One place for hosting & domains

      Choosing

      Choosing a Colocation Provider: Criteria and Questions to Find the Best Fit


      Whether you are new to colocation or have been colocating for years, it is exciting and stressful to choose your next provider. A colocation provider is not just another vendor in your business solution, but rather a strategic partner for your business’ critical infrastructure needs. The right colocation providers can take your data center footprint and network to the next level, while the wrong provider can prevent you from reaching your full potential, and worse yet, negatively impact application availability and performance

      To make the best-fit choice for your company, you’ll have to know your needs and goals and be able properly evaluate potential partners. Unsure of where to start? Read on for considerations and questions to get you on the right track.     

      Outline Criteria for Your Colocation Provider Search

      When choosing a colocation provider, it is important to reflect on your needs prior to starting your search. Be sure to include the following considerations in your decision making:

      Strategic Goals

      Am I looking for a strategic colocation partner to help me power, connect and cool equipment for my critical business process/revenue generator, project in development or anything in between? This is important to understanding the next decision point.

      Uptime

      Uptime is always important in your colocation decision. Is this a test system I don’t really care about, or a revenue generator that will lose revenue during downtime? With any revenue generating system it is important to determine your downtime costs per second, minute, hour, day and so on. This is where your strategic colocation partnership is so important.

      Is your colocation facility ready to provide you with unmatched uptime, support and advice to help you succeed? Have they even asked about your availability requirements? What are the provider’s SLAs and will they help you recoup financially in case of an outage caused by your colocation partner?

      Growth Potential

      Can your colocation partner accommodate your planned or unplanned growth in a timely manner? Nothing is worse than deploying a new application not expecting huge growth and realizing your colocation partner cannot accommodate your growth needs. This is what some call a “good problem to have,” but it’s still a problem. If you’re not able to quickly access more power, cooling and space, you can find yourself with a very dissatisfied consumer on the other end.

      Know Your Market

      Market/location is very important. Pricing could be great for power and cooling, but you may find yourself in a market with subpar interconnectivity, lack of diversity in connectivity providers or third parties and vendors in your vertical. Now your savings in cooling and power disappear with complicated connectivity solutions.

      Geographic market locations are also very important to your user base. Low latency connectivity from your end user to your product is one of the best ways to deliver a good application experience. Thus, choosing a colocation provider that can offer you not just power, cooling and space and low latency and great connectivity options is huge plus.

      Flexibility in Colo Design

      Flexibility in terms of colocation design for your specific solution is very important. Your solution may require caged environments with multiple security measures including cameras, bio-metric locks, privacy screening, slab-to-slap cage walls, toppers and a plethora of other power/cooling and cabling options to meet your exact needs. This is where the right colocation partner matters.

      Security Requirements

      Security that meets your requirements is a decision point which should be at the top of your list. Is your colocation partner PCI and SOC2 compliant? What other compliances will you need your partner to meet? What certifications does your colocation partner maintain on a regular basis?

      Cloud Options & Spend Portability

      Some of your application stack is likely already in the cloud or would benefit from running in a cloud, on bare metal or in a fully managed private cloud. Does your colocation provider also offer bare metal, cloud and connectivity to cloud providers? And if you choose to shift to one of these solutions from your current colocation solution, does your provider offer a spend portability program? The ability to cost-effectively pivot to a different solution to best meet shifting infrastructure needs is invaluable.

      Ask the Right Questions to Evaluate Potential Colocation Providers

       Now that you’ve thought more about your needs, you can more easily assess colocation providers to find one that meets your specific criteria. Based on the decision points discussed above, let’s talk through specific questions that should be considered when evaluating a potential colocation partnership.

      • What design is the colocation partner using for their power, cooling and space?
        • N+1, N+1 with concurrent maintainability, N+2?
        • What design is right for your solution?
        • Is the colocation partner keeping mechanical equipment on the datacenter floor or away from the floor?I have some stories about this one, but that’s for another blog.
        • How much uptime protection do you need? (Keeping in mind that all those pluses carry additional costs.)
      • What is your market/location?
        • Where is your customer geographically?
        • What markets does your colocation partner cover?
      • What power does your equipment require?
        • What amount of power do you need per cabinet? This will depend on your equipment, so knowing ahead of time what you will put in your cabinet is important. You may want to populate a cabinet with networking gear which doesn’t require much power, so the maximum you will need is 2KW to 10KW. Or you may use many blade chassis with huge power requirements and 20KW to 30KW per cab. If your colocation partner cannot deliver high-density power to your cabinets, now you are expanding your colocation footprint sideways rather than vertically and not utilizing all your available rack space.
      • What connectivity providers are available at the colocation space?
      • What internet service providers (ISPs) are available in the data center’s meet me room?
      • Does your colocation partner offer you a redundant IP blend?
      • Is your colocation partner able to directly connect you to public clouds?
      • Does your colocation partner also offer native bare metal or cloud services?
      • What security measures are taken by your colocation partner to make sure that only you will gain access to your cabinets and services?
      • Does your colocation partner offer you a comfortable, quiet place to focus, meet and get work done while at the datacenter?

