SecureData 365 Blog

Please Don’t Make Me Raise Our Prices to Earn Your Business

We Like Our Current Prices … Because “They Are FAIR”  cash

As you may have heard, SecureData 365 is opening a new Cleveland data center in March/April.  Our pending Cleveland data center has opened dialogue with numerous firms looking for an alternative to their current Northeast Ohio data center. Discussions usually lead to a price quote from us which tends to lead to some questions like:

“Are you sure this pricing is right?”

“You must be missing something because I am paying significantly more today?”

“These prices don’t look right, you are significantly lower – what’s the catch?”

More than five years ago we founded SecureData 365 as the kind of data center we wished existed.  It may sound strange – but we wanted to create data centers that were not only reliable and secure, but also FAIR.  

Coming together as former employees and/or clients of other large data center companies – we knew what we wanted SecureData 365 to be; based on both the good and bad practices we had seen and experienced. One of these “bad” practices happens to be marking up power pricing.

And we’re not talking a simple “handling” or “convenience” fee – we are talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars in marked up costs each year.  One company came to us asking for a quote for seven cabinets.  Needless to say they were both thrilled and confused when they saw it would cost approximately $100 thousand dollars less per year in power alone at SecureData 365 compared to their current Northeast Ohio data center provider.

SecureData 365 only charges for the power you use.  Why?  We feel it’s fair to pay only for what you use. This repeatedly puts me in some bizarre situations and conversations with potential new clients. The fact that other data centers in the area are marking up power prices makes SecureData 365’s price quotes look incomplete or make us look like less than the world-class data center we are in Canton and will be in Cleveland.  Which leads me to ask…

Do I have to raise my prices to earn your business or can we just agree that fair is fair?

And unfortunately power is not the only thing businesses in a typical Ohio data center are being overcharged for.  Ever hear of a cross connect?

In layman’s terms it is a $15 copper or $50 fiber cable. In the data center world, a cross connect costs several hundred dollars a month – but not at SecureData 365 where we charge you only once for the $15 to $50 it costs for the cable and the few minutes it takes to plug the cable in.  Again we feel that this is only FAIR!

Another quote revealed that two point-to-point data circuit connections to customer locations and redundant connections between data centers was almost $150 thousand less per year than one of our Northeast Ohio competitors.  Is this because we pay people less?  Do we get some sort of special connectivity rates?  NO and NO.

As you can see, it is easy for a data center to mark up prices – but at SecureData 365 you pay what we pay – period. We’re in the business of providing fairly priced, excellent value data center services… not as a middleman for connectivity or utility charges.

We won’t even charge customers a fee for fiber connections between our Canton and Cleveland centers because we see it as our “cost of doing business” to support disaster recovery and replication.  Allowing you to use assets we have in place is something we see as fair if you choose to utilize both of our world class data centers in Canton and Cleveland. And as long as we are discussing it – you can be assured that you will have your own secure segment on this redundant fiber at the speed requested and be able to monitor your segment of our fiber with our NetScout analytic tools.

We are in the data center business – and we are sure you’ll find that we are the best in the business.  And I am sorry; I am not going to raise my prices to prove it.

Want to learn about our plans for our new Cleveland data center and learn what fair pricing looks like? Give us a call or email at info@securedata365.com!

mcampanelli

Article by:
Michael Campanelli

Preventing Unplanned Data Center Outages

empty batteryWhen batteries go bad, you know it.  It is not rocket science, your device just stops working.  Today’s smart phones warn you as your battery life dwindles throughout the day… going from solid green to half green, red and then dead.   It stinks that the battery doesn’t last longer – but you do have a chance to do something about it.  You have ample warning.

Unfortunately the same cannot be said for your data center batteries that are designed to provide uninterrupted power.  Should the power go out, a data center’s battery system is the bridge from the utility power supply to the generators – critical for companies whose business depends on always-up service.  It does seem absurd, but it’s a fact that most centers in Ohio and across the United States have no way to know that the batteries they and their clients rely on will work when called upon.  According to a Ponemon Institute study in September, 2013, the most frequently cited cause of data center outages – 55 percent – are attributed to UPS battery failure.

Until recently SecureData 365’s center was taking great care to check each and every battery on a quarterly basis.  And occasionally, we did find some that indeed needed to be replaced.  Fortunately because we did this regular checking the batteries were always available when put to that ultimate test.  It’s a dangerous game – but checking batteries regularly is truly considered industry best practices.

