Concentrated experienced man working in a service cabinet and repairing wires for colocation services in a data center

If you want to optimize your business’s operations, it’s important to consider how and where you’re housing your servers. For large and small businesses alike, having server infrastructure that can handle the needs of your business is critical to keeping everything running smoothly, including eventually expanding your data center as your business grows.

While you can store your server equipment in your own server racks, there is another option that can offer your business several benefits: colocation hosting.

Colocation is a service where you place your own server equipment on a provider’s server rack instead of keeping it at your business. In other words, a provider maintains and monitors a huge data center for you, allowing you to offload data center requirements so you can easily store and scale your servers alongside your growing business.

At Lightbound, we help businesses with all of their colocation hosting needs. Is insourcing or outsourcing with colocation the right solution for your business? In this blog, we outline the pros and cons of using a colocation host.

IT Engineer installs enclosure with hard disk drive in the storage system in the rack in a datacenter for colocation services

Pros

  • You get greater bandwidth with a lower cost, enjoying the features of a large IT shop without the massive price tag.
  • You are still in control because you are still responsible for your hardware.
  • Colocation hosting is more efficient and secure compared to hosting your own server.
  • You are protected by the powerful generators and backup power of your colocation provider that will keep your servers safe in the event of an outage.
  • You own your server hardware and can upgrade anytime rather than being stuck with the initial facility plan in your own data center.
  • You can easily scale your infrastructure up or down thanks to the flexible tenancy your provider offers, rather than having to completely rebuild your own data center.
  • With the right provider, your servers are stored in ideal temperatures with redundant power and cooling.
  • With the right provider, you get  24/7 monitoring and assistance, providing extra manpower to your short-staffed IT department or assisting during major upgrades and activities.
  • You have the advantage of a reliable, large-scale data center that will maximize uptime thanks to redundancy, monitoring, and expert support.
  • The right colocation provider will adhere to strict industry standards so you know your data is in good hands.
  • Colocation centers have better security, allowing you to reap the benefits of cameras, individual cage locks, and substantial access logs.

Cons

  • Colocation hosting can be costly upfront because you have to provide your own hardware and software.
  • Moving to a colocation center is a labor-intensive process. Make sure you’re prepared time-wise to transition into a colocation hosting plan.
  • Because you’re using an outside source for your data center hosting, you are not the owner of the data center. This means you have to follow the rules and regulations of that colocation, which could restrict your access to certain days and times.
  • Some people make the mistake of investing in a colocation center far away, but you’ll want to make sure it’s close to you so you can visit if necessary.
IT Engineer installs enclosure with hard disk drive in the storage system in the rack in a datacenter for colocation services

For many business owners, total control can be hard to relinquish. However, unloading some of your burdens through colocation hosting can help make your life simpler and less stressful. Colocation centers provide a great way for you to manage and scale your servers more easily as your business grows.

When deciding whether or not colocation hosting will benefit you, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons in light of your business’s specific needs and make a plan for how you will make the transition to colocation a smooth one.

At Lightbound, we provide colocation data centers to Indianapolis businesses with redundant power, cooling, fire suppression, top-notch security, and 24/7/365 monitoring. Plus, you only pay for what you need, when you need it.

Want to ensure your IP foundation is strong, minimize downtime, and reduce your total cost of operation? Get in touch with us today to learn more about how LightBound can help your business.

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It’s the holiday season and 2019 is fast approaching! Before we hit the new year, and with the warm feelings of the holiday spirit all around us, we wanted to take a moment to thank our customers, employees, and everyone who’s supported LightBound.

Our success is thanks to you, not only during this incredible year of 2018, but during all of  the years since LightBound’s founding in 1994. Thank you!

As you may have already heard or read in our announcement, LightBound will soon be merging with DataBank, a leading provider of enterprise-class data center, connectivity, and managed services. We are looking forward to an amazing future with DataBank!

We could not be more excited at LightBound for this incredible opportunity because, as Raul K. Martynek, CEO of DataBank, explained, the merger will combine LightBound’s strengths “in colocation, connectivity, and managed services with DataBank’s broad product offering and national footprint.”

“Joining DataBank is an outstanding opportunity for LightBound, its employees and customers.” – Jack Carr, CEO of LightBound

DataBank’s customer-centric approach is why we chose to “combine with their team and be able to expand our offering and geographic footprint,” explained our very own CEO, Jack Carr.

As you may already know, this merger will not impact your existing relationship or services with LightBound. DataBank’s services are a great complement to LightBound’s services.

DataBank’s portfolio of solutions will gain the following services from LightBound:

    • Colocation
    • Internet
    • Voice
    • Network
  • Cloud services

Here are some facts to know about DataBank:

    • DataBank offers customers 100% uptime availability of data, applications, and infrastructure anchored in world-class facilities
    • DataBank’s customized technology solutions are designed to help customers effectively manage risk, improve their technology performance, and allow them to focus on their core business objectives
    • DataBank is headquartered in the historic former Federal Reserve Bank Building, in downtown Dallas, TX
  • DataBank will operate 17 data centers in 9 US Markets, including Dallas, Minneapolis, Kansas City, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Atlanta, and now Indianapolis

You can read DataBank’s announcement of our big news here and the Inside Indiana Business story here.

The words "Thank you" written on a blurred lights background

We will keep you informed with more information about our integration as the latest developments happen. Thank you again for your continued support and trust. We look forward to a wonderful year ahead!

A great data center provider should give you many reasons to be thankful, but if they are leaving you wishing for more, then it may be time to make a switch. With data center service delivery from the right provider, you can be grateful for these five benefits:

 

1. Giving Time Back to Your Team

Your team has things to do and places to be, but the investment it takes to manage and maintain a data center is immense. Having a service provider handle this burden is freeing, enabling you and your team to get back to core business operations while increasing productivity and reducing stress.   

