What is a SOC 2 Report?

In the world of data centers, keeping customer information safe is critical. 123Net has taken several measures, including SOC 2 compliance, to ensure that each customer’s most valuable data will be secure.

What Is SOC?

SOC is an acronym for Service Organization Controls. It consists of standards used to determine how well organizations handle their information. Independent accounts conduct SOC audits by determining whether proper safeguards and procedures are in place.

What is SOC 2?

SOC 2 reports are targeted toward providers that store information in the cloud. It is a strict technical audit, focusing on five principles of trust: security, availability, processing integrity, confidentiality, and privacy.

Security

To earn SOC 2 compliance, providers must prove that customers are protected against unauthorized access. Auditors analyze how equipped a data center is to prevent theft and system abuse. Firewalls and intrusion detection services are two elements that play an important role in this.

Availability

Providers must prove that their system, products and services are accessible, as stipulated by a set contract and/or a Service Level Agreement (SLA). To ensure that both parties meet their predetermined minimum acceptable performance level, auditors track network performance, availability, site failover and security.

Processing Integrity

Data centers with satisfactory processing integrity deliver data accurately and completely in a timely manner. Auditors closely monitor data processing and quality assurance to help evaluate processing integrity

Confidentiality

Confidential information is any set of data that is disclosed and restricted to a certain group of people. Providers must show that they can avoid leaking private data, business plans, intellectual property and several other items to prove this. Encryption, firewalls and rigorous controls are pieces of evidence that auditors use to determine confidentiality.

Privacy

Providers must show that they can effectively collect, retain, use, disclose and dispose of customers’ personal information.  Details such as race, sexuality, health and religion should always be protected for the sake of the customer.

When customers choose their data center providers, security is always a top priority. All four of 123Net’s data centers are consistently audited to maintain SSAE-18 SOC 2 Type II / SOC 3, HIPAA and PCI-DSS compliance, ensuring that each customer’s most confidential data is well protected, stored and maintained.

To learn more about colocating at 123Net’s four SOC 2 certified, Michigan data centers, visit https://www.123.net/data-center/ or schedule a tour today!

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

Maintaining 100 percent 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 losses.

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 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 2(N+1)?
If you ordered bagels with a 2N mindset, you would order 20 bagels from one bagel shop and 20 more from 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 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, 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 do 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, consider collocating at 123Net. To learn more about 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. That is why 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 is not the case. The physical distance from a data center to an application can significantly affect network latency. For this reason, there has been a huge push by financial companies to move their servers closer to the New York Stock Exchange. 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 will need to travel to the data center regularly 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 by going to https://www.123.net/data-center/ or taking a tour at a 123Net data center today.

How to Choose the Best Internet Service Provider for Your Business

123Net is an Internet service provider (ISP) built on delivering reliable connections at high speeds. The organization provides enterprise data center, network and voice solutions for local Michigan businesses.

Every business is unique, and the same rule applies for ISPs. Whether a business is looking to upgrade its current internet service or establish a new connection, choosing a well-suited internet service provider is always important. Based on a business’s specific needs, here are a few factors that should always be considered:

Bandwidth

Bandwidth can play a major role in the speed of an internet connection. It is the minimum capacity between the user and application server, usually measured in megabits per second, or Mbps. Determining the amount of bandwidth required to run business-critical applications is crucial. It helps businesses find Internet service providers with the ability to meet current requirements and capacity to scale up for projected growth.

Support

The best internet service providers share one common trait: outstanding customer service. Customers will need to work closely with support to ensure that their business’s specific needs are met. Effective support teams are friendly, informative and timely.

It is also important to consider how accessible support will be during unexpected situations, such as outages and other problems. Investigating which forms of contact are accepted (phone calls, emails, trouble tickets, etc.) and if 24/7 support is included can help set businesses up for success.

Failover

Staying constantly connected to the Internet is more important than ever for businesses, especially when only a few seconds of downtime can now lead to thousands of dollars lost. For businesses where Internet outages are devastating, it’s best to find an ISP with redundant failover options available. Failover helps businesses stay connected primary Internet connections are lost. For example, fixed wireless is commonly used as a failover option for high-speed fiber Internet. If there is a problem with a fiber connection, fixed wireless will seamlessly take over.

Bundling

If a business has multiple needs to fulfill, bundling services together can help save money and ease operations. ISPs often incentivize bundling with money-saving discounts to attract customers. Consolidating services can also simplify billing and support.

