Selecting a Colocation Data Center That is Right for Your Brand

Many challenges face businesses. One area that requires the most focus is selecting the right partner in architecting your tech infrastructure. Especially with picking a Colocation Data Center.

Companies offering goods and services strive to provide seamless and pleasant experiences for their clients. While deploying the right tools to keep resources always available for their internal teams to deliver. 

Not all Data Centers are built the same. Industry leaders will know that cost is not everything. Especially when your website and applications are the core of your business. If your business is centered on quality and providing the best service to your consumers, choose a colocation data center that is able to provide the quality you need. There are many options out there, but not all will align with your business.

Every year businesses are impacted by tech issues resulting in disruption with day to day operations. Thinking it through will help mitigate risks.

Common Scenarios

You plan for a product launch. Develop the application for 2 years. Allocate a huge portion of the budget for marketing. It’s launch day. But your customers are greeted with a ‘404 Page’ error when they visit your website. There is so much traffic that your website goes down. Customers are not happy when their expectations are not met. Not only do you miss out on a lot of sales, but your brand image is also affected. The marketing budget was supposed to bring awareness to your new product, instead it highlighted the instability of your website. 

Your business launches its product internationally. It experiences a 300% growth with its user base. New customers from all around the world experience timeouts and slow response times accessing the client dashboard. The consumer experience is overall negative due to the frustrating slow loading speeds. They lose interest and getting them back will be hard.

Your workforce pivots to remote work. Your staff experience slow connectivity and connection issues when running resource intensive internal applications. Productivity is low and morale is down. Having the right tools in place is important for teams to work effectively and efficiently.

How to Select a Colocation Data Center 

If any of these sound familiar, it’s time to revise your strategy on how to choose a colocation data center. Here is a checklist to consider when architecting the infrastructure for your business:

  • Does the facility have access to T1 Telecom Providers? Will you be able to serve your customers and users with minimal latency globally? Pairing with reputable industry telecom providers is important in remaining stable and connected.
  • Does the vendor function as an extension of your team at the Data Center? A facility provider not only provides space and connectivity, but also acts as a member of your team on site.
  • Does the vendor have a diverse services portfolio? Choosing the right partner providing other technology solutions supports your company’s growth. (Cloud deployments, Mac Infrastructure Hosting, Contract Optimization, Cybersecurity).
  • Have you seen the facility? Would you lease an office space without a site tour? Understand the building’s configuration, security, uptime history, and maintenance schedules.
  • Is branding and reputation of your infrastructure important to your business? Your customers see value in being at one of the most connected data carrier hotels.

The long term benefits of investing in the right facility provider as your partner is essential, especially with tech. 

Contact Clarity to learn more about how to choose a colocation data center that is right for your business.

Greening the Cloud with Clarity GreenCloud™

Increasing demand for hosting and cloud services along with the recent uptick in remote working all has an environmental impact. When it comes to data centers, power consumption is an issue. That’s why we believe every business, including the data center industry has a part to play in addressing climate change.

From the outset, Clarity has taken a proactive green hosting approach. We are always looking for the most efficient and environmental solutions available.

For example, Clarity’s 151 Front Street West data center location cooling system uses the Enwave Deep Lake Water Cooling System. Cold water from Lake Ontario which is used to cool the building. Offering a sustainable and alternative source to traditional air conditioning.

Additionally, a hot aisle containment system takes the heat produced by the equipment and pumps it into in-row cooling units. Also, our 20 Pullman Court data center location uses state of the art cooling systems that combine glycol condensers and return water.

As well, we are always reviewing how the infrastructure in our Canadian colocation and data centers integrate green energy efficiencies. We’re doing our part by integrating green hosting and green technology options.

However, for businesses or organizations looking to lower their environmental footprint or reach their sustainability targets, this can be an issue. That’s where Clarity GreenCloud™ can help.

Helping Businesses Find Green Technology Solutions

Clarity believes innovative customer focused technology solutions should also focus on helping our clients meet their business goals. This includes their sustainability goals.

Yet, many businesses and organizations struggle in assessing their environmental footprints on the IT and server side. That’s why we created Clarity GreenCloud™.

What is Clarity GreenCloud™?

Clarity GreenCloud™ is a Clarity sustainability program that helps businesses and organizations meet their environmental sustainability goals.

We take a green technology solutions perspective. This means looking at setting up your custom environment to reduce power consumption and take up less space.

For example, Clarity’s expertise with Mac Mini and Mac Pro allows us to create custom dedicated shelves for these servers. This creates a smaller environmental footprint and lowers power consumption.

How the Clarity GreenCloud™ Works:

  1. Clarity assesses your current environment and needs using our Clarity GreenCloud™ checklist. This includes evaluating your Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE). Plus, collaborating with you on identifying environmental sustainability technology goals.
  2. Then Clarity reviews the best available leading green and energy efficient technology solutions.
  3. Afterwards we provide you with a Clarity GreenCloud™ plan, so you can make informed green hardware choices. We still build your infrastructure, your way. But now, you can build it greener.
  4. Based on your custom Clarity GreenCloud™ plan, Clarity implements and deploys your custom green technology solutions.