SecureData 365 has upgraded our UPS power systems to include the Alber battery monitoring system. In essence, it’s like a smartphone battery indicator for each and every battery in our data center.

More specifically, SecureData 365’s new battery monitoring system monitors all batteries, all cell voltages. It is an “always on” monitoring system to detect developing problems long before the battery goes out.  This continuous monitoring of our batteries is a huge improvement over the standard quarterly testing that is the industry standard.

Our commitment to constantly upgrading our infrastructure and always reaching for better than best has led companies across the Midwest to our Canton data center.  We’d love the chance to show you why… as well as our fancy smartphone battery life indicator.

mcampanelli

Article by:
Michael Campanelli

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.

mcampanelli

Article by:
Michael Campanelli

Outages a Continued Concern Among IT Professionals

outRecently the Ponemon Institute, an independent research organization, conducted a study among IT professionals that revealed significant concern over outages.  Eighty-five percent of the nearly 600 individuals in U.S. organizations responsible for their organization’s data center operations report their organizations experienced a loss of primary utility power in the past 24 months.  From this group, 9 out of 10 (91%) say this utility outage brought with it a network outage.

On average the IT professionals surveyed report that their networks averaged two complete data center shutdowns over the last 24 months.  Unfortunately, these outages are not just blips of a few minutes as outages average an hour and a half.  Why?  Only a third of hands-on IT staff report that there are enough resources to bring their data center back up and running in a timely manner when an unplanned outage occurs.

More from the hands-on staff tasked with keeping their systems up and running as only 2 out of 5 (41%) feel senior management’s support when it comes to preventing outages while a minority (36%) see best practices in data center design and redundancy to being deployed.  Without these, it is no wonder outages are occurring somewhat regularly – as more than 2 out of 5 say outages are occurring more regularly than in 2010.

All this in spite of the fact that businesses increasingly see their doors closing as a direct result of a prolonged outage – it would seem that the industry is getting more lax rather than diligent in protecting themselves from outages.

What about your business?  Are you gambling that the occasional outage won’t have lasting impacts on you?  You may indeed be right, but consider this: Ninety percent of companies unable to resume business operations within 5 days of a disaster are out of business within 1 year.

Now consider the number of outages and unplanned interruption in services SecureData 365’s clients have had since we opened our doors… zero.  We’ve built in redundancies for power and Internet connectivity that help ensure that critical business systems stay up and running, at all times.

The region’s as well as many financial institutions on the East Coast have decided to stop gambling with the future of their business – isn’t it time you did the same?

 

Phil Horabik

Article by:
Phil Horabik

Improving RTO Doesn’t Have to Mean Downtime

Managing to an acceptable Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is a significant concern as recovery and backup is becoming a bigger challenge every day.  Data growth, data center consolidation, and virtualization are changing the game when it comes to backup – and if you’re not careful, you’ll be on the losing end of that game (think Youngstown State playing Ohio State).

A recent InformationWeek revealed that ESG research showed 27% of IT professionals are experiencing an “unacceptable level of downtime/need to improve RTO” while 23% are finding an “unacceptable level of data loss/need to improve RPO” (Recovery Point Objective).

So what do you use for your Cleveland backup solution? No matter how your company in Ohio conducts network and data backup, it is more critical than ever to have a reliable strategy to protect your business and its data. Unfortunately, backup in Ohio is no different than anywhere else – you’re limited by the amount of data that needs backup divided by bandwidth and time. And often backups require more network and processor power available. And so we take shortcuts, we only backup “critical” data or we backup less frequently… or both.

cvThe SecureData 365 team is always on the lookout for great solutions – and CommVault’s backup undoubtedly fits into that category as Gartner’s top-ranked backup and storage solution for three years running. Utilizing CommVault, SecureData is providing unmatched backup solutions for our clients.  In short, by using CommVault, our clients leverage this powerful software solution to increase their effectiveness and frequency of backup and with it, increase the ability to restore from comprehensive backups, quickly.

By taking data snapshots, indexing, deduplication, search and replication of data that needs to be updated (why backup the same 3 year old file over and over again) CommVault efficiently captures your entire network and all of its data, at a frequency you can live with, improving recovery times.

So no matter what media you’re backing up your data to, SecureData 365 and CommVault can help you do it more efficiently.

mcampanelli

Article by:
Michael Campanelli

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.

mcampanelli

Article by:
Michael Campanelli

Why All Clouds Aren’t Created Equal

cloudsThis past week Network World published the Worst Cloud Outages of 2013 (So Far).  It is a stark reminder that just because you’re in the cloud, that doesn’t mean you’re safe, secure, or more efficient.  These “cringe worthy” events remind us as we all clamor to get to the cloud to take great care and get to the right cloud.   Amazon, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are all technology behemoths that have failed to avoid outages – so how can you?