123Net has the capacity to deploy redundant terabit-speed connections and deliver over 1MW of power, making it an attractive option for businesses of any size. The organization is also home to the Detroit Internet Exchange, one of the world’s 40 largest peering hubs.

123Net is a premier business ISP, backed by world-class 24/7 support. 123Net can also bundle high-speed fiber, voice, fixed wireless, and data center solutions, making it a simple, efficient option for your telecommunications needs. Visit https://www.123.net/ for more details.

How Smart Hands Services Simplify Colocation Management

123Net’s Smart Hands service ensures that technicians will always be available to address issues with your colocation equipment. Skilled technicians are on site 24x7x365, prepared to follow your detailed instructions to complete required tasks. Our service is a convenient and efficient alternative to hiring third-party vendors.

Quick Response Times

Gain immediate access to equipment with experienced technicians. Smart Hands eliminates the travel for staff members or vendors who would otherwise need to visit data centers. Customers are given peace of mind knowing that access to their colocation equipment is always a quick phone call, email or ticket request away.

Free Up Employees

Smart Hands frees up your talented employees, so they can shift their focus to more important tasks. Boost productivity by moving colocation maintenance in-house.

Why Choose 123Net’s Smart Hands? 

123Net’s Smart Hands service is separated into four categories: asset management, logistics management, on-site support and rack & stack. These categories include tasks like

Asset Management

Audits of spaces & engineering, basic organization/cleaning, confirming power consumption, etc.

Logistics Management

Storage, labeling, packing, shipping, moving equipment, etc.

On-Site Support

Available 24/7, inspections, testing, resets, customer assisted access, etc.

Rack and Stack

New installs, augmentations, equipment removal, cabling, etc.

This solution is available at all of 123Net’s four Tier 3 data centers.

At 123Net we have a service level agreement, guaranteeing that our staff will respond to your ticket in 15 minutes or less. Our colocation support staff will always be available to help your business reduce the frequency and duration of network downtime.

To learn more about 123Net’s data centers with Smart Hands support visit: https://www.123.net/data-center/

Data Center Tiers: Which Classification Is Right for Your Server?

123Net provides premier colocation space for Michigan businesses. That’s why each one of 123Net’s four Michigan data centers is Tier 3 classified, offering nearly perfect uptime, with top-of-the-line features.

All data centers serve the same general purpose; however, they are not created equal. Levels of reliability, sustainability, and efficiency vary from facility to facility. Therefore, the why the Uptime Institute created a Tier Classification System to set quantifiable industry standards.

Every data center is classified under a tier ranging from 1 to 4. Tier 1 facilities meet minimum data center requirements, while Tier 4 facilities are fully redundant with near perfect uptime. Factors such as redundancy, promised uptime, and overall infrastructure all play roles in distinguishing between tiers. Here are some of the specifics:

Tier 1 (Uptime 99.67%, 28.8 hours of downtime yearly)

Tier 1 facilities offer the most basic components expected from a data center. Uninterruptable power supply (UPS) systems support momentary outages although redundant components are missing. Without features such as backup cooling and generators, these data centers are incapable of maintaining industry-leading uptimes. Tier 1 data centers are primarily used by smaller businesses that can afford occasional downtime.

Tier 2 (Uptime 99.75%, 22 hours of downtime yearly)

Tier 2 facilities meet the same basic requirements as Tier 1 data centers while adding some redundant components. Additional power and cooling elements protect these data centers from disruptions such as site and equipment failures. UPS Modules, chillers, pumps, and engine generators are a few of the features you will start to see in Tier 2 data centers.

Tier 3 (Uptime 99.98%, 1.6 hours of downtime yearly)

The biggest difference for Tier 3 facilities is that they do not require shutdowns for maintenance. Creating multiple paths for power and cooling to server equipment help data center avoid this. Each individual piece of equipment can be shut down without disrupting the overall IT system.

Tier 4 (uptime 99.99%, 0.8 hours of downtime yearly)

Tier 4 data centers offer fault tolerance. This means that the data center will function normally despite one or more equipment failures. Each component of a Tier 4 data center is fully redundant including generators, cooling units, chillers, and power sources.

What Tier is Right for Your Business?

If your business cannot afford losing access to business-critical applications, Tier 3 or Tier 4 data centers are the way to go. With a 100 percent power uptime Service Level Agreement (SLA), more than a dozen fortune 500 companies trust 123Net’s data centers. To learn more about 123Net, got to https://www.123.net/data-center/ or schedule a data center tour today.