Smart city wireless communication network with graphic showing concept of internet of things ( IOT ) and information communication technology ( ICT ) against modern city buildings in the background

“The Edge” is a buzzword that’s stirring up excitement about what the future holds for improved cloud computing. Many have jumped to the conclusion that The Edge is poised for a huge takeover, leaving traditional data center configurations in the dust. But has the hype gotten ahead of itself?

DataBank’s CEO, Raul K. Martynek, challenges these assumptions, sharing the reality of why this isn’t actually the case in a guest post for Data Economy. In this blog, we explain what The Edge is and Martynek’s breakdown on why The Edge we should prioritize is already here, found inside overlooked “traditional” data centers.

Edge computing infographic showing modern offline data transfer technology concept located close to user or internet of things

What is Edge Computing?

In contrast to traditional cloud computing, where data is processed at a centrally located data center, edge computing processes data at “the edge,” which is the place closest to where the data is needed.

The excitement behind edge computing lies in its promise of reduced latency, which would be achieved by this reduction in the distance data must travel to be processed. Rather than having to travel to a centralized data center, data is processed locally.

Traditional cloud computing takes place at data centers in an East, Central, and West configuration. Edge computing distributes processing across thousands, or even tens of thousands, of micro edge data centers, each located closest to where data is received.

Red and white cell phone  telecommunications tower against blue sky

The Big Assumption About Edge and Why It’s Flawed

In his Data Economy post, Martynek examines a major argument for edge computing and why it’s an assumption that doesn’t hold up when you study the facts. The argument is this: new applications will require near real-time latency, necessitating the deployment of micro edge data centers at thousands of locations.

But is it true? Are we soon going to need micro edge data centers deployed in the thousands to keep up with the demand for near real-time latency? Will the traditional East, Central, West configuration no longer offer the real-time latency necessary for applications?

To answer these questions, Martynek compares the latency offered by deploying infrastructure locally with a solely East/Central/West configuration. What he demonstrates is that, even when you take into account the impact of 5G, “deploying in tens-hundreds-thousands of micro-data centers would only improve latency by 1ms or less, and in some cases introduce latency depending on where the peering occurs.”

Martynek reveals that the incremental benefits of micro edge data centers to latency would be negligible. Not to mention that they would introduce “significant operational and technical hurdles to deploying infrastructure over large geographies.”

“When you consider the complexity, cost and operational support needs of deploying infrastructure in the field coupled with the benefits of scale that comes with aggregating infrastructure in a single location,” Martynek concludes that “the single data center deployment to serve a metropolitan market is superior.”

“Spend enough time in the telecom and technology industries and it becomes clear that the hype of many new technologies usually precedes the reality by 5-10 years.” – Raul K. Martynek, CEO, DataBank

Internet data center room with server and networking device on rack cabinet as cloud computing concept

The Overlooked Edge You Can Harness Now

The excitement surrounding The Edge has led many to overlook a space where a type of “medium edge” is already happening today: inside data centers in secondary markets. These traditional data centers, as Martynek demonstrated, offer superior latency in the here and now and are far from being surpassed by micro edge data center deployment anytime soon.

In fact, as Martynek explains, “before the large cloud and content players deploy at 10,000 cell tower locations, “they will first deploy a single cluster in a traditional data center in the top metro markets that they are looking to service and be able to reach any eyeball in those geographies with very low latency.”

Martynek acknowledges that new applications may arrive in the future that make a distributed data center geography worthwhile, but it’s wise to focus on the reality of what edge computing offers now—not the ethereal dream of where it might be ten years down the line. Rather than being whisked away to Neverland on The Edge bandwagon, the smartest move to make right now is prioritizing the use of second-tier markets.

Want to harness the power of the medium edge? LightBound serves both global and national organizations, and we’re fortunate to have some of the world’s best and most successful companies as clients. Contact us today to learn more about our Internet, voice, co-location, network, and cloud services.

