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The Importance of Data Center Redundancy

Posted by QuoteColo on April 28, 2014 - Updated on April 25, 2014


the importance of data center redundancy


Here at QuoteColo, we spend a lot of time writing about and talking to clients about the right IT solution for their needs. Our readers and clients know we spend a lot of time providing detailed information on Cloud hosting, colocation, data center security, managed hosting services and dedicated servers.


While we love to chat about the various aspects of building your Cloud server and how to select your long term colocation host, today we need to chat about the concept of data center redundancy. More precisely, we need to chat about the concept of data center redundancy to the outside world.


What Data Center Redundancy Means


The idea behind data center redundancy is pretty simple. For all the critical aspects of a web hosting facility – power, cooling, data protection – that web hosting facility and chosen provider should have back up plans if anything should fail. Redundancy is exactly that – the ability to fall back on auxiliary systems when and if the main facility systems fail.


In terms of data center colocation, most clients look for redundant power, cooling and data protection. Power means backup generators and power units click on when the main systems go down. Cooling means back up cooling units kick on to keep web servers cool when the main systems fail. Data protection means data is transferred to a geographically different data center to enable continued uptime of services.


Power, cooling, data protection. When it comes to web hosting facility redundancy, these are the three major pieces. But what if there is another more important element of redundancy that providers and colocation hosting companies never talk about? What if there is an element of redundancy that is so basic and so simple, it flies under the radar because it is an after thought?


The Outside Link


Power, cooling and data protection are the major redundancies of any data center. Yet, when it comes down to it, those properties are wholly dependent on the facilities capacity to stay connected to the outside world. Those data center redundancies, power, cooling and data protection, which the market invests in web hosting facilities for, are wholly dependent on that facilities capability to maintain an outside connection to the world.


Another way of saying this, everything in a data center is dependent on the provider’s ability to maintain an incoming and outgoing link to the Internet. This link is without question, the most important link in a data center. Without it – without an incoming and outgoing link the Internet – all the services on property are rendered mute.


Recently, a major Cloud hosting provider based out of New York City found this out the hard way. Although we won’t mention names, the provider failed to provide a backup link to the Internet causing the company to go into a state of prolonged free fall. Without an established link to the overall Internet, all the other services the company in question provided to clients were rendered obsolete. The company survived yet took a large hit on their reputation and client list.


For this reason, we will state this as simply as possible: when you invest in data center services, the most important redundancy to ask about is the outside link to the Internet. If you find out your provider only maintains a single point of access to the Internet, that Cloud or Colo provider is not to be trusted and should never be utilized.


At the end of the day, web hosting services are wholly dependent on access to the web. Without access, you’re paying for some shiny metal boxes with a ton of power and cooling. The most important data center redundancy is the outside Internet link. Make sure your provider maintains more than one.


Categories: Colocation

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