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5 Considerations when Migrating Data Center Infrastructure

Choosing to migrate your business’s networking and storage infrastructure to a data center is a serious decision. Even when done correctly, it requires many hours of planning to keep downtime to a minimum. Why then would any business make the decision to move to a data center? There are several factors that often play a role when making this complicated decision. In most cases, businesses are concerned with, or trying to improve one or more of these things:

Connectivity

As one of the most straightforward topics to discuss, this can easily become costly and confusing, if not properly addressed. Your business may require physically diverse connections to comply with business continuity plans. Depending on bandwidth requirements, redundant high-speed fiber entrances can become quite costly. However, when your infrastructure resides in a carrier-neutral data center, obtaining diverse connections from multiple carriers and avoiding single points of failure becomes quite simple. This simplicity lies in the multiple carriers already located in the data center that are a simple cross connect away with no expensive construction required.

Availability

Selecting a data center environment that ensures your equipment is remotely and physically reachable by your network admin team is paramount. Data centers that are backed by Service Level Agreements (SLA’s), 2(N+1) power infrastructure, and multiple diverse connections guarantees that your business has the necessary connections to remain in control of your equipment.

Security

Security has never been more important, and data centers can help protect your infrastructure in several ways. Secure facilities utilize the following methods to protect your infrastructure: video recording at every point of entry, badge access with two-factor authentication, physically locked cabinet, and in some cases private suites for additional security. Private circuits, like Ethernet Private Line (EPL), allows you to connect with your remote locations, and is a high-capacity, cost-effective solution for businesses requiring direct connections.

Compliancy

The most overlooked aspect when considering data center migration is compliancy. Many businesses do not carry the certifications that may be required for their industry. Certifications like HIPPA, SOC, and PCI, can be very costly, with some certifications costing tens of thousands of dollars per year to acquire and maintain. When hosting at a data center however, these annual certifications are handled by the facility, and can be provided for a business compliance audit.

Infrastructure

Data centers are designed to be scalable to meet the growing needs of businesses. With first right of refusal, space near your cabinet can be reserved for future growth. The most stable data centers are designed, engineered, and constructed with power, battery back-up, and HVAC systems. This provides the most stable environment for your critical networking and storage equipment, all while efficiently scaling connectivity and space.

Next Steps

Once you have decided on a data center, follow 123NET’s Data Center Migration Checklist to ensure your business is successful in transitioning its data to a new facility.

 

ABOUT 123NET 

123NET is a Michigan-based Internet Service Provider (ISP) focused on equipping businesses with an industry-leading data center, network and voice services. Over a dozen Fortune 500 companies and thousands of Michigan businesses trust 123NET to provide them with world-class connectivity. Home of the Detroit Internet Exchange (DET-iX), 123NET operates one of the largest carrier-neutral data centers and peers with technology leaders such as Google, AWS, GM and others. 

 

OUR MISSION: BUILDING NETWORK TO MAKE MICHIGAN COMMUNITIES & BUSINESSES THE BEST CONNECTED ON THE PLANET.

Customer Spotlight – Innovations Applied

Customer:

Innovations Applied

Services:

123NET’s Data Center & Colocation Services

Industry:

Digital Marketing

Number of Employees:

13

At-a-Glance:

Innovations Applied was founded in 1997 and is based in Chicago. They provide real time video communications technologies and custom applications to their business and industrial customers. As a full service-digital agency, their offerings include marketing automation, SEO, full UX/UI discovery, and development solutions. 

Challenge:

Headquartered in Chicago, Innovations Applied was looking for a reliable data center to move their servers off-site. As a specialized company with high-capacity data needs, they also sought a managed service provider to generate a custom solution that would scale considerably and ensure the continuity of their business. 

Solution:

123NET’s Data Center provided the company with a carrier neutral space to ensure uninterruptable data access,  colocation space, power, and connectivity.

Results:

The availability and reliability of a 123NET Data Center allows Innovations Applied to store their data off-premises. By doing so, it establishes high-speed access to their data with no interruption for their real-time video communications. This results in Innovations Applied being able to grow their business and stay at pace with demand.