CONTACT US



Data center colocation services vector illustration of server rack equipment

Choosing colocation services for your business means that you’re leasing data center space, power, and cooling from a provider that owns and manages a data center facility for you. The popularity of colocation has grown alongside Cloud services, offering major benefits when compared with on-premises solutions.

In this blog, we focus on colocation’s financial benefits, covering five key ways it boosts your bottom line.

5 Financial Benefits of Colocation Services

1. Cut High Capital Expenditure

Building and implementing your own data center facility comes with a massive price tag up front, including having to create the proper environment and redundancies to store your servers. Colocation allows you to reduce capital expenditure because you only have to invest in hardware and software, not the storage environment itself.

This means you can enjoy a spacious, high-quality colocation data center at a price you can afford not only now, but also as your business grows and changes in the future. Colocation’s capital expenditure savings are ideal for businesses that don’t want the permanent investment of an on-site data center or can’t currently afford to build one that will meet their needs well.

2. Lower Operating Costs

On top of an already costly initial investment in having your own data center on-premises, you’ll also pay enormous amounts to keep your data center environment running smoothly and up-to-date. No matter how much space and energy you actually need at a given time, you may often find yourself paying more than necessary to cover management and maintenance.

With colocation services, you can reduce unnecessary operating costs because you only pay for what you need when you need it. This efficiency means you can expect a consistent, predictable cost without significant miscellaneous expenses.

Additionally, your provider’s team of experts are handling the huge colocation data center environment for you, meaning you don’t need to invest as much in personnel as you would if you owned the data center. This includes maintaining the space, power, bandwidth, IP address, and cooling systems necessary. Colocation hosting gives you greater bandwidth with a lower cost so you can enjoy the features of a large IT shop without the massive price tag.

Businessmen on tablet touch screen reviewing a diagram or chart of financial reports

3. Reduce Risk

Did you know that colocation is more secure than hosting your own server? Colocation offers a higher level of security and maximizes your uptime thanks to the following features when you choose a provider like LightBound:

  • Powerful generators and backup power to keep your servers safe during an outage
  • Servers stored in ideal temperatures with redundant power, cooling, and fire suppression
  • 24/7/365 monitoring and assistance
  • Advanced physical security including biometric access, cameras, individual cage locks, and substantial access logs
  • Compliance with ever-evolving industry regulations

When your infrastructure is protected and monitored by a trusted data center services provider’s environment, you can rest easy knowing your business operations will run smoothly and get quickly back on track when something goes wrong.  

By avoiding the costs of downtime and remediation, your bottom line will thank you. Plus, you don’t have to pay to keep up with expensive security technology, monitoring, and certifications.

4. Improve Customer Loyalty

Housing your infrastructure with the right colocation provider means your customers can trust that you are keeping their data safe. Reduced downtime and smoother business operations will mean less frustration for your customers and increased brand loyalty. When your business runs well, it fosters happy customers that have faith in your business.

5. Scale Easily

When you store your server equipment in your own server racks, there’s no easy or cost-effective way to move, grow, or shrink the space you store your infrastructure. With colocation services, you own your server hardware and can upgrade anytime rather than being stuck with the initial facility plan in your own data center. Rather than having to completely rebuild your own data center, your provider will provide you space to easily scale your infrastructure up or down on-demand.

Plus, if your office building moves locations, you won’t have to worry about transporting your infrastructure with it—it can stay put at your colocation site. This flexibility and scalability can be a wise investment in your bottom line, especially if your company is fast-changing, a startup, or requires a fast time to market.

Landscape view of very large data center data storage array for colocation services

Choosing the Right Colocation Provider

As much as 4-5 times less expensive than insourcing, colocation offers many benefits to your bottom line. If you think colocation is right for your business, then it’s time to get serious about choosing the right colocation provider.

