Safety has been a hot topic worldwide, especially since the beginning of the pandemic, and it is indeed an important thing to consider across many facets of your IT infrastructure. With that in mind, why don’t we take a moment to think about how this can apply to your data. More specifically, let’s take a look at where it is housed; do you know how safe your data is, if you even know where it is?
Whether you have more of a hosted virtual or collocated physical presence, there are two very important considerations when looking at the safety of a data center and its provider: security and reliability. Since those are pretty broad categories, let’s break them down and narrow in on how they apply to your data center experience.
What is Security?
Security is all about how protected your data is from prying eyes. This may seem simple enough, but there are many factors to consider, especially when thinking about the many ingress points into systems from both the physical and virtual world. Luckily, there are those out there trying to make it easy for decision makers – with the rise of well-known certification and compliance standards, it can be easier than ever to ensure a potential data center partner has what it takes to ensure the security of your data.
We at LightEdge, for example, continually evaluate regulatory compliance requirements, and we annually renew our certifications in PCI, HIPAA, HITRUST, NIST, SOC 2 Type 2, and more. If that alphabet soup of compliancy seems a little intimidating, you can rest easy knowing that it means our engineers and security methods help to guarantee your company’s data security. Even better—we are certified in that respect.
What is Reliability?
What does reliability mean when it comes to housing data? That is, how confident are you that your data will always be available for use? Or, should the worst happen, what is your confidence level that it can quickly be restored to prevent lengthy downtime? Business continuity depends on the reliability of the systems housing your data, and a good data center provider will work to ensure that your data will always be available no matter the situation. If this a new concept, don’t worry! LightEdge, for example, provides a comprehensive suite of options:
- Managed Backups and Data Protection – A good backup strategy is important to any continuity plan, and the reliability of our data center infrastructure ensures that whether your backups are file-level or image-level, off- or on-site, they will be stored in a fully protected environment.
- Disaster Recovery Options – Providing an answer to one of the questions above, what if the worst happens and a disaster of some kind strikes? LightEdge can provide systems that can seamlessly transition between our geographical locations, allowing you to quickly resume working, if you even notice any downtime at all! We even offer remote workspaces with our Workplace Recovery service if for some reason your facilities aren’t operational.
Data Storage Affects Security and Reliability
Now, let’s focus in even a little more and look at a few models of how data is typically stored or utilized and consider which applies best to your situation. Are all of your servers virtual and hosted by a provider such as what LightEdge’s Virtual Private Cloud offers? If it’s not something you’re familiar with, LightEdge Virtual Private Cloud has a number of advantages:
- SLA-backed performance – We guarantee 100% resource availability, so that you never run the risk of competing for performance. Our services are carefully designed and managed to avoid ‘bad neighbor’ attributes of traditional public clouds.
- N+1/HA (high availability) by default – N+1 redundancy ensures availability in the event of component failure. Other multi-tenant clouds are single instance or require significantly higher investments to achieve N+1.
- Our Virtual Private Cloud is managed to the highest levels of security – We use best practices in encryption, change management, and configuration management to ensure your sensitive data remains protected.
If this sounds like your current data storage solution, it may seem unnecessary to spend time researching the details of the provider’s data center. Not so! Remember that there is physical infrastructure ultimately powering your environment somewhere. How secure is this hardware, and how reliable is it really? Is physical security for these devices sound and certified? How often do outages occur on these platforms? These and more are important questions to consider – questions which LightEdge continuously asks its team members to ensure the best possible experience.
Physical Factors Matter Too
What if you utilize a data center purely for physical colocation? To give you an idea of what that might look like, here are some features of what LightEdge offers (in addition to our virtual services) as far as our flexible colocation options go:
- Backed by 24/7/365 remote hands technical support by highly trained and industry-certified techs who can diagnose, isolate, troubleshoot and resolve issues in a highly controlled manner
- Facilities that meet compliance standards for the previously mentioned HIPAA, PCI, HITRUST and which have available space scalable from a single rack up to multi-thousand-square-foot suites
- Separate, geographically distinct data centers in stable locations and on separate power grids, ensuring that a regional outage wouldn’t impact more than one facility
- Multiple power feeds providing redundant loop connectivity and, if that isn’t enough, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) and backup diesel generators that are tested and maintained regularly
- Multiple carriers and physically diverse connection points to ensure network availability, which makes sure that one or even two carrier outages would not impact Internet connectivity at our data centers
This is the clearest example of how important security and reliability as they apply to your data are, given that you’ve likely had direct experience with both the physical security and reliability of the data center. Once again, as with a purely virtual data center option, it’s very important to consider such things as: how securely segregated from others is your environment? Has the facility always been reliable – have there been electrical, network, or security system outages?
Looking for A Multi-Cloud Option? Look No Further Than LightEdge.
What if rather than one of these black-or-white options of a physical or virtual environment, you are like most and your data is blended across a variety of systems, with multiple points of management? Some of LightEdge’s offerings for this approach include:
- Dedicated Private Cloud, which includes hosting for the latest and greatest hardware along with a co-managed and monitored VMware environment that is, like everything we offer, Scalable and Compliant.
- Power Cloud for IBM i- and z-Series environments. LightEdge can provide hosting, backup, or even migration for existing and new IBM-based environments.
- Bare Metal, which is a great option if you would prefer to maintain total management control and flexibility with your environment, but don’t want to deal with taking care of the hardware itself.
Here is where considering the security and reliability of a data center is paramount. If your data is flowing to and from a number of different environments, whether across dedicated circuits, VPNs, or the Internet directly, protecting the destination is key to think about. Can all endpoints keep your data away from bad actors? Are all of the junction paths servicing and transmitting your data reliable? Any good data center provider will ensure that they guarantee or even better are certified on these points.
Now that you have an understanding of security and reliability, how they apply to data center operations, and their importance in the safety of your data, you may be ready to look for the options that are best for your organization. LightEdge has a team of dedicated experts standing by to answer any questions you may have. Schedule a call with one of our security experts today to get one step closer to maximizing your security and reliability for your employees and customers.