“We provide real-time video communications technologies and custom applications in the health care, banking, virtual event, higher education, e-learning, and business collaboration industries. 123NET makes it possible for a small company like ours to compete with much larger organizations, delivering service that meets and exceeds the highest standards.” 

Bill Dunning

Founder, Innovations Applied

Customer Spotlight – Jekyll and Hyde

Customer:

Jekyll and Hyde

Services:

123NET Fiber Voice & Data Solutions

Industry:

Advertising

Number of Employees:

25

At-a-Glance:

Jekyll and Hyde is an advertising, marketing, and communications firm with over 25 years of experience. They have two core business areas: direct response advertising and marketing and brand advertising. Their direct focus is to grow sales and market-share for challenger brand consumer-packaged goods.

Challenge:

Beyond the basic requirements of an internet service provider (ISP), Jekyll and Hyde searched for a provider that could go above and beyond just fast internet. They needed a partner to provide transparency, great communication, and proactive capabilities for any future issues.

Solution:

123NET’s expansive network in Redford made them an excellent candidate for fiber services. Jekyll and Hyde opted for a fiber voice and internet solution to consolidate their services onto one dedicated provider.

Results:

123NET Voice and Data Solutions provided Jekyll and Hyde with high-speed internet and reliable voice services. Communication was a large priority for Jekyll and Hyde. 123NET’s Project Manager Carol Johnsonbaugh, and Account Manager Dan Lang kept the company informed during the project and provided excellent options for continued growth.

When the agency was under a tight timeline to move their company headquarters from Redford to Northville, the strong partnership between 123NET and Jekyll and Hyde made continuing services an obvious choice. They needed to seamlessly transition their existing 123NET Voice and Internet Services to their new building. 123NET was able to install a temporary fixed wireless solution under a condensed timeline while constructing fiber to the new Northville location.  

“123NET was capable, efficient, and exact with my latest project with them. From inception to final delivery, every part of the evolution was handled by professional, friendly people always willing to go the extra mile to make sure I had what I needed. Keep up the great work guys.”

Matthew Umbarger

Director of Creative and Production, Jekyll and Hyde

Customer Spotlight – Baker College

Customer:

Baker College

Services:

123NET Data Center & Network Services

Industry:

Education

Number of Employees:

1,500+

At-a-Glance:

Founded in 1911, Baker College is Michigan’s largest private not-for-profit college while also being the state’s top private transfer school. They also have multiple campuses across the state offering 70+ degree programs while also providing an online global campus with 40+ academic program options for undergraduate and graduate degrees. Baker College strives to cultivate an environment that encourages positive action, critical thought along with providing the knowledge that students need to improve their lives and careers. 

Challenge:

Baker College had multiple service problems that they were looking to resolve. First, they needed to solidify their infrastructure and move to a managed data center. Second, Baker College was receiving subpar service from a national ISP and needed a reliable cost-effective service provider. Last year accelerated Baker College’s need to integrate new technologies that would allow their teams, faculty, and students to work collaboratively.

Solution:

123NET provided Baker College with seven multipoint fiber connections along with redundant high-speed internet back to a carrier neutral data center. Baker College also joined the Detroit Internet Exchange to create a faster user experience for their campuses across Michigan.

Results:

Upgrading Baker College’s network configuration with 123NET’s Services allowed the college to have faster, more reliable connectivity to their campuses at a cost-effective price. With a managed colocation solution, Baker College can store their data and infrastructure at 123NET’s Data Center, benefiting from full physical security, redundancy, and scalability options. Their new network structure has given each campus the means to support high-load traffic in addition to network continuity for their global campus and remote learning. 

When compared with our previous national provider, 123NET has met or exceeded our expectations in every area with one major difference—their level of personalized customer support is beyond anything we’ve experienced with other service providers.