This is a crucial step to ensure colocation success because no two providers are the same when it comes to the value of their offerings and service delivery. Look for a provider like LightBound who will be a partner to your business, providing continued personal attention,  24/7/365 support, top-notch security, and custom solutions.

Want to learn more about colocation services? We’d love to hear from you! Contact LightBound today and our experts will help answer all your questions and share how colocation hosting can benefit your business.

CONTACT US


Design of a cloud with digital features to illustrate cloud computing technology, data storage, or data transfer to the cloud

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a champion among disaster recovery solutions for protecting your business’s data and applications. But how exactly does this service work? With terms like RPO, hypervisor, and more, it’s easy to get lost in the technical details or even sidetracked by myths about DRaaS.

In this blog, we share what LightBound’s DRaaS is, the technology behind it, and a basic breakdown of what DRaaS looks like in action. This will help you gain a clear understanding of how this business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) service keeps your data safe.

What is DRaaS?

Every second it takes for your business to recover from data loss or downtime matters to your bottom line. That’s why it’s key to be able to achieve a quick and easy recovery from a crisis, which is exactly what Disaster Recovery as a Service is designed to do.

With DRaaS, a third-party provider like LightBound hosts and continually replicates your servers. This allows your business to failover in a disaster scenario so you can continue normal business operations until your on-premises environment is restored to normal.

DRaaS protects both your data and infrastructure. Any time there are file changes, DRaaS automatically replicates those changes to a different location geographically—that of your provider.

All in all, DRaaS means that any time you experience downtime, it won’t be for long. With basic backup procedures, downtime can last hours or even days, but DRaaS reduces downtime to mere minutes:

  • RTO (Recovery Time Objective) is the time in the future your business will be up again, which is measured in only minutes with DRaaS
  • RPO (Recovery Point Objective) is the point in time you recover to in the past, which is measured in only seconds with DRaaS
Orange and blue document icon symbolizing a Copy, Duplicate, or Replication

How Does the Replication Technology Behind DRaaS Work?

From a more technical standpoint, LightBound’s Disaster Recovery as a Service is what’s known as a hypervisor-based replication solution. With hypervisor-based replication, each time a virtual machine (VM) writes to its virtual disk, the written command is automatically and continuously captured, cloned, and sent to the recovery site with no impact on application performance.

Regardless of underlying infrastructure at a virtual level for both storage and server locations, enterprise applications are recovered with consistency through hypervisor-based replication. The replication technology consists of:

  • A virtual manager that manages disaster recovery, business continuity, and offsite backup functionality at the site level
  • A virtual replication appliance that replicates the VMs and associated virtual disks and copies I/O (input/output) as it is created before it leaves the hypervisor

Other physically-bound disaster recovery solutions, including array-based replication and appliance-based replication, work in the virtual environment, but they aren’t optimized for it. This prevents the full benefits and capabilities of virtualization from being received.

Hypervisor-based replication bridges this gap in the data protection strategy because it is perfectly optimized for virtual environments, offering major benefits without the drawbacks of other solutions.

Benefits of hypervisor-based replication include:

  • The virtual manager, installed directly inside the virtual infrastructure, is able to tap into a virtual machine’s IO stream, making it more efficient, accurate, and responsive than prior methods
  • Continuous replication with zero impact on application performance
  • There are no guest-host requirements or additional hardware footprint
  • You can quickly move virtual machines around from one physical server or array logical unit (data store) to another
  • It’s fully hardware-agnostic to storage source and destination, able to replicate to anything from anything
  • Achieves RPO in seconds and RTO in minutes
The word "recovery" written on a notepad for disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

How Does Disaster Recovery as a Service Work?

1. Getting started with LightBound’s DRaaS.

Choosing your provider is a crucial first step and can make or break your DRaaS experience. Once you’ve found the right provider, it’s time to get set up.

