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The benefits of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) are undeniable, but the key to fully receiving these benefits is choosing a solution customized to fit your unique needs. Many mistakenly believe IaaS is a commodity that just about any provider can implement with success, but the truth is, having a provider that offers customization options makes all the difference.

In this blog, we will share several ways Infrastructure as a Service can be customized to best suit your business needs and allow you to enjoy the full power of IaaS.

The word "SOLUTION" surrounded by icon concepts that represent solutions including puzzle pieces and Clouds for custom Infrastructure as a Service

Six Key Ways IaaS Can Be Customized for Your Business

Customized Infrastructure as a Service allows you to optimize the power of cloud computing to perfectly work with your business. Look for a provider that is able to offer these six IaaS customization options:

1. Private and Dedicated Resources. If you’re looking for increased security and improved performance, dedicated resources are a great option for your business. Choose a provider that will allow you to have your own dedicated servers, plus private storage and LUN’s.

2. Management. Which level of control do you need and what do you want your provider to take responsibility for? Consider the following areas of management you may want access to:

  • Operating Systems
  • Workloads
  • Disaster Recovery as a Service
  • Backups
  • Intrusion detection and prevention
  • Anti-virus
  • Software licensing
  • DDoS mitigation
  • Vulnerability scanning
  • Virtual and dedicated firewalls

3. Compliance. From HIPAA and PCI to SOX and FISC, consider what industry standards your business must comply with. For instance, is it required that certain pieces of infrastructure be dedicated to you? Be sure to choose a provider that is fully compliant with any standards that you—and they—need to follow.

4. Speeds and Feeds. Do you need certain speeds or feeds for infrastructure components that are not available in traditional public cloud environments? This could include disk speed, amount of memory, speeds for network elements, and more.

5. Connectivity. Do you need connectivity to certain networks or providers such as Megaport, or do you need fiber optics? Make sure your provider can offer the connectivity you need.

6. Geodiversity. Do you need geo-diverse production and backup/recovery sites? Choose a provider with ample distance between the two so that their secondary site is viable in the event of a widespread disaster.

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Do You Need Standard or Custom Infrastructure as a Service?

Customization options are the key to harnessing the full power of cloud computing through Infrastructure as a Service, and the best IaaS providers will be able to customize options to fit your specific needs. On the other hand, your business may be seeking a standard private option where little to no customization is needed.

At LightBound, we’re able and ready to serve your business either way. We offer several options for customization as well as several standard, private options. This way, IaaS adoption is made easy for your business and you can have peace of mind knowing that you won’t be stuck without options in the future as your needs change.

Are you unsure of whether you need IaaS customization? Or do you know what you need and want to learn more about LightBound as a provider? LightBound will work with your business to help you discover your needs and recommend a personalized plan for your use case. We’re happy to help answer any questions you have, so don’t hesitate to contact us today!

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“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.

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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

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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.

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Illustration for Cloud computing Infrastructure as a Service connected to the world wide web

Have you considered connectivity when choosing an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provider? What many don’t realize is that not all IaaS providers offer the same standard of connectivity, and it can make or break the success of your Cloud service.

In this blog, we explain why connectivity is essential for IaaS and what new developments to know about the future of connectivity.

Why Connectivity is Key to Infrastructure as a Service

With Infrastructure as a Service, a third-party provider delivers use of data center infrastructure to you via the Internet. Thus, poor quality network connectivity means that IaaS simply won’t function and you can expect:

  • Slow or halted operations
  • Increased downtime
  • Frustrated clients that depend on you for success
  • Lost revenue

If you want to find an IaaS provider with connectivity you can depend on, there are three main qualities to consider, all impacting IaaS for better or worse:

1. Speed. No one wants a slow connection, especially when it comes to Cloud hosting. To ensure your business’s productivity and revenue don’t take a hit, be sure that your provider offers lighting fast speed with a large amount of scalable bandwidth available. You may also want a provider that offers the option of dark and lit fiber-optic connections for faster speeds and lower latency.

2. Redundancy. If you want to minimize downtime and lost revenue for your business, redundancy is key. Your provider should be able to automatically and seamlessly route your packets to one of many other local and international carriers if a connection is lost to achieve 24/7/365 uptime.

3. Sourcing. Choose a carrier-neutral provider that handles both network services and IaaS. Not all providers handle both, especially many larger national providers who are unable to control and manage the breadth of service. Single-source providers are beneficial because they can diagnose and fix issues holistically and manage traffic to and from all carriers. Plus, they have direct relationships with the carriers that you’ll need in the long-term to make sure data is captured securely and error-free.

