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Really Ready For IT?

Print and complete the brief checklist below to learn if you are really ready to take on the responsibility of running a data center.

 

Question Yes NO
Server, Configuration and Setup, Spare Parts    
Do you and your staff have the expertise needed to purchase, configure and maintain a server?    
Have the components of the server you are purchasing/leasing been tested with each other and the operating system you are installing?    
Does your server have redundant (RAID 1 or better) and hot-swappable hard disk drives?    
Does your server have redundant storage controllers and/or power?    
Do you have spare parts in house to replace items as they fail?    
Do you have 24/7 staff on call to make repairs?    
Internet Connectivity    
Do you have adequate bandwidth to and from the Internet to handle traffic to/from the web server?    
Is your connection to the Internet symmetric, meaning it has the same bandwidth to your location as it does from your location to the Internet?    
Do you have connections through multiple providers (in the event that one fails)?    
Does your routing hardware support failover and/or load balancing between the two providers?    
Battery Backup    
Is every electrical component in your data center protected by power filters (for spikes and surges) and battery backup (for short-term outages before backup power is restored)?    
Are your power systems monitored for possible failure and staff notified immediately if a failure occurs?    
Power Generation (Utility Failure)    
Is every electrical component in your data center protected by a diesel or natural gas generator, in the event of an extended (more than 15 minutes) power outage?    
If you have diesel generator(s) in place, do you also have a plan to refill the fuel tank(s)?    
Network Configuration    
Does your staff have the necessary expertise for configuring WAN routers, local switches, firewalls, VPNs and other network components?    
Does your staff have an in-depth understanding of the protocols and port settings to operate an efficient but safe network connection to the Internet?    
Environmental Controls (Temperature and Humidity)    
Do you have a room for your server and network components that has stringent controls over temperature, humidity and the presence of water?    
If you have a conditioned data center, is it monitored by your staff and an off-site security concern for temperature and water problems?    
Physical Security    
Is your data center locked separately from the rest of your facilities?    
Does entry into your data center require two-factor authentication such as a key card (physical) and a code (knowledge)?    
Is your data center monitored 24/7 by surveillance cameras?    
Is your data center monitored 24/7 by an outside security company?    
24/7 Monitoring    
Are the servers and network components in your data center monitored 24/7 by automated systems that ensure their proper operation and the immediate notification of staff should they fail or start to fail?    
Are the applications on your servers monitored 24/7 by automated systems to ensure their proper operation?    
Are any of your applications automatically restarted should they fail, after staff notification?    
24/7 Support    
Are the servers and network components in your data center supported by the manufacturer?    
Are the servers and network components in your data center supported by the manufacturer?    
Is your staff available 24/7 to respond to data center issues such as a server failure, network component failure or Internet connectivity failure?    
Backup, Recovery and Disaster Preparation    
Do you have tape backup of your servers?    
Do you have off-site storage of your critical data (at least 10 miles from your primary location)?    
Is your off-site storage as secure (from theft, temperature and water damage) as your primary data center?    
Do you cluster your critical servers (operate two or more servers to perform the same task so that if one server fails the other can run in its place)?    
If you cluster servers, are the secondary or backup/failover servers located off-site (at least 10 miles away and in a location that is as secure as your primary facility)?    

If you answered NO to one or more of the above questions, you are probably not ready to manage a data center on your own.

If you are currently outsourcing to a managed hosting services provider and you are concerned about the cost, you should review our Why Outsource? cost comparison, but you should also reconsider your options with your hosting company:

  • Is your hardware ready for an upgrade?
  • Could you save money by “upgrading” to less expensive technology (the logic being that computer equipment gets less expensive every year)?
  • Could you save money by negotiating better terms—e.g. a longer contract length?
  • Are you paying overquota charges? Could a better plan eliminate them?
  • Are you using all of your hardware? Could you actually downgrade?
  • Given the costs and potential exposures, are you really saving money by bringing IT in house?

If your goal is greater control over your IT resources, ask your hosting company if they can work with you to facilitate greater access and control:

  • Do you have secure 24/7 access to your systems via remote control protocols like RDP, SSH and FTP?
  • Does your hosting company support a VPN?
  • Do you have access to reports about resource usage (e.g. disk space, bandwidth)?
  • Can you easily facilitate changes in your operating environment?

Save yourself the headaches—to engage a professionally-managed hosting service, contact our Sales team for a free consultation.

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