      What Sets INAP Colocation Apart?

      INAP is not a cookie-cutter colocation partner. We’re extremely flexible with colocation design, effectively meeting the requirements of our customers no matter how simple or complex. And with INAP Interchange, our spend portability program, you can get the solution flexibility that you need after you deploy your initial solution. This allows you access to INAP Colo, Bare Metal and Cloud solutions to best meet your needs throughout INAP’s 47 Tier-3 data centers, including our flagship facilities in well-connected markets, along with 90 POPs around world.

      INAP’s ability to deliver a level of service with N+1 and Concurrent Maintainability for power and cooling provides you with peace of mind that even during maintenance, your critical infrastructure is backed by redundant systems. Paired with state of the art, zoned fire suppression systems with VESDA (Very Early Smoke Detector Apparatus), you can rest assured that your infrastructure is in good hands. Additionally, high-density power is INAP’s specialty, with efficiency that meets LEED Platinum levels. And you’ll find our security systems meet PCI and SOC2 compliance.

      Finally, what really sets INAP apart (other than what’s been covered above) is that all INAP facilities are staffed with tenured data center engineers and management staff ready to work directly with customers to help them succeed.

      Explore INAP Colocation.

      LEARN MORE

      Rob Lerner


      READ MORE



      Source link

      A Simple Guide for Choosing the Right Hybrid IT Infrastructure Mix for Your Applications


      According to INAP’s latest State of IT Infrastructure Management report, 69 percent of IT professionals say their organization has already adopted a hybrid IT strategy, deploying their infrastructure on more than one platform.

      What’s responsible for the growing popularity of hybrid IT? Simply put, a hybrid IT model allows companies to embrace the flexibility of the cloud while maintaining control over resources that might not be best suited for a cloud environment.

      In this simple guide, I will:

      • Briefly define hybrid IT (and what it’s not)
      • Summarize the three most important factors that will shape your hybrid IT mix
      • Illustrate how popular infrastructure models—like public cloud and bare metal—can be viewed through the lens of these factors

      What is Hybrid IT?

      Hybrid IT is an infrastructure model that embraces a combination of on-prem, colocation and cloud-based environments to make up an enterprises’ infrastructure mix. It’s important to note that while hybrid IT can encompass both hybrid cloud (which uses private and public cloud services for a single application) and multicloud (using multiple cloud services for different applications), it is not interchangeable with these terms.

      Three Considerations for Shaping Your Hybrid IT Infrastructure Mix

      If you’ve thought about making the jump to a hybrid IT model, what factors should you consider for selecting the right infrastructure mix? At the application level, it’s easy to get in the weeds of whether a certain platform or provider will perform better over another. That’s an important process, but it’s not where you want to start your planning.

      When I meet with a new customer or prospect to flesh out a hybrid IT strategy, three fundamental topics chart the course of the solution design process: Economics, management rigor and solution flexibility. Let’s break down each into simple questions.

      1. Is CAPEX or OPEX spending more optimal for your workloads?

      One of cloud computing’s more attractive features is the ability to substitute capital expenditures (CAPEX) for ongoing usage-based operational expenditures (OPEX). It’s likely that OPEX cloud environments will end up covering a sizable chunk of IT workloads in the future, but it will by no means be suitable for all use cases. Adopting a hybrid IT strategy acknowledges that CAPEX intensive models, like on-prem and colocation, will have their place long into the cloud computing era.

      To decide whether OPEX or CAPEX is the way to go, analyze the short- and long-term needs of the application.

      OPEX addresses the needs of ephemeral workloads that use compute and storage resources sporadically. OPEX models are also advantageous for new applications or services where steady state usage levels are yet to be determined.

      When provisioning constant workloads for the long term, however, it’s generally more cost-effective to use CAPEX over OPEX, as the investment would be amortized over the time period it is used or planned for (typically 3 or 5 years).

      2. How much time do you want to put into managing your infrastructure solutions?

      To determine whether managed or unmanaged solutions are a better fit for your company, think about how much time the IT department has to spend handling the day-to-day upkeep of the infrastructure. Consider this: Of the 500 IT pros we interviewed for the aforementioned State of IT Infrastructure Management report, 59 percent of participants said they are frustrated by the time spent on routine infrastructure activities and 84 percent agreed that they “could bring more value to their organization if they spent less time on routine tasks”.

      Depending on how much an enterprise expects its IT team to move the needle forward for the business, managed solutions might be the best fit. In addition, some businesses may have special requirements to address, such as security or compliance, which require outside help from service providers who have expertise in handling and addressing those needs.

