Last time we discussed the benefits and drawbacks of going Server only versus “cloud only”, as it relates to an organization’s technology infrastructure. We briefly touched on a hybrid approach, as well. This time lets dig a bit deeper into a hybrid approach along with considerations for a colocation facility. As we mentioned previously, the direction an organization ultimately decides on, or the choices they make, will vary depending on the type of organization they are, along with their unique needs and how much of an issue “downtime” really is to that organization.
How much of a “big deal” is it? One of the first questions to ask yourself is “how big of a deal is it if our network goes down?” Will it affect your ongoing ability to function, or “will it be a big inconvenience, but not the end of the world?” Some organizations can struggle through a few hours of power being down, maybe a full business day or even two, if necessary. For them, hopefully, with a bit of scrambling, and the right IT DR plan in place, they can be back up and running with restored power, a new server, or whatever the cause may be, in a reasonable amount of time with minimal impact.
However, what if an event similar to the February 2021 “Snowpocalypse”, you were down for several days, or at minimum, subjected to rolling blackouts for a week or more? What if the extra server you thought you had in storage is missing, and the one you need is suddenly backordered due to supply chain issues? Or alternatively, what if the server you need is available, but can’t get to you for a week or more due to logistical issues such as the same weather, transportation strikes, road closures, etc. Now things start to transition from less of an inconvenience and quickly escalate into much more of a deeper, longterm problem. The aforementioned scenarios are only taking into account organizations with non-critical services and doesn’t take into account the organizations that really cannot afford to experience any downtime at all like local government, emergency services, and more!
Hybrid to the rescue! A hybrid scenario offers the best of both worlds. You have the convenience of on-site technology with your own servers that your organization can manage and grow as-needed, but also have the security of a backup on the Cloud accessible from anywhere – just in case. The server plus a Cloud back up can be a good insurance plan for some organizations, but an even better solution is for your hybrid plan is to take advantage of a co-location facility.
A Cloud backup will allow you to keep your data safe, irrespective of the circumstances you’re currently experiencing at HQ. But due keep in mind, how often, along with how thoroughly you backup your data, will always be critically important. Worst case scenario, you can always access critical data needs from your Cloud system’s last backup and move forward from there, with the intent of minimal downtime or data loss. However, when your hybrid approach incorporates a co-location into the scenario, the downtime is essentially negligible.
Hybrid good. Colocation better. With a co-location your information is backed up real-time and mirrored at a completely different site that generally has multiple power and internet redundancies built into their infrastructure. Keep in mind, each colocation offers a different number of resources specific to each company. Essentially, at a co-location facility, if one part of their power grid goes out (and it generally doesn’t, because it’s typically built along the same infrastructure as Hospitals, etc), there are generators and other interim power solutions to rely on. Should the internet go down on a service provider’s network, another service provider will automatically takeover, as co-locations offer multiple internet lines and service providers.
UniVista has several blogs on Cloud computing, colocations and their importance as part of your ongoing business continuity planning. We encourage you to view some of the here: https://univista.com/posts/the-ping-cloud-computing/ https://univista.com/posts/the-great-debate/
If you have any questions on how best to implement some of these benefits and solutions, and don’t know where to start, please don’t hesitate to contact one of UniVista’s Account Management representatives.