Business Continuity – Hosting and Colocation

How much downtime can your business afford?

The answer will be different depending on the business, but most answers would be a variant of “none at all.” Downtime equates to a loss of employee productivity, service to customers, and, ultimately, profits, and the best way to minimize downtime is to have a plan in place – a business continuity plan.

 

Business Continuity regarding Hosting and Colocation

The primary function of a business continuity plan is to assure that your business can remain operational in the face of challenges, large or small. A business continuity plan is not an off-the-shelf plan – each business needs to craft one that reflects their needs and the nature of their business. What may be a critical process for one business might be a minor process for another, and it’s important to examine every aspect of your business to determine the processes that have priority.

Regardless of how your business prioritizes its processes, protecting your business data will likely be one of the biggest concerns in your business continuity plan. Many businesses opt to protect this data (and its connected processes) by moving it offsite via a hosting solution.

Offsite Data Options

Consider the things that can happen to your physical office site:  power outage, fire, flood, lightning strike, water main break, disruption of IT service… anything is possible. If you had to vacate your building for any length of time, how would you access your data?

Fortunately, you have options:

  • Managed hosting
    • Server housed in an offsite location
    • Dedicated to client use only
    • Administration and management is outsourced
    • Server hardware is leased by hosting provider
  • Dedicated hosting
    • Server housed in an offsite location
    • Dedicated to client use only
    • Client must have ability and knowledge to perform all server administration and management from a remote desktop
    • Server hardware is leased by hosting provider
  • Colocation
    • Lease of space in which to house client-owned server hardware
    • Shared data infrastructure, redundant power, large bandwidth capacity, direct Internet connection
    • Server hardware is entirely owned, operated, and administrated by client

Hosting v. Colocation – How to Choose

The common factor among the above choices is that the server is located offsite. The plus side of the above choices is that the offsite location provides a dedicated infrastructure designed to protect the equipment within from disaster. The stability that this setup provides allows your business to operate with minimal concern for business disruptions such as loss of power at your office location.

The difference comes in who owns the hardware and how it is managed. What is right for your business will depend on your needs, budget, and ability or desire to manage that equipment. When you examine your needs through this type of lens, one option may stand out as a logical choice for your business.

The reliability of your business processes shouldn’t be left to chance. Whatever option you decide is right for your business, you will want to work with a provider that understands the challenges of keeping a business operational no matter what may occur. If you’d like some assistance in developing a business continuity plan, contact Lieberman Technologies. We can help you to determine which options are the right ones for your business.