Concept for new trends showing a hand moving forward a yellow arrow on a wood cube leading the way for a set of cubes with blue arrows following behind on a wooden table

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.

Illustration of running people with speed increasing from pixels as a concept for trends, changes, and digital transformation

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.

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.


Cloud Computing Concept with three clouds designed technologically in appearance

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between “Cloud” and “data centers”? What about Public Cloud, Private Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, insourcing, outsourcing, and colocation services?  

When researching cloud computing options for your business, it’s important to know specifically what you are comparing when it comes to these often-confused terms. In this blog, we explain what “Cloud” and “data center” refer to specifically and the differences in how each cloud computing option serves your business.

Are You Talking About “Cloud” or “Data Center”?

When talking about Cloud, it’s a reference to cloud computing, which is the delivery of computing services over the Internet. Types of cloud services include infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS). IaaS is further subdivided into Private, Public, and Hybrid. Cloud services come in different shapes and sizes, but most are highly scalable, handled by your provider, and you only pay for what you need when you need it.

Where it can get tricky is understanding the three models by which cloud computing is deployed: Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, and Private Cloud.

Public Cloud is the most commonly used deployment of cloud computing, where a provider manages and maintains your hosting solution for you. When people simply speak of “Cloud,” they most commonly mean this kind of outsourcing to a provider. The key to Public Cloud is that the infrastructure resource pools you subscribe to are shared by other companies. None of the resources are yours entirely or discretely in terms of deployment.

If you are talking about Private Cloud, a hosting provider still provides and manages the infrastructure, but that infrastructure is dedicated to you. It’s your dedicated resource pool, or at least most of it. You may share CPU and memory, but the storage allocation is typically on a separate SAN dedicated to you.

There’s also a combination of both Public and Private Cloud: Hybrid Cloud. Hybrid Cloud allows a company to utilize both cloud computing methods as needed for a more custom solution.

On the other hand, if you’re talking about a data center, this is insourcing. Many people call this Private Cloud, but that’s incorrect. You own the data center, the infrastructure and likely your staff manages everything. Any virtualization that takes place is simply your company buying software and virtualizing the infrastructure you own. This deployment is very traditional in every way. Insourcing is called as such because your company either capitalizes the elements or leases some of them, but it’s highly capital intensive. It’s not technically Cloud, because Cloud always refers to outsourcing.

What about colocation services? The term Colocation refers to a commercial datacenter. You are essentially leasing data center space, power, and cooling from a company that owns and manages the data center. The “co” in colocation services refers to the fact that other companies put their servers and infrastructure in the same building. That infrastructure is typically housed in separate, locked cabinets or cages dedicated to your company’s infrastructure, but you share the power, cooling and other building infrastructure.

Letters "V" and "S" written on two seperate black cubes on a wooden background with the left side behind the V colored turquoise to show the concept of comparison

The Key Differences Between Hosting Your Own Data Center and Going to the Cloud

When comparing insourcing versus outsourcing to a provider, how do you know which solution is best for your business? Compare the key differences between hosting your own data center on-premise and seeking out a cloud services provider:

Insourcing with an on-premise data center:

  • Slower time to market
  • Lacks scalability and flexibility
  • Physical and geographical constraints
  • Fine-tuned control of, and access to, your environment, security, and data
  • Increased responsibility and overhead to keep your business operations running smoothly
  • Difficult to achieve 24/7 monitoring by on-site staff
  • Increased risks, unless you are experienced with industry regulations and handling disaster recovery (DR)
  • Offers no geographic separation for mitigating disaster and operational risks
  • 4-5 times more expensive than outsourcing, assuming you have all the talent and expertise in-house to make it work

Outsourcing to a cloud services provider:

  • Faster time to market
  • On-demand scalability and flexibility
  • Independence from physical and geographical constraints
  • Relinquishing some control of your environment, security, and data
  • You can focus on your core business without the distraction of supporting a non-core business expense
  • Provider can handle 24/7 monitoring for you
  • Your provider’s expert staff should be experienced in industry regulations and handling disaster recovery (DR) to reduce risk
  • Provides better geographic separation for mitigating disaster and operational risks
  • Significant cost savings and conservation of capital, only paying for the services you need

Looking for another option?

The benefit of choosing Hybrid Cloud is it allows you to have continued control over critical data with Private Cloud infrastructure while leveraging Public Cloud services for non-sensitive data.

Having a colocation site can serve as a beneficial compromise between insourcing everything and passing off responsibilities to a provider.

3D illustration of server room in data center full of telecommunication equipment as a concept for colocation services or cloud computing technology

Which Option is Right for Your Business?

Hands down, it’s almost always a better idea to outsource data center services thanks to several financial and functional benefits. At the very least, if you still want to buy your own equipment, virtualize, and staff for the management of your own infrastructure, you can still leverage a commercial colocation data center facility to house all of your infrastructure for you in a professionally maintained environment with colocation services.

Long-term, it rarely if ever makes sense to build and maintain your own data center. There are some exceptions, for instance, if that’s your main business, you have a very unique circumstance, or you have an abundance of capital you don’t know what to do with.