Connect with Clarity, to set up your free Clarity GreenCloud™ assessment.

Getting Clarity on Cloud Migration

The thought of moving to the cloud or even the cloud migration process is overwhelming for many small and medium sized businesses. Although it can save money and help businesses pivot more quickly in turbulent times. Yet, some businesses struggle to navigate the cloud and cloud migration. So, let’s bring a little clarity to the topic of cloud migration.

What is cloud migration?

Cloud migration is simply the process of moving digital business operations to the cloud. Commonly, “cloud migration” relates to moving from on-premises or legacy infrastructure (which is outdated hardware and software that is still in use) to the cloud. It also describes the migration from one cloud to another cloud.

It’s kind of like when a business moves from a tiny office into a larger full-service office suite. Except in this case the business is moving data, IT processes and applications to the cloud. Or, it’s migrating those IT processes, applications and data to another cloud.

What are the key benefits of cloud migration?

This is the central question business owners ask. Let’s look at a number of key benefits.

  • Cost savings.​ Businesses that migrate to the cloud greatly reduce their IT spend. Because the cloud providers handle upgrades and maintenance. This ​outsourcing of a business’ IT infrastructure ​and workloads to a secure data center lowers IT costs. Plus, cloud hosting providers may have additional expertise, saving businesses from having to increase their IT spend.
  • Scalability.​ A business working in the cloud can scale-up faster and more easily as they need. With on-prem infrastructure it can cost more and take more time to scale-up. In some cases, on-prem infrastructure requires businesses to buy and set-up more physical servers, more networking equipment and applications licenses. But businesses operating in the cloud are more agile. They can support a greater number of users and larger workloads more easily. Also, cloud hosting increases supply chain productivity and makes IT management easier.
  • Flexibility. ​Migrating to the cloud allows a business’s employees or their customers to access their cloud-based services and data from anywhere and at any time. Allowing businesses to pivot quickly to a remote working​ environment, implement VDIs​ ​or grow their customer base in new sectors and offer their services across a wider market.
  • Performance​. Depending on the type of business, migrating to the cloud can improve a business’s performance and enhance their customers’ experience. For example, if a business’s website or their applications are hosted in data centers with cloud-based hosting versus on-prem servers, they can reduce their latency. Because the data doesn’t travel as far to reach their customers or users.
  • Ability to DevelopMulticloudSolutions​. Through cloud migration, a business can develop a multicloud strategy. Giving businesses increased flexibility and scalability. Meaning businesses can leverage​ multiple cloud technologies​ ​at one time. For example, using the public cloud and a ​dedicated private cloud​ for specific cloud-native applications.

Key cloud migration questions for businesses.

One of the reasons businesses may feel confused is not knowing what questions they should ask about cloud migration. Here are a few question businesses thinking of migrating to the cloud should ask themselves.

  • What workloads are you currently running on-prem and why?​ Are there compliance reasons for why you are running on-prem versus using a public cloud?
  • What are the main challenges faced with your current environment?​ Are you able to scale-up as quickly as you need? Perhaps you’ve discovered a need to integrate your business to offer more online options for your clients or employees. Can your current environment handle an increased workload?
  • What improvements do you need to make?​ Business owners know their business. Even if they’re not IT experts. Perhaps they see an uptick in their website traffic or need to expand or set-up an e-commerce site.
  • Do you have a cloud road map for the next 2 to 5 years? ​For small businesses this may be the toughest question. Some will say, they have no cloud road map, and others may have a road map but not be aware of the difference in cloud hosting services. That’s when you call the cloud experts, like Clarity.

What Clarity in Cloud Migration looks like.

Part of getting clear on what cloud migration is about, means looking at the process. Clarity provides a comprehensive full spectrum of technology solutions. Giving us the ability to conduct a thorough cloud migration assessment and seamless cloud migration.

Here’s how Clarity works with clients interested in cloud migration.

1.​ ​We start by focusing on your needs.​ The first step is understanding your environment and running an analysis on what is currently running on-prem. Assessing what technology systems and services you are currently using. This means looking at the operating systems, off the shelf applications, customized applications and productivity software.

  • This includes mapping existing applications to a specific solution. For example, if you are running an on-prem Exchange for your email and calendaring, we map it to a cloud-based solution like Microsoft 365 or Google G Suite.
  • Conducting a cost benefit analysis to identify the costs of your cloud migration. This means looking at cost optimization options and ways to manage cloud costs after you’ve migrated to the cloud.
  • Using a platform independent approach. Most applications are not platform dependent. So, you can run them on GCP, AWS, Azure or OCI (Oracle Cloud Infrastructure). This means we can present you with the most effective options.

2.​ ​Propose an efficient cloud migration plan.​ Contracting cloud migration expertise means the cloud solutions specialists should provide you an efficient cloud migration plan. One that is based on your custom needs. Clarity cloud solutions specialists provide you with an efficient cloud migration plan that provides insights into the cost efficiencies and also how to make the actual cloud migration seamless.

