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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!

What should you ask a potential cloud services provider before signing the dotted line? While a provider can seem like they have their ducks in a row, don’t forget to vet them for how they will treat you as a client. Asking the right questions can help you reveal whether or not a provider will meet, and hopefully exceed, your expectations as you experience the transition to cloud computing.

Ask potential cloud services providers these five questions to ensure they will give you the best client experience for a successful transition:

1. Do I need a cloud storage or cloud computing solution?

This is more of a question to ask yourself, but it’s first on the list because you’ll need to clarify whether your business needs a cloud storage solution like DropBox or an enterprise-level IaaS cloud computing service with network, server, and storage resources for your application.  

Cloud storage solutions are used for basic data storage and backup while cloud computing allows you to run applications in the cloud—a huge leap beyond cloud storage. IaaS Cloud computing allows you to access and run applications or programs through the Internet rather than through a physical computer or server. If you only need to store some files, you can stick to a cloud storage solution, but if you’re ready to put your business applications in the Cloud, then you’re ready to look for a cloud computing provider.

Cloud computing offers benefits like scalability, flexibility, cost savings on capital expenditures, the ability to remotely access and transform your data, plus so much more. A cloud computing provider may also offer increased protection for your data, both physically and virtually, thanks to data security and disaster recovery capabilities.

2. Are you a reseller or do you provide cloud services directly?

Some providers resell cloud services while others provide cloud services directly. The problem with resellers is that they not only have a lack of contact with the services they’re selling, but if you have a downtime issue it can be costly not knowing whether to call the software/hardware OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer), the hosting provider, or the VAR (value-added reseller) for support. Finding where the problem started can prove to be an expensive headache.

When you work with a provider like LightBound, we’re not resellers of these products—we actually provide these services directly to you. This means we are able to provide a better customer experience for you because we customize the solution for your business, handle all the project management, installation, and implementation. We also support your business with a dedicated Technical Account Manager, a 24×7 NOC, and a team of Tier 3 and Tier 4 Engineers if things go bump in the night. All of these compliment our resource pools and ensure a smooth and trouble-free customer experience.

 

3. What are your service hours?

Technology doesn’t wait for “office hours” to malfunction, and things tend to go wrong in the middle of the night when you’re least expecting it. Will your provider be there for you when you need them most?

Some providers limit the hours when you can actually reach them for assistance, which can mean increased downtime for your business, frustrated employees, unhappy customers, and halted business operations.

Choose a provider like LightBound that offers always-on, always-available service designed to solve your problems with lightning speed. We are there for you day or night and will work hard to get your services back up and running if there’s ever an issue. Your bottom line will thank you!

4. Who answers the phone when I call?

When you call for help, will you be speaking to an answering machine, robot, third-party assistant, or a personable and ready-to-help expert? Will they know what they’re talking about and be able to help you, or end up wasting your time?

When something goes wrong, having an experienced professional on the other end of the line makes all the difference in getting your problems solved. When you call LightBound for help, one of our expert employees will be ready to assist you 24/7/365, and you’ll be able to put names to faces with our team.

 

5. Who’s responsible for what?

Who’s responsible for the services you receive and who owns the datacenter? Will they be accountable for monitoring and ensuring uptime? Know what your provider promises and what their responsibilities are, only choosing a provider you know you can count on to have your back, make you a priority, and solve issues directly.

If your services will be handled by separate parties, it will be more difficult and time-consuming to resolve issues. This is because, in addition to not knowing where your problems are rooted, you may not be able to get any party to take responsibility for solving them or even care that you’re experiencing downtime.

This is yet another reason it’s important to choose a provider that offers you services directly rather than a reseller that can’t ensure the success of your cloud services all the way through. At LightBound, we are your single-source solution for cloud services, so you have only one phone number to call and we are accountable for your uptime.

Need help choosing the right cloud services provider for your business? Contact us today for direction!

No matter what problem you’re trying to solve in life, you need a path to get there. Solving your disaster recovery (DR) problem is no different, and it pays to keep your problem-solving at a high-level before diving too deep into the weeds.

In this blog, we cover five potential disaster recovery solutions for your business and what steps you need to take to ensure your DR problems are solved.

Businessman standing and thinking in front of multiple sketched arrow pathway choices

Don’t Skip The Crucial First Step

Before signing any agreements or buying anything, the stakeholders in your business should answer these five questions. After 15+ years of experience in this field, we recommend you ask yourself these questions as the critical first step in solving your DR problems. Getting through them will save you a lot of money and months or even years of frustration down the road:

  1. Is there a compliance issue you must solve, and does the CEO view this as a must-have?
  2. What applications and data must be recovered to support your employees and customers?
  3. How long can you do without these applications and data? How much data can you afford to lose?
  4. What is the financial risk of your business being without these applications and data?
  5. Who needs to be involved in this process within my company and do we have the expertise to evaluate the options?

The bigger your business, the more complexities will factor into these questions, but you’ll thank yourself later for taking the time to answer them.

Businessman choosing one solution from five options

5 Disaster Recovery Solutions for Your Business

Once you’ve nailed down your answers from the first step, you’ll be well-equipped to wade through the weeds of problem-solving. It’s time to consider these five potential DR solutions through the lens of your business’ unique needs:

1. Storage-based solutions are provided by the storage vendors and deployed as modules inside the storage array. This solution offers application consistency, but it functions at the storage layer and requires “like” hardware infrastructure in production and replication. A storage-based approach is a costly option regarding implementation and management.

2. Agent-based solutions install agents onto the host server that is desired to be backed up. It allows for application-level recovery but requires installing an agent on each server. It also means more overhead, less scalability, and increased complexity to manage.

3. Snapshot/backup-based solutions enable a quick restore by “freezing” a live storage system or VM at a moment in time. Because snapshots are typically taken every four hours, four hours of data is lost after rollback. This solution causes high latency and requires large amounts of storage. It does not perform well under high loads or at large scales, which leads to high recovery point objectives (RPOs).

Disaster Recovery Plan written by hand in marker with "DRP" highlighted by color and circled

4. Native hypervisor replication solutions are hypervisor-aware but are managed on a per Virtual Machine (VM) or per Host basis. It does not have a central management interface, nor does it have consistency grouping. This makes it difficult to manage and maintain. Plus, it requires manual recovery operation.

5. Hypervisor-based replication solutions function so that each time the virtual machine writes to its virtual disks, the written command is automatically and continuously captured, cloned, and sent to the recovery site with no impact on application performance.

Hypervisor-based replication offers huge benefits without the drawbacks of other solutions and is optimized for virtual environments. It boasts application-level consistency grouping, easy scalability and granularity, recovery at the click of a button, continuous data protection, and more.

You can learn how LightBound’s Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), a hypervisor-based solution, can provide superior protection for your business on our website.

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Ready to Learn More?

If you’re unsure which DR solution is best for your business, sign up today for a free one-hour consultation with LightBound’s experts to personally help you find the right solution for your business’ unique needs.

Click here for your Free Consultation