Otherwise, you’ll want to seek out a trustworthy cloud services provider like LightBound, who will be a true partner to your business and ensure an easy and pain-free transition to Cloud. Contact LightBound today to learn more about your options for harnessing the power of Cloud and get answers from our experts about any cloud computing questions you might have.


Hand with marker writing the word "Facts" and crossing out the word "Myths"

Before Googling “data center services near me,” are you sure you have the information you need to evaluate potential providers? Do you know for certain that everything you’ve heard about data center hosting is true? Chances are, you’ve heard one of many myths circulating that need to be set straight.

When shopping for data center services, it’s important to separate fact from fiction so you don’t run into any surprises down the road that could leave you frustrated or disappointed. This blog reveals the truth about five major myths to give you the information you need to know before signing the dotted line on data center services.

Close-up of network cables and servers for data center services

5 Data Center Services Myths

1. An impressive-looking facility means you can expect equally impressive service delivery.

False.

The saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” absolutely applies when it comes to data centers. There are plenty of data centers that look amazing when touring the facility, but it’s also true that the devil is in the details. The distracting flashiness of certain facilities can pull you away from all of the details you need to truly consider when it comes to data center colocation, of which cost would probably not even make the top ten.

Before becoming carried away by appearances, arm yourself with the knowledge that some colocation data centers do quite a bit of window dressing to make things look better than they are. Of course, the converse is also true in that while some colocation sites aren’t much to look at, their uptime performance is top-notch. Why? Because while they didn’t focus on aesthetics, they were designed with functionality as a priority from the start and with all of the appropriate redundancies.

2. Every provider’s data center services are the same.

False.

While providers might seem similar in cost and services at first glance, it is the differences you don’t see right away that end up counting the most. Most of what data centers have and do you can’t see with your eyes, including their access to fiber, which other data centers they have on the network for secondary sites, whether they provide adequate cooling for your footprint, their expansion possibilities, and more.

You’ll want to consider key questions up front such as, “are their physical security access requirements too loose? Too tight? Or just right?” After the honeymoon is over with your new provider and you’ve settled into your new home, that’s when you’ll discover that your main point of contact is really the support and engineering staff. Every provider has a different company culture, meaning every provider will offer you a different customer experience that has the ability to make or break your services.

3. Data center services are a commodity nowadays, so pretty much anyone can handle them.

False.

Data center services are so much more than a simple commodity. As you conduct your due diligence, you’ll discover that some facilities don’t take care to apply data center hosting the correct way, doing your business a huge disservice in the process. Not every provider works with the level of care necessary when it comes to the mission-critical nature of colocation hosting services.

For example, did you know that some providers will cut maintenance costs by stalling upgrades for infrastructure elements beyond vendor recommendations? You’ll want to be sure you’ve seen your potential provider’s upgrade plans, being aware of what’s already been upgraded and what is planned for the coming year, plus how expensive and difficult those upgrades will be to achieve.

After all, most of these upgrades involve risks that may become your risks even though your provider is the one responsible for them.

4. Services in the Cloud are not as secure.

False.

Many assume that the Cloud is less secure, but this is an incorrect assumption. In fact, data center hosting providers should be able to provide far superior security compared to a typical on-premise data center. The right provider will offer protection in the following ways:

  • Advanced physical security such as registration, I.D. badges, and biometric access
  • A team of trusted, expert staff members managing and maintaining the data center, ensuring peak security and performance
  • A 24/7/365 Network Operations Center to ensure high visibility and protect your data
  • Disaster Recovery services
  • Meeting strict industry certifications and standards
  • Your business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) will automatically be better because your data center isn’t in the same location as your business

Rest assured, your data will be safer with a trusted provider than you would likely be able to achieve both successfully and affordably on your own.

5. It’s a data center, so my main focus needs to be centered on evaluating the tech details.

Maybe.

How many times have you signed an agreement and found out later that it was really the people you were buying that mattered? Culture and people are what stand the test of time, every time. Carefully examine the team of people that will be there for you when the chips are down. Are you instilled with trust and confidence in their care and expertise?

What you learn about a provider’s staff will tell you a lot about the quality of that provider. As much as any provider plans, designs, and implements their systems to avoid failure, all of the systems in a data center are electro-mechanical. At some point, they will fail. It all comes down to that staff getting systems back online quickly and the transparency of communication—something you can’t put a price on.

Two business people standing and talking in data center server room with laptop

Are You Shopping for Data Center Services?

The vast ocean of information out there about data center services can be confusing, but through knowing the truth about these five myths, you can move forward in confidence, and find the right provider for your business.

Choosing the right provider will be key to your success because they’ll make a huge difference in how your services are delivered. Be sure to choose a provider like LightBound that you can trust, who is willing to sit down with you in person, answer all of your questions with clarity, and customize your solution.

With LightBound, our data centers are among the safest and most secure in the nation. Our always-on, always-available service will have your back, and our expert team is ready to ensure the success of your services.

Contact us today to learn more about LightBound’s data center services and how we can be a true partner to your business.

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