With LightBound as your provider, we will work personally with you to create a custom plan for your company. Deployment is extremely fast, only taking a fraction of the time needed for traditional disaster recovery setups. The failover is fully configured to simplify your recovery process to only a few clicks.

Once deployed, your servers will be continuously replicated over LightBound’s private fiber optics. With LightBound you can expect:

  • Testing 2x annually to ensure a fast and efficient recovery
  • Your data is stored in an SSAE 16 SOC 2 Certified data center
  • 24/7/365  monitoring by skilled support staff
  • Guaranteed resource pool reservation

2. Disaster strikes your business.

You never know when disaster will strike your business, but when it does, you’ll want to be ready. Whether an employee accidentally formats a company hard drive or a major hurricane strikes your office building, disaster can take on many forms, big and small. Thankfully, choosing DRaaS means that no matter the cause of the disaster, you are ready.

3. Automated switch to failover operations.

Even after a disaster has struck your business, your applications are still being served through the cloud with minimal or no data loss thanks to the seconds-long RPO DRaaS is able to provide.

DRaaS fails over processing to the cloud so your organization can continue to operate during a disaster. The failover notice can be automated or manual. In a high-pressure scenario, your IT can count on DRaaS to provide automated and orchestrated processes that can be executed in just a few clicks.

For manual initiation of failover, the process is simple:

  1. Click “failover” in your management console
  2. Select the applications that need recovery
  3. Choose the point in time to which your apps need to be restored (to the point when they were not corrupted)
  4. Start the failover process

4. Automated failback.

The DRaaS operation remains in effect until your IT team can repair the on-premises environment and issue a failback order. Many businesses without DRaaS avoid failover because failback can be a huge ordeal, but LightBound’s DRaaS makes failback easy. After your environment is back up and running, it is only a few clicks to failback.

Ready to Get Started with DRaaS?

DRaaS makes recovering from disaster affordable, achievable, and fast. If you’re interested in learning more about Disaster Recovery as a Service or its benefits, contact LightBound today. Our experts will help answer any questions you might have about cloud data recovery and more.


Desk with coffee and sticky notes where two hands hold an iPad that is displaying "IaaS" (Infrastructure as a Service) and seven icons surrounding the text, including a security icon and server icon

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a popular cloud computing solution in which a third-party provider manages and maintains a data center for you, while providing your business with cloud computing resources over the Internet.

Your IaaS provider will purchase all of the necessary data center infrastructure for you, so you can skip the huge upfront capital expenditure. Meanwhile, you only pay for what resources you need, when you need them. IaaS is quickly and easily scalable according to your changing needs.

With IaaS, your provider’s team of experts manages and maintains the data center for you, freeing up your IT team to focus on more important IT initiatives. If you’re looking to make the switch to Infrastructure as a Service in cloud computing, this blog shares essential tips and tricks to know before you move your data and what traps you’ll want to avoid.

Illustrated text bubble coming from a megaphone that reads "Tips And Tricks"

Tips and Tricks

It’s easy to get caught up in the industry hype of moving to cloud infrastructure services, but carefully planning your migration will be key to your success. These tips and tricks will help you prepare for a smooth migration:

1. Make sure IaaS is right for your business. IaaS is beneficial for many, but it may not be right for every business. In some rare cases, such as when a business already has a large investment in manpower and infrastructure, it may benefit them more in the long-run to stay on-premise or consider colocation.

2. Check your migration fears at the gate. Are you worried about security? Uptime? Customer support? These are valid concerns, but with the right provider, you can relax knowing you’re in good hands. Carefully evaluate potential providers to make sure they’ll have you covered in these areas.

3. Create a clear cloud strategy. Why are you migrating to infrastructure as a service? What are you hoping to achieve and what benefits are you looking for? Specify your hopes and goals so you and your provider can work together to create a custom IaaS solution that’s perfect for you.

