Public Cloud services offer flexibility and scalability. However, Public Cloud security challenges are real. In most cases colocation offers a more secure environment.

A recent survey by Proofpoint of over 600 organizations revealed the following troubling responses-

  • 72% of the respondents said moving to the Cloud coupled with more mobile workforces has introduced new security and compliance risks to their organization
  • 75% of the respondents said the increased use of Cloud applications and services without the explicit approval of the IT department (Shadow IT) presents a significant security risk
  • 78% of the companies surveyed say employees have accidentally exposed sensitive data stored in the Public Cloud

Lightspin, an Israeli Cloud penetration testing company, recently conducted an analysis of AWS and found 46% of the 40,000 S3 buckets they reviewed appeared to be misconfigured and could be unsafe.

Let’s look at several recent major security breaches experienced by users of both Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Recent AWS Breaches

A company that provides channel management software to the online travel industry had its AWS data breached. In November of 2020 a failure to appropriately configure AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) buckets left over 24 GB of data with over 10 million files exposed. Data going back 10 years including credit card information, email addresses, and phone numbers was compromised.

In March of 2021 over 50,000 patient records with Protected Health Information (PHI) including medical insurance identification, driver’s licenses, and passport information was leaked in Utah. The company that was attacked was providing COVID testing services and incorrectly setup AWS S3 buckets to store test results.

This past summer dozens of municipal governments had over 1 TB of data across 1.6 million files exposed. A Geographic Information System (GIS) used by these local governments was built upon AWS. Once again S3 buckets were misconfigured.

Recent Azure Breaches

It is not just AWS that suffers from security breaches. Last December an application developer left their Azure Blob Storage with 587,000 files open. Medical records, insurance documents, and other PHI were exposed.

In August, Microsoft warned thousands of Azure Cosmos DB users that their data may have been exposed. The flaw, which was remedied via a subsequent patch, could potentially allow a user to gain access to another customer’s resources. Security investigators were able to gain complete unrestricted access to the accounts and databases of several thousand Azure customers including some Fortune 500 accounts.

Enabling Public Cloud Breaches

Though criminals and disaffected employees are ultimately responsible for breaches of the Public Cloud, certain practices enable these attacks. Misconfigurations lead to Public Cloud breaches by exposing an organization’s data. The reasons why Public Cloud misconfigurations are so common include-

  1. There are many configuration options for the Public Cloud
  2. Ongoing software changes by Public Cloud providers can go unnoticed by users
  3. Lack of Public Cloud configuration expertise especially for Shadow IT projects

Though misconfigurations are the most frequent breach enabler, there are other things that can expose Public Cloud applications to an attack-

  1. Poor password practices
  2. Inadequate access restrictions
  3. Mismanaged permission controls
  4. Inactive data encryption
  5. Insufficient API security
  6. Neglected workloads

Shared Responsibility Model Can Cause Problems

Public Cloud service providers employ a Shared Responsibility Model to delineate responsibility for various components of security. Public Cloud providers take responsible for securing their Cloud infrastructure. Clients are responsible for the security of their applications. Client confusion about their specific security responsibilities can create security gaps that can be exploited.

Why Colocation is More Secure

Colocation is inherently more secure than the Public Cloud.

  • With colocation each client can configure firewalls to provide the most protection for their organization. Public Cloud firewalls are not configurable by individual clients.
  • With colocation the risks due to complex and changing configuration options are all but eliminated. Colocation clients own their systems and have much more control over any changes.
  • It is much easier to prevent exposure due to Shadow IT operations since these are not conducted on the collocated systems.
  • Colocation service providers such as CAPS, provide ongoing technical support and monitoring to make sure systems are operating properly and to detect inappropriate activities.

 

The dog days of summer are upon us. This season reminds us of the critical importance of data center air conditioning systems. Though intense summer heat puts server rack cooling systems to the test, protecting against rising cabinet temperatures is no longer a problem restricted to the summer. As the power densities in server racks increases, the need to carefully monitor and control temperature and humidity has become an even more important year-round concern.

Until recently most data cabinets drew 5 KW or less. Now, as cabinets are packed with more powerful processors and more compact servers, the electrical load per cabinet is increasing. It is not unusual for the power per cabinet to be twice as much as it was only a few years ago. The trend for the near term future is for power consumption per cabinet to grow by several multiples more.

More Power In Equals More Heat Out

More electrical power input produces increased heat output. Since elevated temperatures can damage critical IT systems and cause outages, it is more important than ever to manage the temperature in data centers. Relative Humidity levels can also impact service so they too must be regulated.

