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   Latest 0 comments on 100% Uptime SLA at FIBERTOWN

100% Uptime SLA at FIBERTOWN

FIBERTOWN is different from other colocation and data centers. For one, we’ve been under the same management for 25 years, and that is a rarity in our business. But, even bigger than that milestone is our dedication to customer service.

We offer 100% uptime SLA at FIBERTOWN, which makes us a rare bird in our field. Read below to see how this detail sets us apart from most competitors.

FIBERTOWN’s SLA

 A service level agreement (SLA) outlines the types (or levels) of service to be provided by the vendor, which is FIBERTOWN in this case. It also defines the repercussions for failing to provide the agreed upon service to the customer.

For FIBERTOWN, our SLA offers 100% uptime for power, cooling, and connectivity. Notice, we work towards 100% uptime for all three critical components. Without power, your business is not online. And without cooling, hardware overheats, rendering it useless, even with power and connectivity. And promising 100% uptime for connectivity means nothing if there’s no power for your systems.

Hence…our 100% uptime SLA for power and cooling and connectivity.

What’s Common for Data Centers

 For many data centers, you see “five-nines” or 99.999% uptime in their SLAs. That’s about five minutes of unplanned downtime per year. On the surface, five minutes do not sound like a large amount. However, Gartner found in a 2014 study that downtime costs a business, on average, more than $5,500 per minute. (The cost per minute has most likely increased.) And this amount doesn’t account for the headaches and frustrations (i.e., reboots, additional communication, etc.) that accompany unexpected downtime.

Furthermore, unplanned is a keyword in the above paragraph. Utilizing a colocation and data center like ours is specifically for protection and help during emergencies and unplanned events. Why go with someone who expects to have downtime?

Therefore, our goal is always 100% uptime. We believe that’s our purpose.

How FIBERTOWN’s SLA is Different

FIBERTOWN prides itself in having 100% uptime. For power. For cooling. And for connectivity. All three are business-critical. Therefore, we work to provide you all three components 100% of the time!

To offer this high level of service, we also answer customer service requests in 15 minutes. Plus, we help with server reboots for no additional cost so you don’t go down. (We don’t charge for simple tasks that take our staff under 15 minutes to do.)

It’s small details like these that make a big difference when unexpected situations occur in your business. You can read more about our dedicated customer service in this article about our response during Winter Storm Uri.

FIBERTOWN is Here to Help

If you’re looking for a data center, reach out. We’d love to talk more about our data centers in Bryan-College Station, Texas and in Houston, Texas. We’ll explain the ins and outs of our SLA, plus give you a tour.

The conversation starts here. We hope to talk soon!
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.