3. Configuring the users, network environment and cybersecurity protocols for your cloud​. This includes setting up user management including MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication), security policies and network environment. As well as setting up a backup strategy and redundancies.

4. Mapping and migrating your data and applications​. Once you are ready, our cloud solutions specialist maps and migrates your data and applications from on-prem to your cloud platform. Or from your existing cloud to your hybrid or multicloud platforms.

5. Setting up auditing and logging based on your needs​. Based on your business’ compliance needs, we set-up an auditing and logging process. For example, if you are a financial services firm, your industry compliance policies and needs are different from a legal service firm. Therefore, our cloud solutions specialists ensure your specific auditing and logging policies meet
your industry’s compliance and data protection needs.

6. Secure your cloud.​ Once you’ve migrated to cloud, we make sure your cloud security is tight. This is the configuration and hardening security phase of cloud migration. Such as setting up your Web Application Firewall (WAF) and your cloud endpoint protection. Clarity’s deep knowledge of cloud cybersecurity ensures your cloud is secure.

Cloud migration isn’t confusing when you have clarity. Knowing what cloud migration is, the key benefits of the cloud migration, what questions to ask and what quality cloud migration looks like, should take away the fear of migrating to the cloud.

If you want to know more about how cloud migration can lower your costs, improve your productivity, scalability, IT security and maximize your business’ potential, connect with Clarity today.

cloud Computing and data center hosting

Future of Cloud and Data Center Hosting Isn’t Platform Specific

Data center clients are looking for hosting and cloud computing solutions tailored to them. Not the other way around. They require more options. The capacity to integrate and migrate their different networks.

More and more this customization calls for the ability to combine different hosting options or cloud computing platforms into a balanced efficient environment. As data center clients push for creative solutions, the technology solutions can’t stay platform specific. In other words, the future of cloud computing and hosting isn’t platform specific. It’s multi platformed.

Advantages of Multiple Platforms and Technology Solutions

On the surface the advantage of not being tethered to a single platform seems obvious. With multiple platforms, businesses or organizations increase the variety of applications, systems and technology solutions open to them.

This allows businesses and organizations to launch new applications, services or recalibrate quickly. Also, it creates enhanced cybersecurity options and affordable alternatives.

Multicloud Future — Model for Multi Platform Solutions

A great example of the growing demand for non-specific platforms in data center hosting is the multicloud. Many businesses and organizations are planning a multicloud future. Whether it’s integration of their own private cloud with multiple different public cloud providers. This is the future.

While controlling costs, ensuring scalability and compliance are main drivers. The reality is the growing need to address industry specific regulatory requirements, data protection, privacy and compliance play a large role.

Not all businesses and organizations are able to migrate all their data to the Public Cloud (AWS, GCP, Azure) for compliance and regulatory reasons. Therefore they maintain their on-premise solution and miss out on the benefits of a Public Cloud.

The flipside is they have a dedicated Private Cloud hosted in a data center but want to migrate parts of their network to a number of Public Cloud platforms.

Closer Look at a Multi Platform Approach for Cloud Computing and Data Center Hosting Solutions

The fact is a multi platform approach is necessary and critical to incorporate in a business’ and organization’s technology strategy. Especially, when incorporating the Private Cloud.

Let’s look at the example of Company ABC. Their infrastructure is strictly on-premise. (Their hardware needs to be refreshed). However, they are running an on-prem Exchange for their email and their corporate website is hosted in a data center’s dedicated hardware. But they can’t take advantage of the scalability and other efficiencies of the Public Cloud. Also, they use different technology platforms as part of their technology strategy.

Since Clarity’s approach is not platform specific, we developed a custom solution that complements Company ABC’s existing technology and business plans. Our deep expertise across technology solutions and platforms opens possibilities. As we conduct a comprehensive assessment and consultation process, we look for efficiencies. After identifying their data protection, privacy and regulatory compliance needs, we determine they can securely take advantage of the Public Cloud.

Working with Company ABC, they move their email services to Microsoft Office 365. They move their website to GCP and set up a Backup and Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy into the data center. The results, Company ABC’s customized technology solution is multi
platformed, expertly deployed, cost effective and responsive to their technology needs and strategies.

Increasingly data center clients aren’t bound to a single platform or solution. The future is multi platformed solutions. Clients need a data center that has deep expertise to deploy solutions across platforms. Today’s data centers need to provide clear assessments and a spectrum of technology solutions. That’s why, we’re dedicated to bringing clarity through full spectrum technology solutions.

Author Snippet: 

Dennis Wong is a Partner and Head of Marketing and Sales at Clarity, a Canadian based data center and technology solutions company. With over 21 years in the tech industry, Dennis understands both the technology side and the business side. As Clarity’s Head of Marketing and Sales, Dennis oversees Clarity’s marketing and sales teams and customer service.