Colocation data centers like CAPS are experts at managing heat and humidity while powering clients’ IT systems economically. Computer Room Air Conditioning (CRAC) systems direct cooled air to the front of servers and remove heated air from the back of these systems. Cabinets are set up for Hot Aisle and Cold Aisle Containment to maximize efficiency. CRAC systems also control humidity in the data center.

Electricity is needed to run IT systems but also to power the environmental systems that control both temperature and humidity. The additional electrical power demand of today’s high performance server cabinets generates a need for more power to run the air conditioning systems to manage higher heat.

What Should Temperature and Humidity Be?

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers recommends the following ranges for temperature and humidity in Data Centers-

Temperature                64° F to 81° F

Relative Humidity         20% to 80%

Sustained elevated temperatures can lead to component failures and outages. Low Relative Humidity can increase the likelihood of Electrostatic Discharges which can damage equipment. High Relative Humidity can lead to hydroscopic dust contamination that can cause current leakage or shorts. High humidity also leads to condensation that can cause corrosion and equipment failures.

CAPS drives itself to the highest performance standards to protect the critical IT systems placed in our data center by colocation clients. CAPS continuously monitors the temperature and humidity in its data center and adjusts its systems as required to maintain temperatures between 69° F and 72° F and Relative Humidity between 40% and 50%.

Colocation Provides the Best Environment

As servers become more powerful and generate more heat, the case is even more compelling for colocation. Many corporate data centers do not have the sophisticated environmental systems and knowledge required to protect today’s high performance servers. Colocation data center professionals have the expertise and tools needed to cost-effectively regulate temperature and humidity to protect clients’ valuable investment in Information Technology.

 

Connecticut suffers from an acute shortage of IT support personnel. It is hard to find and retain skilled engineers anywhere in the country. It is especially difficult here due to our high cost of living. Though many companies outsource IT support to Managed Service Providers, MSPs also struggle to hire capable and affordable technical talent. They too can use some help.

CAPS employs skilled engineers to support its colocation, data backup and restoral, disaster recovery, and business continuity clients. These engineers are experts in electrical power, air conditioning, cabling, networking, software licensing, backup and recovery, business continuity, and data security.

CAPS’ clients have found that the ongoing free support from CAPS’ professionals helps them get more done with less. Here are some recent examples of free IT support provided by CAPS’ engineers.

Electrical Power Consulting

A media company client was growing dramatically and needed to expand its colocation footprint. Its  applications are power intensive so cabinet designs must be planned carefully. The engineering team at CAPS, led by a licensed electrician, helped the client select the best cabinet layout and power distribution plan to support its immediate and future requirements.

Data Backup and Recovery Consulting

A consumer products company repatriated a large database from the Public Cloud and purchased new servers which it collocated at CAPS. While meeting with a CAPS engineer to plan for additional colocation space, the company’s data backup challenges were discussed. The engineer explained how it would be possible to restore data faster and at a much more granular level using Veeam Backup and Replication software. When the client decided to migrate to the Veeam solution, the CAPS engineering team provided training and assistance enabling a successful cutover in under a week.

Network Monitoring

A telecommunications service provider was experiencing high packet losses on some of its internet circuits. Network engineers at CAPS monitored the circuits and worked with the client’s engineers to identify a configuration problem that was quickly resolved. While working with the client to isolate the problem the CAPS engineers temporarily added bandwidth in increments to establish that the problem was not primarily due to transmission capacity.

Remote Hands

A bank needed to reseat a drive on a server. Rather than dispatch one of their own personnel they asked the CAPS engineers for help. This saved at least an hour plus the cost of driving to and from the data center. CAPS includes four hours of free remote hands services per month for its colocation clients.

Technical support is frequently a secondary consideration when selecting a colocation provider. However, many of CAPS’ clients have found the ongoing expert help included as part of a colocation engagement is a very significant benefit given the scarcity of available engineering talent.

Private Cloud Data Backup

Artificial Intelligence and other technology have made it possible for a company in a mature industry (farming) to generate rapid growth. Applying advanced technology has improved product quality, saved money, and reduced time to market. To support its expansion, the company partnered with Blue Hill/CAPS to implement a secure Private Cloud data backup solution that increases resiliency, fulfills compliance requirements, and saves money.

 

Growing Company Has Greater Compliance Requirements

The company’s CTO and database manager recognized their current data backup system was insufficient in terms of both functionality and security to support future growth. The company had been using Windows Server software to backup databases each week to network attached storage. There was no offsite replication and the ability to restore backups was limited to restoring an entire server at a time.

