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 options, regulatory compliance, and security, but sometimes overlook one of the most important benefits of colocation.
Remote hands data center support services that provide 24x7x365 on-site technical assistance are often more important than how much power or cooling a data center utilizes. With a good remote 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.
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 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. That rapid response time means that system downtime will be kept to a minimum, even if it occurs outside of regular business hours.
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. For colocation customers with access to innovative site-monitoring tools like vXchnge’s award-winning in\site platform, remote hands teams can be alerted to problems before they can cause system downtime. With the ability to issue and track support tickets, data center solutions like in\site combine with remote hands teams to help colocation customers manage their assets and equipment as easily as if they were located in the same building.
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-facing DCIM platform like in\site) away. But with remote hands teams, scaling data center services is even faster. These 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.
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 DCIM tools like vXchnge’s in\site allow colocation customers to monitor their assets at all times, remote 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.
When it’s time to upgrade equipment or update software, finding the time to schedule an installation can be a major hassle, especially if a colocation facility is located far from the company offices. Furthermore, a multi-tenant data center is a complex environment filled with other customers’ critical assets. 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. 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.
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 remote 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.
Ross is a Regional Vice President, Operations at vXchnge and is responsible for managing all 14 data center locations. With more than 30 years of experience, Ross has managed data center construction, engineering, repair and maintenance, leading him to the emerging business of colocation.