Once again we stress the importance of Business Continuity, or in other words how to ensure your business infrastructure and networks remain safe and accessible irrespective of what disaster(s) take place.  Colocations are an excellent method of maintaining, and accessing, your organizations critical infrastructure and are becoming an increasingly popular means to help manage Business Continuity.

In essence, a “Colocation” is what it sounds like; an additional off-site location that houses your data that can be accessed both physically and remotely.  A colocation facility can be part of your organizations in-house real estate holdings, but in an alternate location and facility.  E.g you may have one office in Austin, Texas and an additional office in Dallas, Texas, or even an out of state location, which is networked together to share and manage your data and online infrastructure.  For example, Microsoft has several locations strategically located throughout the country, so if one location has issues, another can take over.  Obviously, most organizations do not have the same resources, but there are great options for businesses of every size.

If additional in-house offices/locations are neither available, nor a viable option for your organization or particular situation, there are specific facilities available that act as de facto locations for other organizations. These standalone colocation facilities offer organizations space for their data and are networked with your organization to keep your information safe and immediately accessible should something go awry.  They not only provide actual physical space and cooling, but they also provide physical security. Space can be leased based on your needs, whether that be by the server, the rack, the cabinet or cage, or even by private suite. Your organization would merely be leasing the “space” and all that it comes with, but the equipment both hardware and software would be yours, along with it’s maintenance responsibility.  A bonus is that, typically, colocation facilities have several built-in levels of redundancy, both in terms of power and networking connectivity.  In fact, many are generally located in areas that are not subject to power outages e.g. are sharing grid-space with critical infrastructure like hospitals, etc.  Additionally, many have their own back up power sources like generations in case “all else fails”, they also generally employ cutting-edge firewalls and cyber security protocols, as well.

Should something happen in Austin, like the rolling black outs back in Winter 2021, depending on how you have things configured, the alternate location could take over and your network and data is both accessible and safe, essentially with little to no downtime or impact on your organization.

Whether owned space or leased, having a colocation is another critical tool for your business to maintain it’s data, keep it safe, and keep your network accessible when things go wrong.  UniVista has vetted several colocation facilities and can help your organization get a colocation set up. If you have any questions about colocations and how your organization would benefit from a co-location, please contact your UniVista Account Rep.

If the last few weeks have shown us anything, it’s that you have to be prepared for everything.  Yes, we’re talking about Business Continuity again. 

With our recent crazy weather, including several tornado producing storms, wildfires and more, it’s time to consider whether you’re properly protected if suddenly your entire operation is impacted, or worse, completely shut down. 

Additionally, with the current unrest in Europe, state-sponsored and opportunistic hackers are on the prowl even more than usual. It’s imperative your organization continues to be vigilant against cyber security threats during these turbulent times.

Three critical things to consider NOW…

  • Is my team aware of possible cyber threats and do they understand how to avoid them? Does your team practice good online safety protocols? If you’re not sure, it’s probably time for a review; contact your UniVista Account Representative.  Clients taking advantage of the UniVista Support Agreement have cyber security training available to them.
  • Where are my backups? Do you know where your backups are and how to access them in the event of an emergency?  Is there more than one individual in your organization aware of where your backups are and what to do in the event of a system failure? Are your systems backed up frequently enough?  Be aware of what you’ll be losing if your system completely goes down and how long it will take to restore the information. Is your organization prepared to recreate the data you have lost if you’re system is not backed up frequently enough?  Consider adding additional backup options, and/or off-site back up locations. Again, if you’re not sure of the best course of action to take, or want to review your current system needs, contact your UniVista Account Representative. 
  • How long will it take to restore? Be aware of how long a possible system restore will take and who in the organization is qualified to handle the task. If you feel your in-house team is not up to the challenge, contact your UniVista Account Representative to facilitate, either employee training, or a strategy to have UniVista handle the restore for you.

Don’t underestimate the inconvenience of system downtimes and the potential loss of data. Downtimes are more than an inconvenience, they lead to unhappy customers, missed opportunities and revenue losses.