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Archive for the ‘colocation’ Category

What is Colocation?   no comments

Posted at Mar 21, 2017 @ 11:10am colocation,Web hosting

Colocation POD

Colocation or ‘Colo’ is a solution offered by major data centers that provides businesses and organizations a place to host their servers and other IT hardware in a secure, high-tech facility. Whether it’s a small business that doesn’t want to hire an entire tech department, a large company that wants the stability and security of a data center, or somewhere in between, Colocation offers benefits to all types of businesses.

 

Security & Protection

Most data centers that offer colocation have high levels of physical security. Features such as security cameras, 24×7 on-site staff, individual cages or cabinets have locks, as well as biometric scanning at all access points and more! If the proper security is in place, a data center may also be SSAE-16 certified. This allows businesses to colocate their equipment and benefit from the SSAE-16 compliance already in place to avoid costly and time-consuming auditing of your company’s office or facility.

With Colocation, businesses own their equipment. Since they own the equipment, only their staff has access to it and the data it holds. Unlike typical web hosting solutions, where data may me stored on a shared server, they will be the only ones with access to their data.

 

Uptime

Most businesses run 24×7. Even after ‘store hours’ a business needs to be online and connected, especially if they operate an online store or website. Being down for minutes or an hour can spell disaster. Imagine an organization’s IT infrastructure down for a day or a week while the power’s down due to a storm.  This disrupts potential clients from accessing their servers! In a colocation facility like TurnKey Internet’s datacenter, your company’s IT infrastructure is housed in our redundant, high-speed Internet-connected facility, with continuous power provided by industrial UPS battery systems and on-site diesel generators for emergency backups.

 

Room To Grow

In a typical office IT environment, if a company quickly needs to increase bandwidth or add physical space to the office, they could wait weeks or even months. When their infrastructure is located in a colocation facility, they can provide huge amounts of additional bandwidth within minutes or hours. A typical data center can have a bandwidth capacity 10,000 times that of a typical office cable Internet connection.

 

Cost Savings

Businesses that build their own on-site IT infrastructure can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions, to have the same bandwidth capabilities and enterprise grade power and cooling systems featured at a colocation facility. Fiber optic lines, connecting to major internet hubs across the world are not purchased for pennies either! Add in redundancy to their office, and businesses are paying tens of thousands of dollars a year. On the other hand, if they instead chose to utilize a colocation facility, it might have cost them less than $100 a month.

 

Colocation is the ideal solution for companies, service providers, small businesses and IT resellers who want a stable environment in which to completely control their assets. It provides complete control of your hardware, software and networking to match your needs without worrying about the supporting infrastructure. By colocating with TurnKey Internet, you are able to focus on your business and not on office networking, power or server issues that plague localized installations and office infrastructure. We provide redundant networking, power and cooling to ensure your services remain online and accessible at all time.

 

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Written by David Maurer on March 21st, 2017

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5 Ways Colocation Can Help Your Business Succeed   no comments

Posted at Jan 24, 2017 @ 10:20am colocation,Web hosting

Colocation

While outsourcing non-core business functions to cloud-computing enterprises is a growing trend, many firms still prefer to keep a close eye on their most critical business functions and databases. Internet professionals such as website hosting providers and website designers are well aware of vast server farms that rent dedicated servers to website design firms, retail concerns and innumerable other commercial and non-commercial organizations, but colocation providers generally have worked quietly in the background. Still, they continue to offer invaluable services to businesses that wish to retain ownership of the computer servers that host their core business functions and intellectual property while also outsourcing hardware management and its associated concerns to industry professionals.

For many companies, offloading the care and feeding of computer servers onto trained IT professionals at a colocation provider carries multiple advantages. Indeed, colocation services have steadily expanded year after year with leading industry experts expecting the global colocation market to exceed $33 billion by 2018. An in-depth examination shows that five major considerations lie behind the decision by CIOs and other corporate officials to rely on colocation services.

