Customers who are looking for a hosting solution, particularly those who currently have an on premise hosted IT environment and are considering colocation, often face a range of questions with regard to their infrastructure choices. We’ve put together a list of some of the common issues companies face when deciding between colocation and on premise hosting to help make it easier to choose between the two solutions.
In many cases, colocation offers several advantages in terms of IT management and business continuity. A hosted solution provides the benefit of the experience, knowledge and resources of the hosting provider. Additionally, the costs of running a datacenter on premises are usually high, and often will not show a return on investment unless a company can reach the necessary scale. Because of these factors, colocation is often an attractive option for many businesses.
Let’s look at some of the advantages of colocation in more detail:
In a hosted environment, the hosting provider takes the necessary precautions to ensure your data is available at all times. There are emergency services available in case of a power outage, such as power supplies, batteries, and generators (plus fuel, a supplier contract for fuel, and an SLA for refuelling). Fall-back scenarios are tested regularly to make sure these measures do not fail at crucial moments.
Hosting providers also have additional arrangements in place with an energy supplier for redundant energy connections that enter the building at different locations. Redundant Internet connections (that also enter the premise at different locations) and an agreement with the local authorities for possible excavation work (that could damage cables) are also standard.
Let’s say you want to become the new Facebook. Believe it or not, I regularly run into people who have this ambition. The number one question these new Mark Zuckerbergs ask me, is which server they need.
It is always a challenge to convince them to not rush into anything. Instead, I make them sit down and tell me what they really want. Since many companies switch servers within a few months after buying and this is always time consuming (not to mention the costs), it is certainly worth your while to think well before you decide. What is the service you want to deliver? What is your workload? Does it involve large databases?
I always discuss the following 8 things to help people decide on the right hosting provider and hardware configuration of a dedicated server:
1. Business impact of downtime
What is the business impact of potential failure of your hosting environment? One of the first things to consider when selecting a dedicated server is how to deal with potential downtime. In a cloud environment, the set-up of the cloud protects you against hardware failures. With a dedicated server, you know you are not sharing resources with anyone else. But since there is always a single point of failure in one server, you need to decide whether you are able to accept potential downtime – if you do not have the option to scale to multiple dedicated servers.
2. Scalability of your application
Scalability is another important issue when choosing a dedicated server. How well does your application scale? Is it easy to add more servers and will that increase the amount of end users you can service?
If it is easy for you to scale, it doesn’t matter whether you use a dedicated server or a virtual solution. However, some applications are difficult to scale to multiple devices. Making sure a database is running on multiple servers is a challenge since it needs to be synchronized over all database servers. It might even be easier to move the database to a server that has more processing capacity, RAM and storage. Moving to a cloud environment – where you can clone a server, have a copy running in production and can add a load balancer to redirect traffic to multiple servers – could also be a good option for you.
3. Performance requirements of your server
What are your performance requirements? How many users do you expect and how many servers do you potentially need? Several hardware choices influence server performance: Read the rest of this entry »
5 tips on outsourcing your IT infrastructure
On Friday 27 March, two provinces in the Netherlands were hit by one of the largest power outages in Dutch history, leaving a million households without electricity. Schiphol airport saw flight cancellations, trains stopped running, people were trapped in elevators, and business premises were evacuated. The cost, which ran into millions, was caused by a defect in a high-voltage substation.
— RTL Nieuws (@RTLnieuws) March 27, 2015
In my role as a Product Manager at LeaseWeb, I constantly interact with our customers to find out how we can improve our products to fit their needs better. Quite often, I receive requests from customers for faster processors or even GPUs to accelerate their hosting platform.
Sometimes less can be more. There are types of web scale workloads that don’t require a lot of single threaded CPU performance, such as static web content delivery or low-end dedicated hosting. In those cases, using microservers based on multiple low-cost, low-power server processors can be an interesting prospect.