4. Inventory your infrastructure and applications. Before you make the move to cloud infrastructure services, it is critical to build an accurate inventory of where your applications are located and what infrastructure you already have in place. This will help you determine what parts can stay put and which are ready to move to IaaS without letting anything slip by unaccounted for.

5. Don’t just prepare your tech; prepare your people too. No matter how ready you are tech-wise, if your people aren’t ready for change, it’s a recipe for disaster. Prepare your higher-ups with the changes they can expect and help familiarize your team with new processes and responsibilities well before the move is made.

6. Prepare for necessary security changes. You’ll need to research and consider new tools, services, and options to keep your data secure in the cloud, including next-generation firewall, monitoring tools, replication and recovery options, and more. Don’t assume that your provider will handle all of these security measures for you, as many will not. Do your research to know exactly what you can expect from your provider.

7. Vet potential providers. No two providers are the same, and some will leave you with headaches rather than solutions. Pay attention to a potential IaaS provider’s service delivery quality as well as the details of their SLAs. Be sure to ask questions including:

  • What percentage of uptime can you ensure? For many businesses, 100% uptime is non-negotiable.
  • Are you a reseller? If you are a consultant or reseller, you’ll want to make sure there is clear communication between you, the provider, and your client regarding authority for the ongoing decisions that need to be made. Otherwise, your client will have a less than desirable experience with the provider you choose.
  • Do you need to be compliant with industry standards? Providers should maintain complete compliance with industry standards set by HIPAA, PCI, SOX, and FISC.
  • How do you keep data secure? Look for a provider that offers DRaaS in addition to having the most secure technology in the industry, a secure environment, geographic diversity, and SOC 2 certification.
  • Is help available 24/7/365? Choose a provider you know you can reach easily at any time of day you need it.
  • Do you need guidance or a customized solution?  Just like no two providers are the same, neither are the needs of any two businesses. Choose a provider that can customize your solution.

8. Include your legacy systems in the plans. Don’t forget that your legacy systems will need to maintain connectivity with your new cloud infrastructure. Is your provider equipped to help you make this a smooth migration? Will they allow you to utilize hybrid cloud if keeping your legacy systems is necessary? Will they allow you to colocate some of your infrastructure in their data center?

Shark with fishing rod trying to catch a fish in a bowl as a concept for avoiding traps

Traps

Avoid three major traps when moving to Infrastructure as a Service in cloud computing:

1.) Not knowing which applications are interdependent. You may virtualize one application and not realize that the application depends on another server, accidentally leaving it out from a network standpoint. This is why it’s essential to inventory your applications and where they reside.

2.) Networking troubles. If your servers can’t communicate, your IaaS solution simply won’t work. Having a network expert review the networking to the servers can help you, your employees, and customers avoid significant frustration with all the new changes.

3.) Not testing storage speed. Test to make sure that the storage in your virtual environment is just as fast, if not faster, than what you have now, rather than assuming it will be. Performance is essential to success, but not all providers can offer excellent performance, which is yet again another reason to vet potential providers carefully.

Infrastructure as a Service: the Key to a Successful Migration

At the end of the day, choosing a trusted IaaS provider like LightBound is the key piece of the puzzle to enjoying a smooth and easy cloud migration. A provider like LightBound will keep you informed and in-the-know about every tip, trick, and trap you’ll want to know, supporting you throughout your migration and beyond.

Have questions about Infrastructure as a Service or want to learn more about how you can prepare for a successful migration? Contact LightBound today and our experts will answer any questions you might have about IaaS in cloud computing.


A hard disk damaged by fire and water meaning data loss and a need for disaster recovery as a service

From lengthy downtime, to a damaged brand reputation and bottom line, no one wants to face the brutal costs of data loss. Unfortunately, every business will experience data loss at some point thanks to the variety of common ways it can occur. This leaves a cloud of dread hanging over many, but the good news is that data loss is preventable with the right preparation.

This blog shares key ways you can take action to prevent a data loss disaster and minimize any negative impact on your business, including how Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) can help keep your data safe.