Scott Wood

Sr. Director of Infrastructure Security & Support , Baker College

Data Center Redundancy: 2N, N+1, 2(N+1) Explained

Maintaining a 100% uptime should be a top priority for every  data center. If data centers experience power outages, customers can lose thousands of dollars for every second they are down. 123NET heavily invests in 2(N+1) redundant data center infrastructure to protect customers from this.

What Does Redundancy Mean in Data Centers?

When data center providers advertise their facilities’ redundancy, they are referring to the amount of backup power available. If utility failures occur due to severe weather, equipment failure or powerline damage, data centers with more redundant power will be better equipped to avoid costly periods of downtime.

Most data centers have systems in place to cut the risk of downtime.  These systems can be categorized into N+1, 2N, and 2(N+1).

What is N+1?

A simplified way to look at N+1 is if you were ordering bagels for an office breakfast. There are 20 people working in your office and you decide to order one more bagel than needed just in case. “N” would represent the exact number of bagels you need (20), while the extra bagel is the “+1”. You would be showing up to work with N+1 or 21 bagels.

Applying this to data centers, “N” could stand for the number of uninterruptible power supply (UPS) modules needed. The “+1” would be one more module more than required. Having more power available than needed lowers the chance of downtime. Although N+1 is often called “parallel redundancy” these data centers are not fully redundant because they share common circuitry instead of being sourced from two separate fields.

What about 2N or 2N+1?

If you ordered bagels with a 2N mindset, you would order 20 bagels from one bagel shop and 20 more another shop. The 2N would stand for two times, or double, “N”, the number of bagels you would need. If one of the bagel shop loses your order, you will still have enough.

For data centers, having a 2N redundancy means you have twice the amount of equipment needed with no single point of failure. When extended power outages occur, 2N systems will be maintained without losing power to subsequent systems.

If a data center offers 2(N+1) redundancy that means it has double the amount of power equipment needed, plus an additional UPS module on each side. Referring to the bagel example, you would order 21 bagels from two different shops. If one of the shops doesn’t deliver and there is an issue with one of the bagels that does show up you will still have enough.  For this reason, 2(N+1) data centers offer the highest guaranteed uptime.

123NET’s four 2(N+1) redundant data centers come with a 100 percent power uptime Service Level Agreement. If your business cannot afford losing access to mission-critical applications, you should consider collocating at 123NET. To learn more power redundancy, schedule a data center tour with 123NET today. Visit https://www.123.net/data-center/

Why Data Center Location Matters

Data center location should always be a top priority for customers. Choosing a data center in an optimal location not only provides immediate advantages, it also prevents major headaches down the road. 123NET carefully handpicked an ideal environment for each of its four Michigan data centers.

Network Speed

While people may think that bandwidth is the only factor determining speed, that’s not the case. The physical distance from a data center to an application can significantly affect network latency. For this reason, many companies, such as healthcare companies, are seeking data centers local to their office space. These companies are gaining a clear edge over the competition due to the speed advantage lower network latency provides. While it could be less expensive to collocate further away, it is often not worth sacrificing speed.

Natural Disasters

Businesses that collocate in areas prone to natural disasters are playing with fire. Events such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornadoes can cause critical power outages, leading to crippling downtime. If the best data center option happens to be in a disaster-prone area, consider selecting a backup data center at a safer location, preferably on a different power grid.

Accessibility

Data center space should be in an area that is comfortable to reach. Personnel may need to travel to the data center to make upgrades and service equipment. If a data center is out of driving distance, consider the logistics of transporting personnel and equipment through the air.

Connections

Businesses can take advantage of data center connectivity by creating multiple channels that will keep data moving freely despite outages. This makes data centers in well-connected areas safer and more reliable. It also gives businesses more room for growth, as they can easily make plenty of connections within the data center itself.

123NET’s three Southfield data center facilities have a superior location. They have access to more than 20 carriers, are in low-risk southeastern Michigan and close to thousands of Metro Detroit businesses. 123NET also has secure, easily accessible data center space in Grand Rapids that makes for premier primary or backup colocation space. Learn more about the strategic advantages you can gain from data center location or to schedule a tour of our data centers, visit: https://www.123.net/data-center/