      3. How important is solution flexibility?

      Workload characteristics may change over time. Services and applications might need to be adjusted or completely discontinued due to changes in business priorities or merger and acquisition events. Changes in IT leadership and decision makers may shift the focus and priorities, or if a newly launched service is unexpectedly more popular in some geographical areas, it may in turn require shifting resources and focus for the IT team.

      When such unforeseen events happen, unplanned changes to the IT environment will follow suit. As such, it’s important to have a trusted service provider who can help you successfully navigate these changes.

      Spend portability allows you to shift spending or investments from existing contracted services to other service offerings while staying at the same level of spend. For instance, expenses on contracted colocation services may need to shift to bare metal or private cloud solutions based on changing workload needs. To help customers adapt their infrastructure to new requirements and unexpected adjustments, we at INAP launched the industry’s first formal spend portability program, INAP Interchange, for new colocation or cloud customers.

      No matter what provider you choose to partner with, ensure you have flexibility for those unforeseen future changes to your business.

      Choosing a Best-Fit Infrastructure Mix to Manage Change and Application Lifecycles

      Now that you’ve thought about the best budgetary, management models and flexibility you’ll need for your applications and workloads, let’s consider the most common infrastructure deployment models and how they speak to each consideration.

      The following graph plots each type of environment along an X-Y axis. The environments further to the right adhere more closely to an OPEX model, and those plotted higher mean less of the infrastructure management burden falls to the customer.

      It’s likely your hybrid IT mix will end up utilizing several of these options, depending on your application stack. For hybrid cloud use cases, many of these environments may be interconnected, as well.

      CAPEX vs. OPEX

      • On-Premise still is the locale for a substantial amount of IT workloads and applications. With a few exceptions these are almost always fully managed in-house and fall on the CAPEX side of the spectrum.
      • Colocation typically offers space, power and physical security within a reliable data center facility. It may be augmented with remote hands (RH) offerings but can also be extended to a fully managed colo environment by the data center provider or other third-party vendors.
      • Private cloud usually consists of managed physical and virtual hosts, managed network, storage and security in a dedicated environment. The offering can be extended with more premium managed services such as database administration, threat management and IDS/IPS, app monitoring, compliance enablement or even to a fully managed solution by the service provider.
      • Public cloud tends to be an unmanaged offering, though it can be enhanced with additional managed services such monitoring, security, backup and disaster recovery services. For organizations interested in using the public could such as AWS, Azure and GCP, but have no expertise in deploying or managing workloads in such environments, a managed public cloud service may be helpful. It can cover any level of engagement from the initial design and deployment to a comprehensive daily management of the cloud environment.
      • Similar to public cloud on the IaaS level, bare metal also tends to be unmanaged, but can easily be augmented by premium managed services and monitoring. Compared to multitenant cloud, bare metal typically provides greater performance while being more cost effective, making it a destination for those moving away from public cloud for cost or performance reasons.

      Closing Thoughts

      Are you ready to embrace a hybrid IT strategy? Or do you want to review your current strategy? As you reflect on the considerations and solutions outlined in this blog, know that you can reach out to our experts at INAP. We’re here to discuss the best fit solutions for your company. here to check out our locations or chat now to get in touch.

      Interested in learning more?

      CHAT NOW

      Layachi Khodja


      READ MORE



      Source link

      Choosing a Linux Distribution


      Updated by Linode

      Written by Ryan Syracuse

      What is a Distribution?

      Distributions or “distros” can be described as different operating system versions built on top of the underlying Linux Kernel to support a variety of use-cases and preferences. Since all distributions are built on Linux, most are similar and can be used interchangeably. Ubuntu, for example, is the most popular for it’s ease of use and the ability to abstract smaller configuration tasks for you by default. Arch Linux on the other hand does not provide this simplicity in favor of more control, so that you can fine tune the way that your system
      functions.

      Below is a full list of distributions that we provide, and a brief description of each:

      Distribution Description
      Alpine Lightweight distribution popular with Docker and security minded users.
      Arch Powerful and detail oriented, empowers more advanced users to fine tune their configuration.
      CentOS Widely popular in professional and business settings while still being accessible to the average user.
      CoreOS Container-focused distribution, designed for clustered deployments
      Debian One of the oldest distributions in use, popular, steady, and reliable. Regularly updated and maintained.
      Fedora Implements bleeding edge software. Fedora is similar though more advanced than CentOS and great for users who want to use the newest of the new and don’t mind an added layer of complexity.
      Gentoo Advanced distribution designed for power users who want more control over their configuration and are comfortable compiling everything from source.
      Slackware The oldest actively maintained distribution. One of the most UNIX-like Linux distributions available.
      Ubuntu Arguably the most popular Linux distribution, widely regarded for it’s ease of use.
      OpenSUSE Provides powerful tools specific to system administration tasks.

      Note

      Though this list covers most popular distributions, creating a Linode using a distribution that we do not provide is possible. Feel free to follow our Custom Distribution Guide for more information.

      Find answers, ask questions, and help others.

      This guide is published under a CC BY-ND 4.0 license.



      Source link