What Causes Data Loss

Here are some examples of the many causes of data loss, varying from rare to everyday occurrences:

  • Power loss from equipment failure or wildlife interference
  • Power surges damaging computer hardware
  • An overheated server room shutting down in an uncontrolled manner
  • Accidental fiber cuts from nearby construction equipment
  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and fire
  • Leaks from the water heater or air conditioning
  • Spilled coffee, or other liquid, onto a computer
  • Human error, including accidentally formatting a hard drive or unwittingly deleting a file
  • Cyber attacks such as ransomware, viruses, or malware
  • Hard drive failure due to software or file corruption
  • Stolen devices, such as laptops, that hold critical or confidential data
Utility truck lifts a severed power pole and lines after an accident

Key Ways to Prevent Data Loss

Thankfully there are many actions you can take to prevent data loss and banish your fears, including finding a Disaster Recovery as a Service provider.

Store computers and equipment in the right environment, which should be dust-free and dry with proper heating and cooling. Be sure the environment is maintained and kept in pristine condition. Consider a generator or UPS (uninterruptible power supply) to protect computers in the event of a power failure as well as physical security measures to deter theft.

Use a firewall and antivirus software. These are basic essentials that your business should utilize for protection against viruses and malware, so be sure that you not only use them but keep them up-to-date.

Train employees to recognize suspicious attachments. Employees often serve as the greatest point of vulnerability for cybercriminals to take advantage of, but keeping your employees educated and informed with regular cybersecurity training will help prevent clicks on suspicious links or other actions that could lead to malware or a virus. Restrict access to important data from certain employees that don’t need it and encrypt any sensitive data.

Backup your files regularly and save often. This is one of the most basic, yet essential, tasks to prevent data loss that should not be neglected. To increase protection, be sure to create more than one backup, store them in different locations, verify the success of backups, perform backups routinely, and keep a close eye on your hard drives for signs of failure before they happen. You may also want to consider cloud-based disaster recovery solutions for further data security.

Hard drive from array at server cloud equipment being held in a hand

Create a disaster recovery (DR) plan so that in the event of a disaster, and in the midst of chaos, your team knows exactly how to restore data quickly and effectively, without causing further problems or delays. Test your DR plan regularly, including testing that employees are able to follow through when it comes to restoring lost data. This can reveal weak points while also encouraging employees to stay informed and ready.

Backup as a Service (BaaS) gives you an alternative to handling backup on-premises with an IT department. With BaaS, maintenance and management are offloaded to a third-party provider at an off-site storage system. This is a great option for those who want to pass off the burden of backing up data to a trusted provider that will ensure your data is in good hands.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) goes further beyond the capabilities of BaaS. With DRaaS, a third-party service provider hosts and continually replicates your servers to enable failover in the event of a natural or man-made catastrophe, protecting both your data and infrastructure.

Disasters that lead to data loss, such as hurricanes, fire, and ransomware, don’t stand a chance against DRaaS, because you can easily get all your data back with the push of a button. Disaster Recovery as a Service is the perfect solution to recover quickly from data loss, with benefits of DRaaS including:

  • Continual, automatic replication to a different location geographically any time there are file changes.
  • Your provider will handle getting all your apps, files, and systems right back up and running with lightning speed, minimizing downtime.
  • You can utilize the DRaaS failover to continue normal business operations until you can restore your on-premises environment.
  • Excellent for business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR).
  • With the right provider, it will be tested regularly, customized, and perfectly executable.

The more of these data loss prevention methods you are able to implement, the safer your data will be. Don’t wait until it’s too late to protect your data.

Interested in Disaster Recovery as a Service? Be sure to choose a DRaaS provider like LightBound, who will work with you as a true partner to customize a DRaaS solution specific to your unique business needs. Contact LightBound today and our experts will help answer any questions about data loss or disaster recovery solutions you might have.