Last month, I wrote about five things you can do to ensure shorter load times for your sites. Today I want to look at a sixth, positioning your services as close as possible to your end users.
Leaseweb entered the U.S. market in 2011, in part because our clients across Europe and Asia needed North America-based hosting. Over time, we’ve grown our presence, both organically and through acquisition. We now operate 10 data centers across the continent with local U.S. based support.
Positioning services closer to end users enhances customer experience by decreasing content delivery times. Geographic spread also provides the safest disaster recovery and remote backup solutions for maximum uptime.
Global customers expect the same levels and types of services across every location. That’s why we have been systematically working through each of our U.S. data centers to ensure all our equipment is up to the same specs. Our rule is that we should be able to pick up Leaseweb engineers from anywhere in the world, drop them into a different data center, and have them immediately know where everything is and how it all works.
This is interesting, challenging work. To ensure we can get customers switched over to new technology with as little downtime as possible, we augment our U.S.-based team with engineers from other locations. In some scenarios, they are able to do a quick power cycle, if the hardware isn’t changing or a near seamless transition of spinning up a new machine and then turning off the old one. However, in Seattle, we consolidated two data centers down to one, which meant engineers were quickly moving equipment from one location to another for customers staying with their original hardware.
These data center upgrades are also a great opportunity to talk to customers about their technology needs, and if it’s time to rethink their infrastructure setup. We call that a ‘tech refresh,’ where we can provide a better solution for the customer. For example, they could increase their density, by going from single CPU to dual CPUs in the same space. Or perhaps their mix of cloud and bare metal servers isn’t optimized for their current use case and working together with our pre-sales and networking teams we can assist in creating that optimized solution.
In my time with Leaseweb, I’ve come to realize that as much as we’re selling great technology and support, our biggest differentiator is that we take the time to provide strategic, platform-agnostic advice – which is the part we give you for free.
In the U.S., we’ve tripled the size of our sales force to have more people available to provide this type of advice. I talk to customers all the time who feel like they’re locked into a specific technology or platform. And honestly, they may be, in the short term. But over time, there are ways to keep the parts you need to keep with a third party hyper-scaler, while building a plan to develop a more efficient and affordable option for managing your infrastructure needs.