Reliable, high-performing Internet access is non-negotiable because IaaS depends on quality connectivity. Only choose a provider that can ensure your mission-critical business functions stay connected.

Network connection technology in the city with 5g internet networking sign

What to Know About the Future of Connectivity and IaaS

How are technologies changing connectivity? Megaport and 5G are playing a huge role in the future of Infrastructure as a Service.

Megaport as the Next Wave of Connectivity for the Cloud

Want a simple way to achieve fast, easy connectivity? Megaport is the next wave of connectivity for Cloud and may be the solution you’ve been looking for. It’s described as “the easiest way to connect to the services that power your business.”

Megaport can:

  • Speed up your setup and simplify the process of building and deploying connections to the services your business runs on
  • Enable quick and easy network creation instead of typical siloed and complex configuration tasks
  • Connect you to cloud services, managed services, and between data centers almost instantly
  • Move your workloads in real time
  • Reach the cloud from wherever you are and transport your data between global locations easily
  • Scale your bandwidth up and down at any time, matching your connection speed with your workloads

5G as the Enabler of the Future

As described by TechRadar, “5G networks are the next generation of mobile internet connectivity, offering faster speeds and more reliable connections on smartphones and other devices than ever before.”

By 2020, 5G networks are expected to launch across the world, not to replace 4G and 3G networks, but work alongside them—at least at first. 5G is expected to contribute to the development of advanced technologies and encourage the growth of Internet of Things (IoT) with the improved connectivity it offers.

Network of physical devices with network connectivity as global network and IoT (Internet of Things) concept

Want an IaaS Provider with Connectivity You Can Count On?

Excellent connectivity is a non-negotiable for Infrastructure as a Service in cloud computing, making it equally important to choose a provider that can offer the speed, redundancy, and single-source service you can trust for peace of mind. At LightBound, we offer both network and IaaS, plus top-notch service delivery and support for the best in connectivity.

Want to learn more about the connectivity needed for IaaS success? Contact LightBound today! We’d love to answer any questions you have.

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Padlock lock surrounded by different internet-related icons as a concept for internet protection, data protection, and next-generation firewall

Firewalls are essential to network security, even with a Cloud solution like Infrastructure as a Service, but traditional firewalls won’t cut it when it comes to today’s rising security demands. Next-Generation Firewall (NGFW) is the key to ensuring security in response to an increase in advanced security threats.

In this blog, we share three reasons why upgrading to NGFW is a modern security necessity and how its features will make a difference in keeping your business secure.

Why NGFW is a Modern Security Necessity

1. Cybercrime is rising, and increased application use has opened up new vulnerabilities.

Research shows that cybercrime is rising while the technology and tactics used by cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated. For instance, The SSL Store reports:

  • Enterprise ransomware attacks increased by 12% in 2018
  • 1 in 50 emails contain some form of malicious content
  • Mobile ransomware jumped 33% last year
  • An estimated 10% of all malicious emails contain malware such as ransomware, spyware, adware, or trojans

Adding to these concerning statistics is that application usage has skyrocketed in recent years, bringing increased vulnerabilities with them. Considering that applications like Trello, Slack, and Skype have become popular for, or even integral to, business productivity, their use isn’t likely to go down. The solution? Application vulnerabilities need to be checked, which is where NGFW comes into play.

While traditional firewalls only block forbidden packets by protocol or port, NGFW takes security even further by inspecting packets all the way down to the application layer. This provides protection for attacks on layers 4-7 of the OSI (Open Systems Interconnection), where the growing number of application attacks are taking place.

To defend and safeguard against the emerging and unknown threats in today’s security landscape, NGFW’s advanced malware capabilities are needed. These capabilities include Packet Filtering Network Address Translation (NAT), URL Blocking, VPN, Quality of Service (QoS), Intrusion Prevention SSL, Deep-Packet Inspection, and more.

Internet technology network and cyber security concept with a shield icon on a globe surrounded by a network

2. Traditional firewalls are complex and time-consuming, crippling response time.

Simplicity and automation are key to reducing your workload and saving money, but if you’re still using traditional firewalls, you’re likely dealing with unnecessary complexity and wasted time. This is especially true if your security provider is constantly adding new devices to your firewall, which means that more overhead is required, and even worse, it could mean your response time to threats will be slowed.

Traditionally having to be used through separate devices, NGFW integrates enterprise firewall capabilities, intrusion prevention system (IPS), and stateful packet inspection into one device. This allows for improved performance and accessibility.

Through automation and integration, NGFW reduces the number of manual tasks necessary, improving remediation speed. Security policies, service orchestration, monitoring, and reporting can all be centrally managed thanks to NGFW, saving your business time and money.

