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How Colocation Saves Businesses – A Disaster Recovery Tale

Posted by QuoteColo on June 20, 2016 - Updated on November 30, 2017

Picture11Today’s businesses rely on computers for everything from accounting and payroll to marketing, inventory control and a great deal more. In fact, the argument could be made that businesses are really in the data market today, rather than in the footwear segment, the food service industry, or another traditional area. Given the immense importance of data to a company’s daily operations and long-term success, it’s absolutely crucial to ensure that information is protected at all times.

Often, this is accomplished in-house, by using a tape backup, or by storing an image of the drive on a server. However, in-house backups are incredibly risky. Just ask any business owner who’s suffered a catastrophe with the top draas providers how easy it was to restore their lost data. In many instances, those businesses were likely out of luck.

The Danger of Disasters to Businesses

There’s one glaring problem with storing your business’ data within your premises. Any cloud-based disaster that strikes will also affect your equipment. For instance, if a tornado strikes your business, chances are good that the hardware on which your business information is stored will be destroyed. The same thing goes for other natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, hurricane damage and a great deal more. Even something like an extended power outage can cost your company a great deal. That doesn’t touch on other potential threats, such as employee theft or malicious damage.

There’s also the other side of the coin to consider – once your business has been taken out by a disaster, how do you win back the trust of your customers or clients? How do you do that if there was a massive data breach along with the outage? It can be prohibitively expensive to reacquire a preexisting customer once they have lost trust in your company, and many will never return to the fold.

Colocation Is the Answer

Picture12So, how is a business owner supposed to protect his or her data and ensure that the company can grow and flourish, even in the face of disasters? The short answer is colocation, but what is it and why is it the best solution available?

Colocation is often misunderstood. Too many people think of it as being the equivalent of outsourcing their disaster recovery or data storage. That’s not actually the case. While it does allow you to get that oh-so-crucial data outside of your business, there’s no loss of control over your assets the way there is with outsourced DR solutions.

Simply put, colocation is really just relocating your data center to another location. Rather than having an in-house server room, you rent space on another system located somewhere else. All of the systems and components, from the software to the hardware, are under your direct control, and unauthorized personnel cannot access it.

That offers obvious benefits against threats like employee theft, but what about other types of disasters? This is where it pays to ensure that you’re working with a best-of-breed colocation company. The right company can offer a host of solutions to provide peace of mind, including the following:

  • Redundant Power Supplies: The right data center will offer redundant power supplies to ensure that even if the primary or secondary source of power is lost or damaged, the servers stay up and running. This can be done in a number of ways, including the use of solar panels and batteries, traditional generators and more.
  • The Right Location: Colocation centers locate themselves in geographic areas where the threat of natural disasters is far less than in other areas. A great deal of research is conducted to ensure that the area is free of threats like flooding, hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes before the data center is constructed.
  • Redundant Infrastructure: In addition to redundant power supplies, colocation facilities also offer redundant infrastructure, such as N+1 or 2N redundancies. This ensures that even should hardware fail, your data is always safe, secure and available to you.
  • Experts Onsite: When something goes wrong at a colocation facility, there are experts on hand to take care of it immediately. That’s impossible with a conventional, onsite business data center.
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service: While not true for all colocation facilities around the world, many have moved to offering disaster recovery as a service, or DRaaS. In this scenario, the colocation provider ensures that data is always backed up and available for customers.

In fact, colocation stands the conventional disaster recovery process on its ear. With traditional DR solutions, you have delays in recovery caused by failure to get offsite tape backups to the recovery center, and bringing offsite servers up to speed and ensuring the OS is patched with the latest updates. There’s a great deal of debugging possible during the conventional DR process as well, particularly if the records of patch management aren’t accurate. Finally, there’s a significant chance for errors, particularly when using outdated tape drives.

With colocation, the process is dramatically simplified because there is no need to configure physical hardware or fuss with error-prone tapes. Instead, everything is bundled together as a single virtual server.

So, when disaster strikes, colocation services allow you to keep on top of things, even if there’s significant physical damage to your company’s location and hardware, or even if your staff cannot make it in to work because of dangerous conditions. Combined colocation and cloud technology with solutions like VoIP and you have a solution that can keep everyone connected, productive, and serving customers and clients even when the threat of disaster looms large.

Colocation ensures that your business’ information, including crucial customer data, is safe, secure and protected at all times. Of course, you have to do your due diligence when choosing a colocation service provider, as they’re not all created equal. Make sure that the company you choose has a track record of success, a reputation for excellence, and goes to great lengths to safeguard their clients’ data.


Categories: Colocation

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