12 Reasons Data Center Remote Hands Are Crucial to Your Business
By: Blair Felter on February 20, 2020
Imagine for a moment that it’s 2:00 am when you receive an alert that a critical part of your website has gone down. As a result, customers across the world are unable to buy your products and or use your services. Every moment the system is unavailable, it’s losing your company revenue, costing you opportunities, and damaging your brand’s reputation among customers.
To give some perspective on just how much an outage can cost a company, Amazon’s 75-minute outage on 2018’s “Amazon Prime Day” may have caused the internet retailer to lose over $90 million in sales.
Going back to your outage in the middle of the night, your business might have started out with just a few servers on-premises. However, as demand grew (which is a good thing), you had to extend your server capacity to multiple data centers and establish disaster recovery plans in additional backup locations. Now your various systems are geographically separated, which is a great idea to increase responsiveness and agility to meet your customers’ needs with low-latency services.
But when servers go down, how do you resolve the issue without jumping on a plane to fly to a remote location while precious seconds (and dollars) are ticking away?
Every data center offers some measure of on-site support, but dedicated remote hands teams go above and beyond to benefit colocation customers. Having remote data center services with smart hands capability means you have professional, certified technicians providing 24x7x365 support to help you get things back up and running quickly. This allows you to maximize system uptime and avoid having to send IT staff into the field. In some cases, you may even be able to intelligent monitoring tools like vXchnge’s award-winning in\site platform to connect remotely and work on the system in conjunction with remote IT hands support to quickly figure out the cause of the problem.
12 Reasons Data Center Remote Hands Are Crucial to Your Business
1. Smoother Installations
The benefits of a quality remote hands or smart hands team can become evident very quickly when a business decides to colocate with a data center. Having experienced, qualified technicians who are both familiar with the facility’s environment and know how to set up a variety of network infrastructures to meet customer needs can make any migration run much more smoothly. A company’s internal IT team may not have a good idea of how to deploy new equipment in ways that maximize performance. They might also not have the time to upgrade operating systems and test new installations for bugs or compatibility problems.
Remote support hands technicians can stack, install, and cable equipment quickly and efficiently while also addressing any concerns an organization may have about how its assets will be managed in the data center environment. And since they’re installing the equipment and network infrastructure, these teams will have a detailed record of the particular characteristics of each IT setup, which will make any future troubleshooting much easier. With their keen understanding of the colocation facility, remote hands teams can deploy new hardware and perform software updates with minimal disruption to services while still maintaining high levels of system uptime.
2. Around the Clock Service
A quality smart hands service should offer 24x7x365 support. There’s no way of predicting every problem that may occur with a company’s IT and data assets, and there’s certainly no way of knowing when those problems will happen. Whether the nightmare scenario is a system error during peak business hours or in the middle of the night on a holiday, remote IT hands are vital to delivering peace of mind for colocation customers. By maintaining a close watch on the data center network, these technicians will often spot problems before companies even become aware of them. With a good remote support team, there’s little risk of trying to log in to the company servers on a Monday only to learn that the system went down during the night.
3. Faster Maintenance
In addition to providing services around the clock, smart hands remote technicians excel at identifying problems quickly and addressing them immediately. Since technicians are always on-site, there’s no risk of service lag due to waiting for a response team to travel to the facility. Remote hands teams have plenty of experience working within the data center’s environment, especially since they helped to install many of the hardware network setups colocated there. This helps them to address problems quickly, without spending valuable time trying to obtain details regarding different network specifications. When there’s an issue, then, they can take steps to address it immediately. Even when everything is running smoothly, but a customer wants to alter something about their deployment, data center support hands teams can move physical equipment quickly, efficiently, and (most importantly) correctly.
4. Less Downtime
Few things are more important to an organization than keeping their servers up and running. No matter how it occurs, system downtime can quickly translate into lost revenue, diminished productivity, and missed opportunities. Even worse, the brand damage that follows as a consequence of customers not being able to access data or services can be devastating for a company, tarnishing its reputation for years.
With a remote support hands team on-site, colocation customers can rest easy knowing that if something does go wrong (which, if the facility has a good uptime SLA guarantee, won’t be very often), they won’t have to wait for their own IT personnel to travel to the data center to address the problem. Frequent load testing and fire drills keep data center remote hands alert and ready to address uptime challenges quickly when they present themselves. That rapid response time means that system downtime will be kept to a minimum, even if it occurs outside of regular business hours. With the high potential costs of downtime capable of wrecking a company’s finances and reputation, having the assurance of a smart hands team is a significant benefit for organizations of all sizes.
5. Maximize Internal IT Talent
Innovation drives business success in today’s increasingly global and fast-moving economy. Every moment a company’s internal IT team spends troubleshooting everyday network issues is a moment it’s not thinking about how to improve the products and services the company offers. With data center remote services handling the day-to-day burden of keeping their IT infrastructure up and running, organizations can task their high-value IT personnel with tasks that add value to the business and create new opportunities.
While it’s easy for companies looking to colocate their data and IT assets with a data center to spend more time thinking about facility costs and cloud services, they should not overlook the importance of a robust data center remote support hands offering. Far more than a simple on-site support team, remote hands can contribute significantly to business success by making it possible for colocation customers to keep refining and improving their own services without constantly worrying about the status of their IT infrastructure.
