The cloud is here and has been for several years now. Businesses we encounter are moving more applications and services to the cloud every day. Whether it’s a CRM, ERP, accounting, or other program, reliance on the cloud is greater now than ever before. Why, then, are businesses still hosting servers internally?
The Data Center
Data centers are at the heart of the cloud. They exist to serve the data needs of millions of businesses and users all over the world. They are the invisible man behind the curtain and are (literally) built to last.
Your company’s website most likely resides on a web server. That web server lives in a data center somewhere. Why? Why wouldn’t a web hosting company keep that server in their facility where they’d have ready physical access to it? There are three reasons why servers live in data centers rather than on-premise.
- Power – Data centers are on 24 x 7. They’re up during blackouts and even mass power outages, so while you may not be online during a power outage, your website will be. This is because data centers utilize high-end electrical infrastructures. Most have conditioned power tied into a backup plant. It means that when the normal power grid fails, massive generators and alternate power sources inside data centers activate.
- Space – Data centers offer businesses a wide range of options when it comes to the physical real estate a client’s equipment occupies. Most offer locked cabinets. Some offer caged floor space, public rack space, or enclosed rooms. Most of today’s data centers also offer virtual server space for clients to lease as needed.
- Bandwidth – If your 100MB metro ethernet is a garden hose, the upstream bandwidth to the internet at a data center would be the size of a sewer pipe you could walk through. And most data centers have several which are connected or interconnected to several different providers.
Because of the points above, data centers provide 24x7 guaranteed uptime. Why, then, would a business still want to maintain servers at their location?
There are several reasons, but a few of the more popular are:
- Security – the server houses sensitive information and, depending on the data being stored, the business may be required to maintain physical access to it.
- Speed – A server on the local LAN doesn’t require an internet connection to access it.
- Users/Bandwidth – A business may choose to maintain a server locally because they have many users, and were those users forced to access that server in a data center, the business wouldn’t have enough bandwidth to support it.
Put simply, metro ethernet is a best in class internet access service. Bandwidth is synchronous and can range from a few megs to gigabit speed. It’s guaranteed and highly reliable. Businesses utilizing metro ethernet connections are able to support many users accessing multiple cloud-based applications as well as VoIP and other data intensive services.
As it relates to data centers, however, the same issue arises as it does with VoIP. Unless the metro ethernet connection is connected directly to the data center, the vast desert that is the public internet lives in between the data center and the end users.
The Data Center and Metro Ethernet Marriage
In addition to providing VoIP and internet access services, N2Net also owns their own network and the data center which supports it. Over the years, N2Net has been able to provide primary, alternate, and backup data center solutions for their clients. Because of their unique ability to provide multiple services, they’re able to directly connect clients to their data center via metro Ethernet.
Clients utilizing this service receive all the power, bandwidth, and space benefits while maintain a direct connection to their servers. This reduces the need for customers to build out their own expensive power infrastructures. Additionally, because N2Net is a VoIP provider, clients are able to house their IP phone system in N2Net’s data center, adding several layers of reliability to their voice network.
Contact an N2Net data center specialist to learn more today.