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

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

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

Why NGFW is a Modern Security Necessity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Are You Ready for Next-Generation Firewall?

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

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

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

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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.

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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.


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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