 

Senior management at the company is committed to driving itself to the highest standards. It is investing in its technology infrastructure and procedures to comply with standards such as GDPR, Sarbanes Oxley, and SSAE-18 (SOC 1, SOC 2). It believed its current data backup system was not robust enough to support its planned compliance requirements.

 

Veeam Verified Backups and Replications

The Blue Hill/CAPS team recommended its 100% Private Cloud Data Backup and Replication solution. Utilizing powerful Veeam Availability Suite software, data is copied up from the company’s production servers collocated at CAPS’ secure data center to a backup storage appliance at the CAPS Private Cloud data center.

 

The backups are replicated to Blue Hill’s secure Private Cloud storage facility located about 80 miles from CAPS’ data center. Blue Hill/CAPS is one of few IT service providers in the Northeast offering multiple secure Private Cloud data centers located a safe distance apart but close enough to minimize latency and maximize service.

 

The Veeam Availability Suite software used by Blue Hill/CAPS automates backups and replications and reports the success of each task in real-time to both the customer and the Blue Hill/CAPS team. Replication between the two data centers is over a high bandwidth circuit. The replicas are protected using AES-256 encryption (at rest and in transit) before transmission to the remote Private Cloud data storage facility.

 

Better Customer Service and Cost Savings

Transition to the new backup system only took a few days including the time required to train client personnel. Multiple servers with several terabytes of data were backed up locally and also replicated to the remote data center. The power of the new system was immediately apparent to the Database Manager who was thrilled with the system’s ability perform restorations on a granular level.

 

“Now we can restore individual schemas instead of being forced to restore an entire database. This will make it possible for us to resolve problems faster and provide much better service to our users.”

 

The CTO is excited about the money he believes will be saved by the new 100% Private Cloud data backup solution.

 

“We have already saved hundreds of thousands of dollars by repatriating our large databases from the Public Cloud. That is what motivated us to move our database servers to Blue Hill/CAPS a few years ago when we decided to use colocation to save the money we had been spending on egress fees. We expect to add to our savings with the Blue Hill/CAPS Private Cloud backup solution

Offsite Data Backup is Required

The need to backup data to an offsite location is undeniable. Ransomware and other cyber attacks are increasing dramatically. Creating timely backups that can be restored quickly is one of the only ways to minimize the potentially devastating effects of a data breach. These backups must be made frequently and they should be validated to be error free so restoral will be successful if required.

Public Cloud Data Backup

AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud all offer a variety of Public Cloud data backup solutions. There are many other cloud service providers that market data backup services too. In general, cloud data backup services can be provisioned quickly and for low initial expense. You can easily change the amount of storage you have and can configure secondary and tertiary backups with a few keystrokes. You can even select the data center region where you want to store your backups. In addition, long term contracts are not required. For these reasons, Public Cloud Data Backup is growing in popularity.

So What’s Wrong With Public Cloud Data Backup?

  1. Security is Suspect

There are three concerns with backing up data to the Public Cloud. The first and most important concern has to do with security. Public Cloud service providers operate based on a “Shared Responsibility Model”. The Cloud provider is responsible for the security of its infrastructure but not for the workloads that run on its resources. This shared responsibility model can lead to confusion and ultimately can create security gaps that can be exploited. Misconfigured cloud data storage is frequently the way criminals compromise data backups. For example, a recent survey of over 600 U.S. companies found that 78% reported they had accidentally exposed sensitive data stored in the cloud in the past year.

Public Cloud, because it is growing so quickly, has become a primary target for cyber crooks. The number of breaches of Public Cloud data backups has increased dramatically in the past few years.

  1. Technical Support

Public Cloud services do not include ongoing technical support. Online documentation and training videos are available but technical support must be provided by an organization’s own team or by an outside technical support team (IT consultant or Managed Service Provider). Given the rapid changes in the market and the complexities of offerings, it is very important to have professional and knowledgeable technical support to assist in Public Cloud data backups. Many companies do not have experts in house and are not sure if they are getting the best advice from outside consultants.

  1. Unexpected Costs

Public Cloud egress fees are charged whenever data is moved out from the cloud. This is exactly what happens every time there is a data restoral or whenever an organization wants to test its ability to successfully restore the backup. The costs can be significant depending on the amount of data transferred out of the cloud. For many, the variability of billing each month due to data transfer fees can make Public Cloud Data Backup less attractive. It is hard to budget monthly expenses and easy for fees to grow dramatically.

