry at all. The Spice Girls ruled the world. Titanic was sinking all of its competition at the box office. And 56K was top speed for dial-up internet. Times were good.

FIBERTOWN’s Beginnings

We like to think, though, that we made the late 90s just a bit better when our management began our first data center. In fact, we’ve been under the same management since the start, and we’re proud of that. It’s allowed for consistency in customer service and maturity in our decision-making as we’ve changed with the needs of our customers.

Remember, 56K internet was rockin’ when we started so we’ve seen some changes over the years! Navigating those technology advancements, from dial-up to now the cloud, has given us insight that, frankly, our younger competitors just don’t have.

FIBERTOWN Grows

In 2007, our management opened FIBERTOWN’s data center in Bryan-College Station, Texas. They had something special and wanted to fully realize its potential – to offer colocation services and disaster recovery capabilities. And, they made that happen! Today this colocation site is equipped with state-of-the-art network connectivity, security, and business continuity amenities.

The Bryan and College Station area was chosen due to its location. It’s a day trip (from 90 to 170 miles) from four big cities in Texas – Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas. It’s 150 miles off the Gulf Coast to prevent direct damage from a hurricane, and it’s located outside of tornado alley. With multiple major highways leading to the area, Bryan-College Station is accessible, which is a vital characteristic of a data center.

Then, in 2011, we opened FIBERTOWN’s Houston data center. This second location in the “big city” means more companies get to experience our “small town” customer service. With the growth of business and people in our state of Texas, we wanted to assist even more organizations because we offer something special. Like our Bryan-College Station site, Houston is a colocation and disaster recovery center.

Its 2N power configuration (concurrently maintainable) and our 100% uptime SLA for power, cooling, and networking keep our customer’s data safe and business running as usual.

FIBERTOWN Has Been Busy

For the past 25 years, we’ve been busy! We’ve worked with companies in the energy, financial, retail, and logistics industries. We’ve also worked with higher education organizations and school districts, plus government entities ranging from local groups to statewide organizations.

One recent example is the Brazos County Emergency Operations Center (CEOC), a multi-jurisdiction organization comprised of the emergency management personnel from Brazos County, City of Bryan, City of College Station, and Texas A&M. Prior to contracting with FIBERTOWN, the center’s employees were monitoring and communicating the community’s weather and public safety from three different locations. This process grew wearisome and worrisome. So, we provided colocation services at our Bryan-College Station Data Center. It is convenient for the center’s staff and offers room for up to 200 people when an emergency occurs. We’re proud to serve our community in this way!

Healthcare providers like Kelsey-Seybold are turning to FIBERTOWN for data center and colocation services as well. With the unending pressure to cut costs while offering high-quality, effective services, healthcare providers are looking more and more to colocation for their IT infrastructure needs. And we’re glad to help! (We can’t treat a sick patient, but we know redundant systems and connectivity!)

What’s Next for FIBERTOWN 

We have big plans. You don’t survive and thrive for 25 years in business, including the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, without some gumption and forward-thinking! In the coming articles, we’ll reveal what we plan to tackle next.

As always, though, our first concern is customer satisfaction. It’s this focus that’s allowed us to make it to this big milestone. We learn a lot by listening to clients and what they want and need from colocation and disaster recovery data centers like ours. With competitive rates and 100% uptime SLA for power, cooling, and networking (all three components – not just one!), we’re listening and providing.

If you have questions about our services, we’d love to talk with you. Fill out this contact form to start the conversation.

We can’t wait to see what the next 25 years hold!

Data Center   Latest 0 comments on Points to Consider for Data Center Migration

Points to Consider for Data Center Migration

As a company grows, the need for data protection grows too. A data center, which is a space, building, or group of buildings designed to hold computer systems and other necessary parts, becomes an important investment for growing organizations. The protection a data center affords to both hardware and, consequently, data is vital and can’t be overlooked.

Companies can choose to construct their own private data centers, often called on-premise or onsite data centers (when built on or near company property). Or, organizations can choose colocation centers where a group of companies share the space and services provided by the data center personnel. A colocation center, like ours in Houston or in Bryan-College Station, Texas, is a great option for most companies because of the cost-effectiveness and a staff solely dedicated to data protection.

Whether your organization is migrating to a data center for the first time or it’s changing from one data center to another, there are points to consider before moving.

Read below for our suggestions. And contact us if you have questions about our Bryan or North Houston colocation centers.

100% Uptime

 Every data center has a service level agreement (SLA). This document defines two important aspects – the types of service provided by the center to your company and the amount of downtime allowed by the data center without penalties.

At FIBERTOWN, we offer 100% uptime SLA for power, cooling, and bandwidth services. Most other data centers are 99.999% or “five-nines” as it’s often called. This means, they allow 5.256 minutes of downtime every year (525,600 minutes X .00001).

Our 100% uptime in our SLA makes us stand out from the competitors. And this leads to another point for consideration.

What Uptime Truly Means in the SLA

For FIBERTOWN, our SLA covers power, cooling, and networking. Just like our 100% uptime, this guarantee of all three critical components gives us an edge on our competitors.

We make sure power and cooling and network are up and going, rather than just one of the three. After all, it doesn’t matter if you have power but no networking. You are still unable to communicate with your equipment, which means business halts. And the same is true for networking but no power.

When shopping for a data center, read the SLA carefully to understand what is considered uptime for that provider. And, what components will be guaranteed to be operational – power, cooling, and networking or only one of the three?

Not Happy with Services at Your Current Data Center

This is a common situation for companies. Your organization grows quickly or, perhaps, you didn’t read the SLA fine print. Either way, you sign a contract with a data center and realize it doesn’t meet all of your needs and expectations. While we won’t encourage you to break a contract with another center, there are steps you and your next data center personnel can take to ramp up protection and services until your contract ends with your previous provider.

For example, at FIBERTOWN, we can ramp up services for 90 days prior to a full contract going into effect. The first advantage, you only pay for what you are using. You schedule your move and only pay for those cabinets you migrate to until you get out of your other provider’s agreement.

This leads to the second advantage of a 90-day ramp-up. You get to move in over time. Not a rushed move. Instead, a calculated, well-planned move.

To summarize, we aim to be flexible. Tell us what you need, and we can help find solutions.

As Joe Langston, our Vice President of Operations, says, “Our goal is to aid in our customer’s success.”

Don’t be unhappy with your current provider, or stay for longer than you need. The security of your company’s data is at stake.

What Questions Do You Have for FIBERTOWN?  

Choosing a data center and moving there are hard. Studying the SLA and having the tough conversations you must have if a data center is not providing quality protection – none of these things are easy.

And while we can’t make the move easy, we at FIBERTOWN believe data center migration can be easier. We work to make your migration to one of our two locations smooth…a walk in the park.

What other questions do you have about our two data centers and services? Contact us to ask.
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.