 

2. Giving You Peace of Mind

The growing threat of cyber attacks and unexpected disasters like fire and flood cause no fear in you. Why? Because even if you experienced major data loss, you have peace of mind knowing your data can easily and quickly be restored by your provider.

With redundant power, cooling, fire suppression, and security, you know your data is in good hands. And if something goes wrong? Your provider is there for you to answer your call, day or night, and work personally with you to resolve the problem.

 

3. Saving You Money

Outsourcing to a data center provider means money saved. You don’t have to worry about the capital expenditures of infrastructure, nor do you have to pay to keep that infrastructure up-to-date and functional.

This type of service delivery means you only pay for what you need when you need it. Plus, you’re saving money on recovering data thanks to your provider’s disaster recovery (DR) solution that you can count on in the event of data loss.

 

4. Keeping Your DR Plan Up-to-Date With Constant Change

A data center’s environment is constantly changing, making it hard to ensure your disaster recovery plan stays up-to-date. This is a must if your DR plan is to be effective, and thankfully, your provider has you covered. They’re auto-incorporating all the latest changes so you don’t have to worry about a thing. Your DR plan will be perfectly executable when disaster strikes.

 

5. Giving You Flexibility and Scalability

When you host your own data center on-site, it takes a time, labor, and money to scale it up and down as your business grows, changes, or even moves locations. Thankfully, your data center provider handles the infrastructure for you, allowing you to easily scale up or down, especially since you only pay for what you need. And if you have to move? Your data center gets to stay put, allowing you to invest your resources elsewhere.

Looking for Better Service Delivery?

Are you thankful for your data center provider, or are they letting you down? The right data center provider is one that gives you much to be grateful for when it comes to service delivery.

Want to know what it’s like to have a data center provider that gives you all these reasons to be thankful and more? Contact LightBound today and we’ll share what benefits you can expect by making a switch!

Years ago, the only traffic on corporate networks were business applications, threats, or email. But technology has come a long way since then, and a multitude of applications like Skype, Dropbox, and Slack have flooded the business world.

Increased application use has been helpful, even essential, for maximizing employee productivity and improving business practices, but these applications can carry viruses, malware, and other threats with them.

Traditional firewalls are unable to see or control all of these applications, meaning increased vulnerability to threats. Thankfully, the next-generation firewall (NGFW) was born, filling a much-needed gap in modern security needs.

 

Why Upgrade to NGFW from Traditional Firewall Security?

NGFW works better and faster than traditional firewalls to control the traffic that can enter and exit a network. While traditional firewalls are behind the times, next-generation firewalls provide increased control, improved security, and other essential features.

In this blog post, we’ll cover five main ways NGFW is superior to traditional firewalls and why, if you haven’t already, your business should upgrade to NGFW.

1. Single Device Functionality

If your current security provider is adding new devices to your firewall, that’s a red flag. It means unnecessary complexity and added cost for you. Plus, it increases the amount of oversight needed to keep your network secure while slowing down response time to threats.

NGFW integrates enterprise firewall capabilities, intrusion prevention system (IPS), and stateful packet inspection into one device. Traditionally, these would have been done on separate devices, but this integration allows for improved performance and accessibility.

  • Intrusion prevention system (IPS): detects and prevents vulnerability exploits by examining traffic flows
  • Stateful packet inspection (SPI): monitors the state of active connections to determine which packets to allow through a firewall

2. Better Security

Traditional firewalls block forbidden packets by protocol or port, while NGFW takes security even further by inspecting packets all the way down to the application layer. NGFW improves security in many ways, including:

  • Protection across the entire attack continuum: a growing number of application attacks are taking place on layers 4-7 of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) network stack, which next-generation firewalls are designed to help prevent.
  • Multilayered protection: to get multilayered protection traditionally, businesses would have to buy many different solutions from different vendors. Having an integrated solution means less complexity and smooth functionality so threats can be better spotted and stopped.
  • Advanced malware capabilities defend and safeguard against emerging and unknown threats
  • Faster response time from automated security
  • Limiting traffic to approved applications only, reducing risk

3. Simplified Management

NGFW reduces the number of manual tasks necessary with automated security features and integration, which also improves remediation speed. You can centrally manage security policies, service orchestration, monitoring, and reporting.

 

4. Improved Visibility and Control for Safe Application Enablement

Traditional firewalls have blind spots, but NGFW has superior visibility into all network traffic to detect and prioritize threats. With the multitude of applications out there today, NGFW’s application-level control, which allows you to see and control what applications are being used on your network, is key for today’s businesses.

Rather than having a policy asking employees not to use Facebook, you could not only have the option to block it completely, but you could set a policy nuanced enough to allow employees onto the site while blocking parts of it like Facebook Messenger or Candy Crush.

NGFW’s identity awareness integrates with application awareness to enable you to apply security policies more granularly using corporate directories. Now you can let your marketing team access social media sites while blocking employees that don’t need it, or only allowing partial access.

5. Lower Costs

Integration, security automation, and management simplification reduces complexity and the work necessary to respond to and remediate from security incidents. You save money and that’s a good thing.

LightBound's Choice Network Branded Image

Implementing and Managing NGFW with LightBound

Upgrading your business security solution to the next-generation firewall is a smart move in response to today’s increasing security vulnerabilities. With the increased power, features, and functions that NGFW offers, it’s not easy to implement, so it’s more important than ever to ensure proper set-up and ongoing management.

There are many NGFW services on the market but look for a provider that’s experienced and is there for you before, during, and after implementation. LightBound has the expertise necessary to implement and manage next-generation firewalls across your network, and we’ll be there for you every step of the way. Contact LightBound today to get started, or learn more about our Choice Network.