CAPS’ Local Data Center Alternative

Offsite data backup to a local data center offers several advantages versus the Public Cloud alternative. First, security can be better. The security professionals at a local data center such as CAPS can configure customized security solutions and continuously monitor operations. Incorporating advanced tools such as Veeam SureBackup, the CAPS team can proactively test backups to assure they have not been compromised.

Data Centers like CAPS provide ongoing technical support to address each client’s unique needs. Even clients that get support from an IT Consultant or MSP can benefit from a second pair of eyes to help solve problems and optimize solutions. Clients who backup their data at CAPS also receive ongoing Remote Hands Support as part of their service.

Data backup to the CAPS data center is done for a fixed monthly charge. There are no egress fees or changes in the negotiated monthly rate. This makes planning possible and keeps costs within budget.

For those companies in Connecticut and the Northeast, CAPS provides optimal locations for offsite data backup. Superior data security, personalized services, and fixed monthly charges make the CAPS’ solution the best choice for offsite data backup.

Colocation is booming these days.  Moving IT infrastructure to a secure high availability data center with multiple internet service options assists Hybrid Cloud initiatives and mitigates Work From Home / Remote Work challenges.

The value of colocation depends, to a large degree, on the location of the facility. The data center must be far enough from where key employees work to minimize the risk of service disruption. Yet the site must be accessible for an organization’s IT team. For workloads where low latency is required, the proximity of the colocation site to end user locations is an important consideration.

There are more than a dozen colocation service providers across Connecticut. CAPS was one of the first.  The CAPS facility in Shelton opened in 1995. Shelton is an optimal location for many companies in search of a secure and cost-effective data center for colocation.

Shelton is a quick trip from the cities and towns along the coast from Greenwich to New Haven. The Shelton facility is also convenient for organizations along Route 84 from Hartford to Danbury. CAPS’ data center is under a mile from Route 8 and for most locations the trip to Shelton is traffic free. Here is the distance in miles to Shelton from various locations in Connecticut-

Bridgeport – 13                                     Danbury – 26                            Darien – 30

Fairfield – 18                                         Farmington – 42                       Glastonbury – 46

Greenwich – 40                                     Hartford – 48                            Madison – 31

Meriden – 29                                        Milford – 10                              New Britain – 40

New Canaan – 29                                  New Haven – 29                        New London – 58

Newtown – 16                                      Norwalk – 24                            Stamford – 35

Waterbury – 19                                     Westport – 22                           Wilton – 25

Though CAPS has colocation clients from New York City and even as far away as Florida, most are headquartered in Connecticut or Westchester County. Here are some examples-

Darien Financial Services Company

A registered investment advisor set up an offsite data backup facility at CAPS to meet compliance requirements. The trip from their office to CAPS is about a half hour.

Fairfield Media Company

The company needed a colocation facility that could handle their power and security requirements that was an easy commute for their staff.

Farmington Health Care Company

This fast-growing provider needed a secondary site that was far enough away to minimize the chance of a service disruption yet close enough so key employees can access systems in under an hour for annual Disaster Recovery tests.

New York City Health Food Company

This dynamic company required a data center that was at least 70 miles from its headquarters but was accessible for IT personnel. They saved a lot of money by repatriating database systems from the Public Cloud and collocating database servers at CAPS.

Shelton Services Company

An employment services company closed its office in Hartford and decided to move data backup storage systems to the CAPS data center to be near their IT team.

Stamford Consulting Company

The consulting company decided to stop leasing expensive office space in Stamford. They moved servers to CAPS to support their Work From Home initiative.  The trip to Shelton usually is against traffic when they need to access their systems.

When considering data centers in Connecticut, Shelton is often determined to be the best location. The leading colocation services provider in the region, with its data center in Shelton, is CAPS.

 

In recognition of World Backup Day, this March 31st, we are highlighting the essential role played by senior management in making sure organizations have proper data backup systems in place.

Backup is a critical component of Corporate Risk Management and Business Continuity. Data backup plans are often necessary to fulfill corporate compliance requirements. Since data availability is vital to the success of most businesses, senior management needs to be sure backup and restoral programs are properly structured and funded to mitigate corporate risks.

Though most senior executives are not data backup experts, they should understand the fundamentals. Corporate leadership must approve the data designated as critical to their company’s operations. They must be sure adequate backup plans are in place to protect this data. This is part of senior management’s responsibility to allocate the resources needed to manage corporate risk.