6. Faster Incident Resolution
Of course, system downtime is only one challenge that can impact network performance. Other problems, such as software bugs, equipment failure, and cyberattacks, can disrupt services in ways that a business depends upon. Remote hands data center support services provide 24x7x365 troubleshooting for anything that goes wrong with colocated assets and the networks they make possible.
Sometimes you need visual verification of a problem, such as knowing which lights are solid and which ones are blinking. With remote support hands, technicians can perform visual inspections and help get your equipment back up and running. Smart hands services can also inventory equipment, take pictures, and give you detailed assessments of your current hardware deployments. For colocation customers with access to intelligent monitoring tools like, remote hands teams can also be alerted to problems before they can cause system downtime.
7. Easier Service Upgrades
Like it or not, sometimes it’s necessary to reinstall software updates and operating systems. It’s great if it’s located on a hard drive that we have access to, but sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes we need a technician to physically use a DVD, CD, or other external storage devices in order to install media for the job. Companies relying on tapes for backup might also need someone to put in another tape so they can restore a previous day’s backup to get things back up and running.
One of the advantages of colocating assets with a data center is the ability to scale IT operations rapidly. Whether it’s through server virtualization or expandable computing capacity through hybrid and multi-cloud computing architecture, there are a variety of data center solutions that allow colocation customers to expand their network infrastructure without prohibitively expensive capital investments. Gaining more storage capacity or processing power is often just a phone call (or an online portal, if a facility has a customer intelligent monitoring platform like in\site) away. Remote hands teams can start building and deploying new functionality immediately, without having to wait for an internal team to travel to the data center. Since they’re already familiar with all the features of the data center environment, they can design and implement services far more efficiently. With a great remote hands data center team, companies can literally transform their data operations overnight.
8. Consistent Maintenance
For all the emphasis on the cloud and edge computing networks that enable Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, physical computing hardware remains the backbone of IT infrastructure. If that equipment isn’t well maintained, it will reach the end of its service life much faster than expected, potentially failing at the worst possible time to inflict crippling system downtime. While tools like vXchnge’s in\site allow colocation customers to monitor their assets at all times, remote IT hands teams play a major role in the day to day maintenance of that equipment. Visual inspections, stress testing, and ongoing service documentation provide a comprehensive picture of how well colocated hardware is performing at all times. Remote hands data center teams to conduct ongoing maintenance that ensures deployed assets are operating as well as they should and helps them to spot potential failures early enough to plan for replacing damaged or worn-out components.
9. Power Cycling and Deployment Optimization
Whether it is a server, network switch, router, firewall, or some other type of device, having a certified technician on the phone to reboot the machine can make the difference between restoring functionality in a few minutes versus taking hours to have someone go on-site. Over time cables can also loosen or go bad, which could threaten network performance and even lead to system downtime. Having a certified technician on-site to reseat cables to get your critical systems back up and running is invaluable.
Changes in the data center environment can sometimes impact your network’s performance. Perhaps new cabinets have been involved that could accommodate higher-density server deployments, or a new cabling installation is interfering with your cooling efficiency. With data center remote hands services, making adjustments to the physical deployment of your hardware is easy and fast, allowing you to optimize your equipment without sacrificing performance. If a server needs a reinstall, they can quickly handle the process to minimize downtime.
10. Preventative Maintenance
The typical server lasts for anywhere between three to five years, but other components in your infrastructure could wear out faster (UPS batteries being a prime example). A good remote hands team performs routine maintenance on all data center infrastructure, identifying equipment that could potentially fail or is nearing the end of its service life long before it actually has a chance to fail and cause system downtime. Managing cooling and power properly can also extend the life of your equipment.
11. Data Migration
One of the great benefits of remote data centers is the wide-range of connectivity options they make available to tenants. While you may be utilizing a relatively simple hybrid cloud deployment today, your growing business might need to add more functionality and capacity with a multi-cloud architecture. When that time comes, remote hands data center services can help you migrate (and back up) your data as seamlessly as possible. They can also make your initial data center migration easier when you need to expand to a new location.
12. General Troubleshooting
As the 2:00 am example demonstrates, sometimes things just go wrong at the worst possible time. With a data center remote hands team in place, help is only seconds away. Intelligent monitoring tools also allow you to create and track IT support tickets when you identify concerns in your network. So the next time you wake up to a notification at 2:00 am, you can go back to sleep knowing that the message came from a support hands technician telling you that the problem you never even knew about has been resolved with minimal disruption and downtime.
Remote Hands and Your Data Center Deployment
When organizations weigh the costs of building out their own data center solution against the benefits of colocation services, they often keep most of their focus on technical details. They consider connectivity, regulatory compliance, and security, but sometimes overlook one of the most important benefits of colocation.
Remote hands data center support services can dramatically improve an organization’s colocation experience. Their intimate knowledge of the data center environment allows them to manage a customer’s deployment far more effectively than an off-site team, even one familiar with the customer’s IT infrastructure. A good smart hands team functions as an extension of a company’s internal IT team, helping them to maximize the services of a carrier-neutral colocation facility.
Having a reliable and capable remote hands team that provides 24x7x365 on-site technical assistance is often more important than how much power or cooling a data center utilizes. With a good remote support hands team in place, organizations can retain control over their colocated assets without having to keep their own IT personnel on constant watch over their data center deployment.
About Blair Felter
As the Marketing Director at vXchnge, Blair is responsible for managing every aspect of the growth marketing objective and inbound strategy to grow the brand. Her passion is to find the topics that generate the most conversations.
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