A business man working with devices including a laptop, phone, and iPad with screens displaying a cyber security icon

3. Moving to the Cloud doesn’t protect your existing network infrastructure.

Cloud solutions like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offer increased security when compared to on-premises solutions, but that doesn’t mean you can neglect firewalls. Even if you move all of your infrastructure to the Cloud, your business still has devices such as employee computers and a network connection that will remain vulnerable without a firewall. What if an unwitting employee accidentally clicked on a malicious link and your network wasn’t protected by a firewall? That’s a costly problem that could have been prevented.

Knowing that firewalls are still necessary for Cloud services, why should you choose NGFW over a traditional firewall? NGFW offers protection that functions in this new age of remote workers and BYOD policies. While traditional firewalls restrict your protection to a single location, NGFW protects your network no matter where your employees are working or what device they are using.

Additionally, NGFW removes the blind spots of traditional firewalls, offering:

  • Application-level control for superior visibility, allowing you to see and control what applications are being used on your network
  • Identity awareness that integrates with application awareness to enable you to apply security policies more granularly using corporate directories

NGFW gives you increased knowledge and nuanced control over how your employees access and use websites and applications.

A person typing at a laptop computer with a cyber security shield icon in front of it

Are You Ready for Next-Generation Firewall?

NGFW provides essential capabilities against rising cybercrime and new application threats while simplifying your workload through integration and automation. Whether you’re already using Infrastructure as a Service or are looking into other Cloud options, don’t let the lack of adequate protection open your doors to unnecessary vulnerabilities.

Keep in mind that if you decide on NGFW, it’s crucial to choose an experienced provider that you can trust to be there for you beyond implementation. With more power, features, and functions, the set-up and ongoing management of NGFW are more important than ever.

There are many NGFW services on the market, but LightBound has the unique expertise necessary to successfully implement and manage NGFW devices across your network. To get started with Next-Generation Firewall or learn more, contact LightBound today and our experts will help answer any questions you might have.

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Businesses continue to shift away from costly and time-consuming, on-premises solutions in favor of colocation services. By choosing colocation, a business is able to rent the physical space, power, redundancies, and cooling needed to house their own hardware from a provider, all while continuing ownership and management of their equipment.

While colocation isn’t considered “Cloud”, it’s a solution that still offers huge advantages to the right business in terms of time, money, and physical space savings. Whether you’re currently colocating or looking to make the switch, we’ve gathered four key colocation trends for you to consider when creating your own IT strategy.

1. Network Agility Will Be Pushed to Keep Up

Growth demands on networks are high and this pressure will only continue thanks to “the advent of 5G, increasing cloud maturity, and the explosion in numbers of IoT devices,” explains Hosting Journalist. While network agility is more important than ever, it’s equally as important to choose a colocation hosting provider with a network that can keep up with the pace of demand.

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2. Colocation Will Be Core to Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid Cloud solutions are on the rise, explains Data Center Knowledge, which isn’t surprising considering that Hybrid Cloud solutions offer increased flexibility and efficiency for businesses by integrating the use of private cloud and public cloud solutions. Colocation services will rise in use alongside Hybrid Cloud as businesses seek a cost-effective solution to house their private cloud solutions.

3. Evaluating Providers Will Go Beyond Cost Calculations

It’s already widely recognized that colocation services offer huge cost savings. Now, Forbes explains that businesses will look beyond that established fact when choosing a provider to evaluate how a provider will help them improve efficiency and capacity. It will become increasingly important to ask, “Which provider will give me an edge as a business?”, and “Which provider will work personally with me to create a custom strategy for success?”

Server control panel hosting software vector illustration for colocation services

4. Advanced Security Will Be Non-Negotiable

With today’s ever-increasing cybersecurity threats, security and compliance are on everyone’s minds. Choosing the right colocation services provider will be essential to ensuring you have top-notch security that can stand up to the threats. Businesses will look for a provider’s ability to offer advanced security features including virtual security, redundancy, compliance with industry standards, and physical security measures such as registration and biometric access.

Interested in colocation services?

Do you want a colocation hosting provider you can trust, that will grow with you as a true partner to your business? LightBound’s colocation services can help make your life simpler and less stressful, offering Choice Network, custom Hybrid Cloud solutions, compliance and security you can count on, and a true interest in the success of your business.

We’ll sit down with you one-on-one to ensure a successful enterprise strategy and you can rest assured knowing we’ll be there for you whenever you call. Contact LightBound today to get your questions answered and learn from our experts what a colocation site can offer your business.

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