5 Data Backup Questions for Management

Senior managers should be able to answer the following questions.

  1. What is the most critical business application at your company?
  2. How long can this critical business application be out of service before your business suffers an unacceptable loss?
  3. How frequently does your company backup the data from this critical business application?
  4. What is the longest time data for this critical business application can be lost without being restored?
  5. How long does your company store the back-ups for this critical business application?

Data Backup Considerations

There are many ways to back-up critical company data. Data can be copied to removable media, backed-up to another local storage device, and/or replicated to Private or Public Cloud-based storage. Regardless of the backup methodology chosen, there are several backup principles to follow.

  1. Multiple backup copies should be made.
  2. Backups should be stored in different locations.
  3. Backups should be archived on different types of storage media.
  4. There should be an ability to encrypt data transmitted to remote storage devices.

Public Cloud or Private Cloud?

Blue Hill/CAPS is one of the few Veeam Cloud Connect service providers in the Northeast that offers backup and replication services provisioned entirely from company owned regional data centers. These 100% Private Cloud services offer the greatest level of control and security with superior performance and cost-effectiveness. For clients with demanding compliance requirements, there is no better choice.

Colocation is on the rise. Organizations are moving servers and other IT infrastructure to data centers to free up resources for Digital Transformation initiatives. In Connecticut there are more than a dozen different companies that provide colocation services ranging in size from large global corporations to small local operations.

It is useful to segment the market by size. Each size class offers a unique mix of services.

Large Colocation Service Providers

There are several large companies in Connecticut that provide colocation services on a global basis. They have dozens of data centers located in many cities across the United States and overseas. These large companies target the wholesale market by selling services to companies like Apple, AWS, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. They also offer retail colocation services to larger enterprise clients.

Large colocation service providers offer a complete range of services but are often less flexible in terms of providing customized services and generally do not offer IT consulting services.

Mid-Sized Colocation Service Providers

Connecticut also is home to several mid-sized colocation data centers. These providers feature a complete range of services and offer customized solutions to satisfy specific client requirements. Mid-sized providers often operate several data centers in a particular region. They can leverage their data centers to provide unique, cost-effective solutions for their local clients.

Mid-sized colocation service providers rarely serve the wholesale market and usually do not offer IT consulting services beyond those directly associated with their core offerings.

Small Colocation Service Providers

Small colocation providers in Connecticut are frequently Managed Service Providers (MSPs) who have added a data center resource to supplement their IT consultancies. Some of these smaller colocation companies focus on select vertical markets such as manufacturing or healthcare. They provide services that are tailored to the unique requirements of a particular industry.

Small colocation service providers may not offer a full range of IT infrastructure services and may not be able to connect to other company owned data centers to provide cost effective data backup.

How to Choose a Colocation Service Provider?

Selecting a colocation service provider is an important decision. Here are the top three things to consider.

  1. Define Your Colocation Requirements

Make sure your colocation partner can deliver the specific services you need. Identify your absolute requirements and your “nice to haves” before starting the procurement process. You will need to determine your rack space, power, and internet bandwidth requirements plus other services needed such as Remote Hands.

  1. Establish Your Location Preference

The location of the colocation data center is probably the second most important consideration. The distance between your current facility and the data center is based on where you can adequately minimize risk while maintaining the accessibility your IT team requires. In many cases, the location of the homes of key employees with respect to the data center is most important.

  1. Determine Cost

Minimizing the Total Cost of Ownership is important too but make sure you are comparing apples with apples when you evaluate colocation service proposals from different vendors. For example, it is common for Large Colocation Service Providers to assess Monthly Recurring Charges for Cross Connects. Small and mid-sized colocation providers may not assess these monthly fees.

Connecticut has a variety of Colocation Service Providers ranging from small to mid-sized to large. Organizations interested in colocation should prioritize their requirements and then evaluate alternatives from those service providers that are best suited to fulfill their needs. Once you make your choice and move your servers you will be able to focus your IT resources on the challenges of Digital Transformation.

 

A year after the world was disrupted by COVID-19, there is a growing recognition that some of the changes brought about by the virus are here to stay. Though face masks may not become a permanent part of our wardrobe, remote work has gained widespread acceptance and is likely to become a standard way of doing business; at least for some employees.

COVID-19 is also credited with spurring the pace of Digital Transformation. A recent survey of over one thousand senior executives by Forbes found that 97% believe the virus accelerated Digital Transformation. Digital Transformation employs technology to respond with agility to the demand for new services. Now, in addition to developing better processes for existing business functions, IT departments are expected to drive business innovation to generate revenue. This has caused a shift in priorities and has accelerated outsourcing those functions that can be performed by others.

