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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Goldfish swimming in the ocean with a shark fin tied to its back and poking out above the water as a concept for deception, lies or myths

Disaster Recovery as a Service, or DRaaS, is an excellent business continuity and disaster recovery option (BC/DR) for many businesses, going beyond the capabilities of Backup as a Service (BaaS).

DRaaS offers huge benefits to protect your data and infrastructure in the event of both natural and manmade disasters, minimizing downtime and keeping your brand reputation intact at a pay-as-you-use low cost.

Unfortunately, many are unaware of the myths that have cropped up about DRaaS, leading to frustration, instead of what should be peace of mind, with this service. In this blog, we clear up five major myths about DRaaS so you can move forward with the information and confidence you need.

Businessman drawing on a chalkboard the words "FACTS," outlined in a green arrow, and "MYTHS," outlined in a red arrow

5 Myths about Disaster Recovery as a Service

1. It fixes all your problems.

False.

DRaaS is a top-notch recovery solution, but it can’t cover up all the problems you’ve already left unaddressed. If you have existing issues with your applications, application design, or data issues, then your recovery will be just as problematic as day-to-day operations.

As the old saying goes, “garbage in, garbage out.” Make sure everything in place is already running smoothly so that your DRaaS will too.

2. It’s all I need.

False.

Yes, Disaster Recovery as a Service is the “executable” part of the plan, meaning it carries out the actual recovery. However, truly effective BC/DR solutions need to account for things like workspace, telephones, a plan for who to call, and what to do in various situations depending on the emergency.

Your BC/DR especially needs to take into account the human element that accompanies and compliments the system element. Make sure your DRaaS is supported by a well-designed plan so the human element it relies on to succeed isn’t a sinking ship.

3. It covers everything.

False.

DRaaS solutions typically include replication and recovery of existing virtualized systems; but they may or may not cover any legacy physical servers you have. What’s more is that most solutions do not cover replication or recovery for other platforms, including IBM’s iSeries, zSeries, or pSeries.

Be sure to check with your provider about traditional backup, archival, and retention of data based on your business and compliance requirements. Some industries are required to keep records for up to seven years. This typically involves a relatively large volume of data as well as policies and procedures to recover files based on daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual backups. It is too costly for most large companies to just conduct a full backup of all their information every night and have it available for production systems.

It’s likely your DRaaS provider can help you with this, but it’s also not typically “included” in the base solution. Be sure to check the details of a potential provider’s offerings and how they can strategize with you to meet your priorities for recovery.

4. It’s an IT solution and therefore and IT decision.

Maybe.

While the IT department can typically scope and spec a DRaaS solution because they know the systems and requirements of IT, you’d be well advised to get buy-in from your executive team. That’s because your execs will likely be funding it to protect the assets, brand, and ongoing operations of the business.

As we all know, priorities change, markets change, and businesses change. That’s why it’s a good idea to approach your executive team before putting considerable effort into pursuing a solution.

5. All DRaaS solutions are the same.

False.

DRaaS providers can vary greatly from each other, including differences in:

  • What they are able/willing to cover
  • How fast they are able to recover and how much they can reduce downtime
  • The level at which they will manage/monitor your solution
  • Their level of compliance with industry standards
  • How physically and virtually secure they are
  • The quality of their customer service
  • Whether or not they are willing to customize your solution
  • How often they test, if at all, which is crucial to preventing failure

All of these qualities will vary from provider to provider, so be sure to get to know a potential provider well before signing the contract.

A word cloud of disaster recovery related items

Are You Interested in DRaaS?

With five major myths debunked, you can skip the surprises and make an informed decision about whether or not Disaster Recovery as a Service is right for you. At the end of the day, the key to success with DRaaS is choosing the right provider, especially one like LightBound who will work with you personally, explain the details of what you can expect from their solution, and be a true partner to your business.

With LightBound, you can rest assured knowing that our DRaaS services protect you with the most secure technology in the industry and can help you recover from downtime with lightning speed. Our data centers are SOC2 certified and we maintain complete compliance with industry standards set by HIPAA, PCI, SOX, and FISC. We care about the success of your solution, which is why we offer 24/7/365 monitoring by our skilled and experienced support staff.

Have more questions about DRaaS? Contact us today and we’ll answer any questions you might have about Disaster Recovery as a Service and share how DRaaS can help protect your data.

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Businessman escaping the disaster of his hot air balloon catching fire by clinging to a red balloon and flying up into air as a disaster recovery concept

From increased uptime and data security to peace of mind, the reasons to seek out a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provider are numerous. But unfortunately, there’s a catch: in order for your DRaaS services to be a success, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right provider. By carefully vetting potential providers for cloud data recovery, you can save yourself from headaches and know you have a solution you can count on.

Every provider is different, so how do you choose the right one? In this blog, we share eight attributes to look for in a DRaaS provider.

What is Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)?

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a service provided by a third-party provider that hosts and continually replicates your servers to a different location geographically in order to enable failover in the event of a natural or man-made catastrophe.

DRaaS ensures excellent business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) for your business. No matter if you are facing a hurricane, cyber attack, or human error as a threat to your business, DRaaS enables you to get back up and running with lightning speed and minimal downtime.

