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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.

Coworkers discussing plans in an office to customize a solution

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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Smart city wireless communication network with graphic showing concept of internet of things ( IOT ) and information communication technology ( ICT ) against modern city buildings in the background

“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.

Red and white cell phone  telecommunications tower against blue sky

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

Internet data center room with server and networking device on rack cabinet as cloud computing concept

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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Data center colocation services vector illustration of server rack equipment

Choosing colocation services for your business means that you’re leasing data center space, power, and cooling from a provider that owns and manages a data center facility for you. The popularity of colocation has grown alongside Cloud services, offering major benefits when compared with on-premises solutions.

In this blog, we focus on colocation’s financial benefits, covering five key ways it boosts your bottom line.

5 Financial Benefits of Colocation Services

1. Cut High Capital Expenditure

Building and implementing your own data center facility comes with a massive price tag up front, including having to create the proper environment and redundancies to store your servers. Colocation allows you to reduce capital expenditure because you only have to invest in hardware and software, not the storage environment itself.

This means you can enjoy a spacious, high-quality colocation data center at a price you can afford not only now, but also as your business grows and changes in the future. Colocation’s capital expenditure savings are ideal for businesses that don’t want the permanent investment of an on-site data center or can’t currently afford to build one that will meet their needs well.

2. Lower Operating Costs

On top of an already costly initial investment in having your own data center on-premises, you’ll also pay enormous amounts to keep your data center environment running smoothly and up-to-date. No matter how much space and energy you actually need at a given time, you may often find yourself paying more than necessary to cover management and maintenance.

With colocation services, you can reduce unnecessary operating costs because you only pay for what you need when you need it. This efficiency means you can expect a consistent, predictable cost without significant miscellaneous expenses.

Additionally, your provider’s team of experts are handling the huge colocation data center environment for you, meaning you don’t need to invest as much in personnel as you would if you owned the data center. This includes maintaining the space, power, bandwidth, IP address, and cooling systems necessary. Colocation hosting gives you greater bandwidth with a lower cost so you can enjoy the features of a large IT shop without the massive price tag.

Businessmen on tablet touch screen reviewing a diagram or chart of financial reports

3. Reduce Risk

Did you know that colocation is more secure than hosting your own server? Colocation offers a higher level of security and maximizes your uptime thanks to the following features when you choose a provider like LightBound:

  • Powerful generators and backup power to keep your servers safe during an outage
  • Servers stored in ideal temperatures with redundant power, cooling, and fire suppression
  • 24/7/365 monitoring and assistance
  • Advanced physical security including biometric access, cameras, individual cage locks, and substantial access logs
  • Compliance with ever-evolving industry regulations

When your infrastructure is protected and monitored by a trusted data center services provider’s environment, you can rest easy knowing your business operations will run smoothly and get quickly back on track when something goes wrong.  

By avoiding the costs of downtime and remediation, your bottom line will thank you. Plus, you don’t have to pay to keep up with expensive security technology, monitoring, and certifications.

4. Improve Customer Loyalty

Housing your infrastructure with the right colocation provider means your customers can trust that you are keeping their data safe. Reduced downtime and smoother business operations will mean less frustration for your customers and increased brand loyalty. When your business runs well, it fosters happy customers that have faith in your business.

5. Scale Easily

When you store your server equipment in your own server racks, there’s no easy or cost-effective way to move, grow, or shrink the space you store your infrastructure. With colocation services, you own your server hardware and can upgrade anytime rather than being stuck with the initial facility plan in your own data center. Rather than having to completely rebuild your own data center, your provider will provide you space to easily scale your infrastructure up or down on-demand.

Plus, if your office building moves locations, you won’t have to worry about transporting your infrastructure with it—it can stay put at your colocation site. This flexibility and scalability can be a wise investment in your bottom line, especially if your company is fast-changing, a startup, or requires a fast time to market.

Landscape view of very large data center data storage array for colocation services

Choosing the Right Colocation Provider

As much as 4-5 times less expensive than insourcing, colocation offers many benefits to your bottom line. If you think colocation is right for your business, then it’s time to get serious about choosing the right colocation provider.

This is a crucial step to ensure colocation success because no two providers are the same when it comes to the value of their offerings and service delivery. Look for a provider like LightBound who will be a partner to your business, providing continued personal attention,  24/7/365 support, top-notch security, and custom solutions.

Want to learn more about colocation services? We’d love to hear from you! Contact LightBound today and our experts will help answer all your questions and share how colocation hosting can benefit your business.

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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.

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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.