Colocation is an IT infrastructure service that provides secure space in an enterprise class data center where organizations can house their IT servers and associated equipment. Colocation improves system availability by providing redundant power, redundant environmental control systems, redundant internet carrier circuits with automatic failover, and continuous monitoring. It also provides greater security by employing multi-level password protected access points, locked cages and cabinets, and continuous video monitoring. Colocation clients reduce capital expenses and save money by moving their IT systems to a data center where expenses are shared and where economies of scale prevail.

Remote Hands services are another colocation benefit. IT professionals at the colocation facility are available to verify and recycle power, check equipment status and connectivity, and receive delivered equipment. These services are often provided at no additional charge and can offload work from a company’s IT staff. Remote Hands services are especially important since the onset of COVID-19 as they free up corporate IT resources and make it possible for employees to minimize risk by working remotely.

Since the significant increase in Remote Work/Work at Home due to the virus, the people charged with providing IT support for a company’s employees have seen their workloads increase dramatically. Whether support is provided by an internal IT support group or an external IT consultant or Managed Service Provider (MSP), the number of end-points to deploy and monitor has gone up significantly since employees started working remotely.

Before COVID-19, the IT department only had to support a single firewall and router for everyone working at a particular office. Now, with employees working from home, IT must manage a router, firewall and other equipment for each home office. Adding to the challenge, each home office may have a unique combination of equipment of different vintages from a variety of manufacturers. Each remote worker also requires ongoing software patch updates for their home office equipment. Finally, monitoring and repairing each remote worker’s IT equipment is more difficult than if the employee worked at an office where IT personnel could access the equipment directly. Even relatively small numbers of remote workers can quickly overwhelm a corporate IT support team.

Fortunately, colocation service providers can provide much needed help to beleaguered IT professionals. Outsourcing IT infrastructure support makes it possible for corporate IT professionals to focus on more important functions such as Digital Transformation, creating new revenue streams, and to work remotely to reduce health risks. The CAPS data center in Shelton, CT is available to provide the IT infrastructure colocation services needed as companies adapt to the new world since COVID-19.

Colocation services are CAPS’ bread and butter. Here in Connecticut, we have offered a secure and reliable data center in Shelton for clients to locate their servers, data storage, and communications systems since 1995. Colocation may be used to host production systems or backup systems; but which is most popular?

In our experience, most clients start by collocating their backup systems. They may have had these systems in place at one of their offices. Then a decision is made to move the backup system to a colocation data center. This is typically done to improve security and availability but there may also be a need to fulfill compliance requirements.

For increased reliability, backup systems should be located at a different place from production systems. Though some organizations will use a Public Cloud (AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud) for backup, others prefer to host their backup systems at a local colocation facility. Advantages of having a colocation facility that is within an hour’s drive of the organization’s headquarters include reduced latency and easier access to equipment when required. In many cases, local colocation facilities may offer better security too. The cost also may be lower at a local colocation data center since Public Cloud data egress fees can add up quickly as many have unfortunately discovered. Finally, a local colocation data center offers more personalized and tailored services.

Though most organizations first employ colocation for backup functions, they may ultimately decide to move their production systems to the colocation facility while repositioning backup systems to their office. After gaining some experience with colocation, clients frequently choose to swap the location of their backup and production systems. IT managers are understandably wary about trusting their production systems to a colocation provider initially. After they gain experience with colocation, they come to realize it may make more sense for their production systems to reside in the more secure and reliable facility.

The recent trend to Work From Home resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic will shift more production workloads to colocation data centers. Companies that abandon their offices completely often have residual IT infrastructure that needs to find a suitable new home. Proprietary production applications that are not suitable for the Cloud can be hosted at a local colocation facility with backup elsewhere. Even if a company decides to keep its office, it may start having employees work a few days a week from home and a few days at the office.  Offices may be reduced in size and they may be reconfigured to provide for greater social distancing. Regardless, there will be growing interest in moving IT systems out of the office to free up space for employees. Adapting to the new Work From Home world will likely drive more production systems to colocation facilities.

Whether for production or backup workloads, colocation facilities provide a cost-effective service to both improve availability and security. For those organizations in Connecticut and metropolitan New York, CAPS provides outstanding colocation services and is proud that our clients have not experienced an unscheduled power outage in over 20 years.