Data Center Benefits

Don’t Let Your Backup Be The Disaster

Do you have any kind of business continuity/disaster recovery plan?  If you’re like many companies, the answer is no – I’m not going to go into a lecture about how important it is and how you are putting your business at risk – you can read about that here.

For the small business, I’m sure you hear a lot about backup services from Microsoft or Carbonite for a minimal fee – which are great if all you care about is getting your files back, but you are not backing up your system – and recovery from a major event will require days if not weeks, depending on the extent of the outage and how many users you have… with no system backups.

SecureData 365 offers a complete system backup. Our dedicated storage environment can take all of your server and system data. Should the worst happen and you need your backups, you will be back in business quickly.  SecureData’s backup services include a standard retention policy, client-initiated file retrieval, data deduplication, and optional bare metal restoration.

SecureData 365 offers much more than just backup, we can manage and monitor hosted computing systems and applications. While we will provide design services for server and application design, we provide the day-to-day services to support including helpdesk and remote hands support including activities such as: tape swaps, custom network configuration and maintenance, and server rebooting.

SecureData 365 leverages Gartner’s top-ranked backup and storage solution for three years running – CommVault – to provide data backup services. The advantage with using CommVault is it features a relatively small footprint client software that de-duplicates and transmits data to the storage nodes, meaning a more affordable alternative.  Multiple recovery points are saved, allowing retrieval to daily, weekly, or monthly data states. We provide storage, archive, and offsite backups.

No matter what backup system you use, make sure your disaster plan system is not a disaster itself.  SecureData’s experts can design a business continuity plan for any budget, assuring your recovery doesn’t you out of business longer than you can afford.

Power Outages Don’t have to be a Fact of Life

candlesTen years after the blackout of 2003 took out 50 million people’s electricity – from Michigan around the Great Lakes and to the East Coast – and a few weeks after a single data center outage took down one million websites, the question remains… Is there any way to ensure “always on” businesses in 2013?

After all, the power grid is, in essence, one large machine – with moving parts across the country. While monitoring and preventive measures have been put in place to avoid power outages – the fact is, there’s no way to oversee all of the moving parts – and no way to predict when (or if) the next outage will occur.

In fact, there is evidence to show that in spite of the cautionary tale that was a major, crippling outage – power outages have actually INCREASED over the past ten years.

In the five years following the 2003 outage, the U.S. Energy department measured a 69% increase in power outages while the number of U.S. power outages affecting 50,000 or more consumers more than doubled.

The fact remains, while steps are taken to prevent the kind of cascading outages that happened in 2003, aging infrastructure and a lack of investment to keep equipment up-to-date makes outages not only a possibility, but a probability.

There’s no way to make sure the power doesn’t go out – but for your critical business applications there are steps to take to make sure that your business stays up and no matter what mother nature (or the U.S. power grid) throws at you.  SecureData 365’s data center services not only offer redundancies in power and Internet suppliers that ensure you’re always up and available – but should the worst happen, our generators will run for days, weeks, or months if needed.

And in case you were wondering – SecureData 365 rests on the AEP power grid that was NOT impacted by the 2003 outage.  Businesses and organizations from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Kentucky, West Virginia and New York depend on SecureData 365. That includes healthcare institutions where staying up is literally life and death.

So while we may not be able to keep your ice cream cold during the next blackout, your heart can remain warm knowing your business is in safe hands.

For Virtualization in Ohio, It’s About More than Security

Number of IT Professionals who feel constraints on their IT budget.

Number of IT Professionals who feel constraints on their IT budget.

According to a recently published study of IT professionals by SAVVIS, IT purse strings seem to be loosening in 2013 compared to the past two years – especially 2010.

So Cleveland, Akron, Columbus, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and the entire Midwest seem to have a new lease on life (pun intended). That’s because in spite of budget being more available, more and more Midwest businesses are turning towards virtualization in Ohio’s premiere data center, SecureData 365.

More and more companies in IT departments are making the choice to lease their equipment – to turn to a source for a virtualized environment rather than an in-house, expensive, and risky server farm.

One Cleveland firm recently made the decision to switch to a virtualized environment in our Canton facility rather than spend a half million dollars on new servers. This strategy allows them to hold down prices, and avoid being tied down to technology that can quickly become obsolete.

regretsAnother Akron firm sees some of its servers approaching end-of-life while others are relatively new, performing well. So they’ve decided to switch to a hybrid environment at SecureData, with their newer servers being co-located while virtualization fits the bill for both their end-of-like needs as well as their growing capacity requirements.

By turning towards a virtualization strategy, IT professionals will no longer (to quote a SportsCenter anchor…I cannot remember which one), be drooling the drool of regret into the pillow of remorse.

That’s exactly what HALF of IT professionals are doing today. According to the same SAVVIS study, 50% of organizations own IT equipment they regret buying. Today, turning to a data center like SecureData 365 in Canton helps you avoid the costly outlay of capital… and helps you avoid the drool of regret.

