Thursday, February 07, 2008

Data Center Services For You

Small to medium size businesses eye with envy the data centers owned by major corporations and carriers. But did you know that these same data center services are available to you at an affordable price?

The secret is to own only those assess that are strategic to your business and lease the rest. That includes data center services. You don't need the big secure building, the round-the-clock staff, diesel generators out back, and access to unlimited amounts of bandwidth. You can get all of those on a pay as you go basis.

But who's going to let your company share their data center? There are two types of data centers that will not only let you in, they are actively courting your business. The first is carrier operated colocation facilities. Competitive carriers need major facilities to act as points of presence or POPs in population centers. They need a physical presence to terminate their nationwide fiber optic lines and provide drops for Metro Ethernet and Metro SONET rings. Any city with a big concentration of businesses in a metropolitan area is ripe for a carrier POP.

The second type of business that wants you in their data center is the independent colo or colocation center, also called a carrier hotel. These are service providers who make their money by building a large well-equipped facility and spreading the cost over dozens or hundreds of customers. In any major population center there are many businesses like your own that are ready to move up to major data center services, but can't justify the capital and operating expenses.

What can you expect to find in a colocation center? There are usually a suite of services that scale to accommodate the smallest to the largest customers.

Everyone benefits from the general physical plant. That includes a temperature and humidity controlled environment, main and backup power supplies, fire suppression systems, and physical security to prevent unauthorized access. The plant is staffed 24/7 for technical and security support. Many times you can contract for IT support of equipment so that you don't need to show up in order to reboot a server at 2 AM. Some centers offer colocation hosting using servers that they own and operate. You simply have to install your own application software. They maintain the physical server and the operating system.

The footprint you need depends on how much equipment you plan to install at the colo. You might simply rent one or more servers. Or supply your own servers and rent rack space by the inch. The next step up would be a locking cabinet. The data center provides power, fan and cable drops. You provide the equipment and keep the cabinet key. Customers with larger needs order physical cages with 100 square feet or more of open space. The cage structure has a locking door and ladder racking above. Power and data cables are dropped in as required.

One of the major advantages of moving into a carrier or independent colo facility is access to almost unlimited bandwidth at the best prices available. The carriers are in the same facility and are generally connected to backbones with at least 10 Gbps of WAN bandwidth. They have the routers, switches and protocol converters to supply you with just about any form of voice or data that you need. That includes, T1, ISDN PRI, DS3, Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, OC3, OC12, OC48, OC192 and Gigabit Ethernet. You may also be able to get SIP trunking, MPLS and even Frame Relay network access.

Bandwidth is bargain priced because of your close proximity to the carrier. In a carrier hotel, you might have access to services from several competing carriers. You pick the one that gives you the best deal and they'll drop a line to your cabinet or cage in the same building. Construction costs are free to minimal. That's quite different from being handed a multi-thousand dollar quote to trench fiber to your building on the outskirts of town. You might even be able to negotiate bandwidth on demand so that you can easily upgrade service with as little as a phone call.

Would your business benefit from major class data center services without the huge expense and operating headaches? If so, check out the colocation center services near your business location.

Click to check pricing and features or get support from a Telarus product specialist.

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