Hand of a businessman chooses a wood block cube with a smiley face on it instead of a block with a neutral face and one with a frowning face

How Do You Choose the Right DRaaS Provider?

To help you find an excellent provider, we’ve created a checklist of eight attributes to look for in each potential provider.

1. Their DRaaS solution allows you to recover with lightning speed. Check your provider’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) to make sure their Recovery Point Objective (RPO) is measured in seconds and Recovery Time Objective (RTO)  in minutes to minimize downtime.

2. Their solution is customizable. Your provider should be experienced and work with many different recovery environments, able to customize a plan for you and your company.

3. They keep your DR plan up-to-date so it’s perfectly executable when disaster strikes. Ideally, your provider will auto-incorporate all the latest changes to your environment so you don’t have to worry about a thing, ensuring your plan includes all the latest changes so it can go off without a hitch.

4. They have top-notch security. Your provider should be protecting your data in four primary ways: with the most secure technology in the industry, a secure environment, geographic diversity, and SOC 2 certification.

5. They are trustworthy and invested. Your feelings about your provider matter, as well as that they maintain complete compliance with industry standards set by HIPAA, PCI, SOX, and FISC. Their team should be made up of experts in disaster recovery with no shortage of experience carrying it out.

6. They’re always-on and always-available to assist you. A provider you can count on will handle monitoring your data and environment 24/7 by skilled NOC (Network Operations Center) support staff so problems do not go unnoticed and can be resolved quickly. This high visibility is essential.

7. Their DR plan is comprehensive and tested regularly. A provider that tests DR plans at least twice a year is key to preventing DRaaS failure.

8. Their customer support is excellent and ready to help. No one wants to be in a situation where you can’t get in touch with your provider. Choose a provider you know you can reach easily and communicate with stress-free.

The words "Disaster Recovery" next to a cloud-shaped icon for Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) with a server room as the background

Picking Your Provider

Don’t settle for a provider that isn’t characterized by these key traits or you might end up with a frustrating customer experience—or worse, failed disaster recovery at a time when it matters most. By choosing the right provider, it will make your DR strategy easy to manage, maintain, and achieve success.

All eight of these attributes to look for in a DRaaS provider describe LightBound. Our speedy recovery time, exemplary customer service, and top-notch security ensure you will enjoy excellent uptime and a stress-free experience. We seek to be a true partner to your business, providing a Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solution you can count on.

Want to learn more about choosing LightBound as your DRaaS provider? Contact us today and we’ll answer any questions you might have about disaster recovery solutions.

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Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) concept with "IaaS" written in front of a spiral design and a businessman thinking in the background

How much of building and managing a data center should you handle on your own, and when should you seek out the help of a service provider? The answer to this question will determine whether cloud infrastructure services, colocation, or “DIY”-ing it, is right for you.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, taking the time to determine the best solution for your business can mean increased cost-efficiency, less stress, and improved business operations. In this blog, we help make your decision a little easier by breaking down the pros and cons of infrastructure as a service.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) in cloud computing is a service in which a third-party provider purchases, installs, and manages data center infrastructure for you, allowing your business pay-as-you-go use of storage, networking, and computing resources via the Internet.

Team of network technicians in a datacenter checking security on servers

Pros of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

  • Less responsibility is on you and your team because both data center infrastructure and environment are handled for you.
  • You get a team of experts to manage your infrastructure for you, increasing your manpower and ensuring the success of your solution.
  • You don’t have to pay the initial start-up costs of purchasing and building infrastructure.
  • You gain increased cost-efficiency and flexibility because you only pay for what you need when you need it.
  • You enjoy improved performance and reliability thanks to a professionally designed and maintained environment.
  • You receive increased physical data center security handled by your provider.
  • If your provider also offers network services, you can enjoy improved performance and reliability.
  • You get peace of mind with a provider that offers 24/7/365 monitoring, which is difficult to achieve with a DIY solution.
  • You’ll know your data is in good hands with a provider that adheres to strict industry standards.
  • Your business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) will improve because your data won’t be in the same location as your office building.
  • You can quickly scale infrastructure up and down as needed, allowing you to quickly test new products and achieve a faster time to market.
  • You’ll enjoy increased flexibility if your office building moves geographic locations because your infrastructure won’t have to move with it.

Cons of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

  • If you already have a large team of experts on hand or have already invested in a lot of your own infrastructure, IaaS may not be as beneficial for you.
  • You don’t have fine-tuned control over the data center or any infrastructure within it, which means relinquishing some control.
  • Some very large businesses will save money down the line by investing in ownership of their infrastructure rather than renting it.
Technician checking server's wires in data center

Is infrastructure as a service (IaaS) the right fit for your business or is it a clear mismatch? Regardless of what solution you choose in the end, the key to successful services is choosing the right provider.

LightBound is ready to help with all of your data center needs, including IaaS and colocation services. With LightBound, you can count on a successful transition, top-notch support, and continued success with your chosen solution.

Do you have questions about IaaS in cloud computing? Want to speak with a LightBound expert about whether IaaS is the right choice for your business? Contact LightBound today to learn more!

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