At one point or another, every organization is faced with aging computer network software and equipment. We often work with businesses to evaluate the current IT infrastructure compared to the current and future needs of the company. We ask questions such as:
- Is cloud technology currently being used for software applications, email, file storage or data backups?
- If not, is it more affordable and/or more secure to migrate to the cloud for any of those IT needs? Does it make workflow easier?
- Is the company ready to move their software applications and file storage to a data center for disaster recovery purposes?
- What are the compliance requirements for the industry and are they currently being met?
Each company has different IT requirements so the answers to those questions will vary. We often find that for many businesses, especially those in the healthcare, manufacturing or financial industries, integrating data center services are very beneficial.
What is a Data Center?
A data center is a secure facility that houses a large group of networked computer servers. Many organizations rent space at these data centers to centralize IT operations and/or server equipment. Think of it as the “IT brain” of a company. Organizations use data centers for file storage, email storage, data virtualization and more.
What is Colocation?
Oftentimes, when looking at data centers, you’ll see the term “colocation” or “colo”. Typically, this means that a business is renting space from the data center but providing their own IT equipment to use (rather than using the Data Center’s equipment). The data center provides the building, cooling, power, bandwidth and physical security while the client provides the equipment.
Benefits of a Datacenter
The primary benefit of a colocation is redundancy. Having a redundant server means that if one fails, you can quickly and easily (sometimes seamlessly) switch from one to the other. This results in very minimal downtime for your business due to a server hard drive failure or other equipment issue.
Disaster recovery is another valuable benefit that data centers can assist with. If your company has mission critical applications housed on systems at the office, using a data center to duplicate your systems can provide an inexpensive way to improve your recovery times. A fire, flood or other disaster can render your systems inoperable. In those cases, a properly prepared disaster recovery configuration can provide a backup system to use, for an extended period of time if needed. If you add all the costs associated with building out a disaster recovery location – including rental of a space, hardware, networking and power – it’s easy to see why a data center offers an economical solution.
Security is also an important aspect; especially if your organization has to comply with industry regulations such as HIPAA Security. Opting to house your IT in a data center reduces the burden of having multifaceted security for your sensitive information in-house. Often, your business will be better protected.
At Burgess Technology Services, we work closely with Maine data centers. We understand what they offer and how their services can integrate with your network. Any third-party managed IT provider should have the same working relationship with data centers in your area.