Organizations from Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and thanks to Sandy, as far as New York, are turning towards SecureData for virtualization in Ohio – drop me a note and let’s discuss how we can help your organization.



IT Utopia

utopia1Anyone who has taken a business 101 class has heard the expression:

Better, Faster, Cheaper… Pick Two.

The principle is simple, the three cannot exist together – and one has to be sacrificed to achieve the other two.

Well, somehow the people who place demands on IT departments missed this day of school. And part of this is an increasing demand on data centers. In its annual Data Center Survey, InformationWeek captured just how much more is expected from IT in 2012.

More than half of InformationWeek 500 executives surveyed say they expect IT to be asked to make the business more efficient, and 45% plan to introduce new IT-led products and services. Seventy-three percent of data center survey respondents expect calls for data center resources to increase; 15% expect demand to be up more than 25%. All this while IT departments’ budgets are being held steady.

Data Center Demand

So we’re left as IT professionals trying to pull rabbits out of our hats as we adopt new technologies, faze out old, and keep our businesses in business… but look at the bright side, maybe the Mayans will turn out to be right and this will all be over soon :).

OR, instead of waiting for “end of days,” you can take care of your own destiny with a proactive strategy that allows you to, in fact, meet increasing demands and provide business services that are, indeed, better, faster, and cheaper.

Now is the time to take a step back, and look at how you do business in IT… or how you enable business. Hosting your own data center isn’t the answer for “better, faster, cheaper,” unless all you’re being asked to do is keep the lights on. But of course that isn’t the case. You’re being asked to do so much more.

Most likely, by turning to a collocation approach or virtual computing services that a data center like SecureData 365 provides, you can actually save money… and we know you’ll save time.

SecureData 365 can get you out of the data center business so you can get on with what you’re best at… stepping back and getting strategic with how IT meets business needs. We’re here to help you become a hero in your organization. The guy who found IT Utopia… better, faster, and cheaper.

It’s No Line: The Best Cleveland Data Center DR

map lineSo, I was explaining to our marketing guy the other day about the “imaginary line” that has traditionally existed when building networks or implementing a disaster recovery strategy.  That being geographically separate is considered important for business continuity because of natural disasters.

I explained that when it comes to selecting a Cleveland Data Center, old school thinking might say that Cleveland is too close for disaster recovery. So he asks me – in his usual snarky way – are people afraid of a lake Erie Tsunami wiping out all of Northeast Ohio? Tectonic plate activity in the Midwest?And while he was merely trying to be funny – he makes a good point… what is more likely to impact a Cleveland Data Center… something man-made… or a natural disaster.

If your organization selects a data center too far from Cleveland – and, God forbid, another event like 9/11 happens… how will you get to your backup data center. remember, planes were grounded for nearly a week. Can your business be down for a week while you’re unable to reach your gear?

Beyond a terrorist attack, the past decade also brought us a significant power outage that lasted for days, stretching all the way East to New York and North to Canada. You know where it didn’t touch? Canton. It’s because Canton is not only on a separate power grid than Cleveland, but separate fiber carriers, separate access points.

Back to traditional thinking… looking for the magic line, be it the Mason Dixon line or the Mississippi River just doesn’t make sense anymore. Our capacity to create issues, or “disasters” is much more likely to impact your network than a volcano erupting in Akron.

For Northeast Ohio executives looking for DR for a Cleveland data center, look at the delineations and redundancies, not a line on the map.

You Can Do Better than Disaster Recovery

polyone-logoAre you a fire fighter or do you try and prevent them before they happen? Are you proactive or reactive? Business as usual for most when it comes to disaster recovery is to have a solution to bet back up… eventually.

It is a dangerous practice that many companies are still following – relying on tape-based backups as the core of their disaster recovery plan. As most IT professionals know… this strategy will result in being down for at least a few days, possibly more.  And for most businesses, that just isn’t good enough. Research shows that 90% of companies unable to resume business operations within 5 days of a disaster are out of business within 1 year.

That’s why many leading corporations are moving to a business continuity strategy to replace their disaster recovery plan. The latest to do just that with SecureData 365 is PolyOne.

“As an IT department re-evaluating our disaster recovery strategy, it was clear that maintaining the status quo just isn’t good enough.  We have a responsibility to our customers and other stakeholders to always do better.”
-Jim Connolly, PolyOne

Read the PolyOne case study by clicking here.

Data Center Quandary: Build or Buy

Build or BuyYou’ve heard of “rich guy problems?” Here’s a rich company problem… do we build a multi-million dollar facility… or take up space in a data center?

Reality is, though, all organizations face this question on some level. You may not build an entire facility, but you still need a computer room… is it something you invest in onsite… or do you go the co-location route?

Let’s take a look at a few of the considerations – whether to build or buy…

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Seven Reasons to Co-locate

People don’t change just for the sake of change. And companies don’t make changes without having a pretty great reason.

Well, as it just so happens, there are 7 primary reasons to consider moving your data center to an offsite provider like SecureData 365.
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