Let’s not lose sight of exactly why everyone is flocking to the cloud and the cost savings, efficiencies, productivity enhancements, etc. that it can offer.   But while the cloud can be great for your business, the wrong cloud at a less than secure data center could have dire consequences for your business. One national magazine (as detailed in Cloud Pro) lost 12 years of their article archive. Without warning, the data center pulled the plug and they lost everything.

So when you’re looking to the cloud for storage or hosting, here’s a checklist of considerations:

Is the cloud being backed up? It is great to be diligent about storing your data in the cloud… but what happens if your cloud storage is lost? Is your provider making a backup – just in case?

What is the historic uptime of the cloud service provider? If your business is relying on applications you are moving to the cloud, make sure that the host is always up – and should there be an outage, they have a contingency for keeping your applications running.

Just how secure is your cloud? Make sure you understand how private your private cloud is – your provider should be able to detail the numerous ways in which your information is secured.

How does SecureData 365 deliver cloud services?
We’re already in a position to say not one of our cloud/virtual computing clients has had an outage on an SD365 hosted server – but we’re not resting on our laurels. In the past few months we’ve made significant investments to increase the redundancies of an already redundant data center. Updates in disk trays, adding SDN switching capabilities, as well as redundancy enhancements have all been made to make sure SecureData 365 is your safest option for your cloud solutions. We’d love to show you firsthand how safe, secure, and rock solid the SD365 cloud solutions are, if you would like a tour, please contact us.

mcampanelli

Article by:
Michael Campanelli

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.

 

 

mcampanelli

Article by:
Michael Campanelli

When Safe Isn’t Secure

When Hurricane Sandy devastated the East Coast it didn’t spare Cleveland. Click the video below right to see how even the building the County relies on was thought to be in dire straits.  Is your business prepared for the next potential disaster?

 

It’s not the end of the world…  But it could be the end of your business.

The world and the crazy climate events can be a pretty scary place. And for businesses and their IT departments, it is even scarier. While these storms of the century are knocking systems out, the fact is that 90% of all companies that are unable to resume business operations within 5 days of a disaster are out of business within 1 year.

And while no one knows for sure the cause – climate change, global warming… the Mayans’ were right?  There is no denying that there’s a trend where increasingly we are seeing events that require your disaster recovery plan is safe… and sound.

So while you buy generators and wait in gas lines to keep the lights on in your home – what can you do to ensure business continuity?  You probably have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place – but what happens when your business contingency runs out of their own contingencies. During the most recent “Frankenstorm” area data centers were unable to stay online due to fuel shortages and sometimes even flooding.

cuomoHow much does your business lose when you are down for an hour, a day, or worse? If you’re like most of your peers – outages themselves can be catastrophic. And some of your peers are taking matters into their own hands and moving to a trusted data center in Canton, Ohio called SecureData 365.

If you would like more information on how SecureData 365 can keep your business going, even in the eye of the storm, contact Michael Campanelli for an assessment on how we can help. You have lots of different kinds of insurance – think of us as business continuity insurance for the next 100 year storm.

doug

Article by:
Doug Adams

PolyOne Stays Secure in Canton

polyone-logoEven before Sandy, we have seen more and more businesses taking a fresh look at their disaster recovery strategies.  What companies here in Ohio and across the nation are finding is that the strategy their organization is relying on for business continuity is falling woefully short.

Whether it’s the result of relying on tape-based backups, data centers that are too close or too far geographically, or some other of the hundred reasons a solid disaster recovery plan is imperative – businesses are finding that in 2013 they need a sound strategy, or they’ll find themselves out of business with the next “100 year storm” or man-made disaster. According to a study by Agility Recovery Solutions:

  • Nearly 4 in 5 (78%) of businesses faced with a catastrophe without a contingency plan are out of business within 2 years, and
  • 9 in 10 (90%) of companies unable to resume business operations within 5 days of a disaster are out of business within 1 year.

Mostly disaster recovery is talked about in terms of bringing systems back up in days rather than hours. Can the most critical operations of your business be offline for days?

By developing redundant network at SecureData 365, PolyOne has affordably driven recovery time and recovery point down to less than an hour. Read how they did it >>

doug

Article by:
Doug Adams

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