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A Look at Mission-Critical Infrastructure

In our digital world, always on internet is a must. Customers expect a fast and seamless experience when dealing with your business and its services. Downtime for most organizations would cause a negative reaction to enterprise activity or loss of revenue. In more severe cases, legal action or loss of life could occur.

A data center colocation facility is considered a mission-critical facility. To maintain continuous operation of the facility and the internal processes taking place, redundant power and cooling systems must be present in varying degrees of reliability.

The classic definition of mission-critical systems has not yet caught up with the realities of today’s digitally transformed world. For modern businesses, the real-time interaction between customers, suppliers, and even machines is the essence of digital value creation.

Infrastructure for these “systems of engagement” must provide high availability across compute, storage and network resources because real-time processing is a core, not incidental element of modern business value. Yet only a fraction of these systems run on systems that vendors have historically called ‘mission-critical.’

Defining Mission-Critical Infrastructure

Mission-critical is most commonly defined as a system that is essential to the survival of a business or organization.

The mission-critical distinction used to be an important step up from the business-critical systems that were simply important but not essential to the business. Yet in the digital era, what application is not essential?

For example, the streaming service, Netflix, may not seem mission-critical compared to say electronic patient information. Yet, if Netflix experienced mass outages, subscription owners could take their membership to one of the many other competitors. In a competitive market like entertainment streaming, this could mean unrecoverable damages for Netflix.

In fact, digital transformation has tremendously increased the number of applications considered mission-critical. This newer view of mission criticality is at odds with the traditional IT view that reserves mission-critical status for a few specific internal systems of record, such as payroll, that rely on custom hardware or software solutions that are far too expensive for the majority of businesses.

Adopting Modern Mission-Critical Infrastructure

The future of mission-critical infrastructure is highly available hyper-converged infrastructure that offers a common operational model for compute, storage, networking, and even cloud resources from a single console powered by industry standard servers

This simplified solution uses software and servers to replace expensive, purpose-built hardware. With hyper-converged infrastructure, you will decrease data center complexity and increase scalability. Adopting HCI allows for more control, less spending, and does not compromise security.

Another option to consider is a burstable power and internet plan. With this option, customers can choose a base sustained bandwidth, usually enough to handle an average day of traffic with a bit of room to handle slightly higher volume.

When network traffic hits its limit, the burstable bandwidth will provide additional capacity to handle the high volume data. With burstable power and internet, a provider like LightEdge can make sure customers always have the bandwidth necessary to handle fluctuations in network traffic.

Now that businesses are considering some part of their organization mission-critical, finding a mission-critical colocation facility is the next step. Factors like uptime, security, support, and redundant power are all things to consider.


Power is the one thing most people know to look for when choosing a colocation facility. At LightEdge, our facilities have a power density of 225 watts per square foot with redundant power utility feeds delivered underground. This eliminates outages due to wind, snow, and ice especially for our data centers located in the Midwest. Iowa power costs are among the lowest in the nation.

Data center generators provide a cost effective and reliable form of onsite power generation in case of a mainline outage.

If your IT team simply plugged your server into an outlet, you likely would not be running anything when the power goes out. Your IT team needs to be evaluating your backup power supply and have procedures in place for when to use backup power.

All LightEdge facilities have redundant power and cooling, geographically diverse central offices, and access to multiple data network carriers.

Executing true N+1 redundancy planning can place an enormous burden on the budgets and workloads of IT professionals. By switching to colocation, your organization can maintain control over your data while tapping into the redundancy of professionally designed N+1 cooling, power, and data protection.


Uptime and a redundant network are a top priority for most when looking for a mission-critical colocation facility. The best colocation facilities will have a 100% uptime SLA, or service level agreement, written right into all of their contracts.

What if a critical device on your network breaks or goes down? You might find yourself at a complete work stoppage. Employees’ productivity would take a hit and customers would miss out on doing business with you. Every moment of system downtime translates into very real financial losses in the form of revenue, diminished brand reputation, and missed opportunities.

Network redundancy is the process of adding additional instances of network devices and lines of communication to help ensure network availability and decrease the risk of failure along the critical data path. Having redundancy by providing additional pathways through your network via redundant routers or switches would ensure minimal downtime and complete continuity of your services.


Security and Compliance have arguably been at the root of the data center industry from day one. While connectivity will drive location, security and compliance are the key factors that raise the bar and determine viability for many organizations.

Finding a facility that meets all of these security and compliance guidelines allows organizations to accelerate their maturing in IT governance. Using hosting providers naturally provides role separation and forces documentation of critical changes. It also ensures that access logging and authorized user controls are properly documented to meet compliance needs.

Contracts actually hold hosting organizations accountable and provide predictability and cost controls for businesses looking to attain compliance and better security in a rapid and sustainable manner.

Remember, even if you work to get the controls in place yourself, you still have to operate for a year in order to successfully pass an audit of those controls. Similarly, hosting facilities have already deployed and tested all of these systems and have the staff and business model for maintaining them.


Most do not list support at the top of their list when deciding on a mission-critical colocation provider yet having experts in your corner 24/7/365 can come in handy when an unexpected disaster hits.

LightEdge’s solutions are backed by one of the strongest services guarantees in the industry. Our support team is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – no exceptions. Our technical support starts with direct access to technicians in LightEdge’s Network Operations Center (NOC) via a toll-free number for emergencies.

The NOC experts also handle all formal monitoring, logging, and event management to ensure that pertinent information is recognized, identified, recorded, and processed in a timely manner. This level of support is included with every LightEdge service and is designed to accommodate the unique needs of each customer.

Look to LightEdge to be Your Mission-Critical Colocation Facility

Finding a colocation provider that meets the security, network availability, scalability, and support that your organization requires may seem daunting. Thankfully, LightEdge is top performing in each of those categories, but don’t take our word for it. Take a virtual tour through one of LightEdge’s seven data center colocation facilities with the hosts of Off the Cuf to see our world’s most secure data center.

As a top-tier colocation services provider, we deliver a high level of availability and reliability through secure, certified data centers, and dedicated staff onsite. Our customized and scalable services give you the control, whether you need a colocation rack, cage, or custom suite now or in the future.

LightEdge’s highly trained compliance and security experts take the guesswork out of keeping your business protected. Trust our expertise to ensure you are covered through our security and compliance services, including risk management, information security, audit preparedness, and support.

With geographically dispersed facilities across all of the US power grids, our data centers are the heart of our operation and yours. We have a wide range of colocation and disaster recovery solutions delivering advanced shared infrastructure designed to enable operational and financial efficiency, reducing the burden on your IT staff.

LightEdge business support services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no exceptions. Our technical support starts with direct access to technicians in LightEdge’s Network Operations Center (NOC) via a toll-free number for emergencies. The LightEdge Portal allows you to open tickets, track progress and more for all of your services.

Customers turn to LightEdge to reduce risk of non-compliance, scale security and for our proven predictably and cost-effectiveness. LightEdge provides customers with an extended team of experienced engineers, so you can refocus internal resources on agility, differentiation and running towards achieving your desired business outcomes. Are you curious on how your current provider stacks up? Our security experts will provide a free security assessment to see how you measure up against the latest compliance and security standards. No risk, no commitment. Contact us today to get your free security assessment.

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