 

1) Connectivity

Colocated servers are only as good as the internet connectivity that allows them to cram immense flows of data up and down the line, and colocation providers typically subscribe to multiple high-level broadband providers such as Level 3 Communications to establish superior bandwidth redundancy and to encourage competition that results in cost savings for both the colocation provider and server owners. Quite apart from the sheer efficiency of sharing top-tier bandwidth access across innumerable servers, the climate-controlled environment keeps servers within a consistent temperature range to ensure that sensitive network equipment and server components don’t fail from extended exposure to excessive heat.

 

2) Stability

The impact on productivity from moving corporate offices, encountering a natural disaster or suffering through an extended interruption of electrical power can be disastrous. Even the most efficient company may experience a series of unfortunate events that repeatedly delay its return to full operational status. In the meantime, customers may be yelling about misplaced orders and bungled services, and employees may be left without real work as core business processes fail to function as expected.

More than a few CIOs and other upper-management staffers prefer instead to shield the company’s critical server operations from such potential chaos by entrusting them to an efficient colocation provider with multiple power backups and contingency plans for dealing with everything from earthquakes through cable-chewing squirrels.

 

3) Security

In an age of brazen corporate espionage by overseas agencies, ensuring physical data security can be a challenge. Even in the absence of foreign or domestic interest in valuable intellectual property held by a business, employee honesty and awareness of basic security precautions aren’t always guaranteed. Hard drives and other computer components sometimes have a habit of walking out the door, and allowing direct physical access to servers located inside open offices also increases the risk of malicious hacking attacks by criminal gangs through the agency of malware-laden USB sticks left lying around in company parking lots.

A well-equipped colocation provider likely will lock down its facilities with multiple security measures, including burglar-resistant, alarmed entry and exit doors; coded access procedures that track all physical access to hosted servers; strategically placed surveillance cameras; biometric scanners to prevent unauthorized access by intruders and even individually locked cages for each client’s servers. Spreading the cost of these high-security measures across hundreds or thousands of servers allows the colocation provider to efficiently offer economies of scale otherwise unavailable to the great majority of small to mid-size businesses.

 

4) Scalability

As a business expands or contracts in response to unpredictable economic swings and marketplace developments, its computing needs may similarly fluctuate. Managing human resources typically represents the largest expense for the great majority of firms, and the hiring and firing process is invariably expensive and painful. Instead of suffering through unpredictable demand cycles for in-house staff to manage IT hardware resources, business customers may purchase additional servers from the colocation provider or else instruct a responsible staffer to purchase additional custom equipment to be delivered to the colocation provider for installation.

 

5) Financial Predictability

Maintaining in-house data management facilities typically invites unexpected capital outlays that play havoc with limited quarterly budgets. Many firms prefer the predictability of a fixed monthly outlay that covers the great majority of expenses associated with managing critical IT hardware capability across all corporate functions. Strategic planning and corporate accounting become easier with fewer surprises for the unwary.

 

Only robust discussion among company principals can determine the ultimate wisdom of outsourcing IT hardware management functions to a dedicated third party. However, the cost savings, significantly improved operational stability and peace of mind offered by the colocation option have proven to be compelling value propositions for an expanding number of commercial enterprises, as well as SMBs and other organizations. For more information regarding colocation as well as the Colocation Solutions we provide here at TurnKey Internet, visit our website: https://www.turnkeyinternet.net/colocation/

 

Why Colocate With TurnKey Internet?

TurnKey Colocation is the ideal solution for companies, service providers, small businesses and IT resellers who want a stable environment in which to completely control their assets.

When utilizing our state of the art colocation facility you are able to control your hardware, software and networking to your needs without worrying about the supporting infrastructure. In doing so, you will immediately recognize tremendous savings while also getting peace of mind that your equipment is hosted in a 100% sustainable, green and SSAE16 audited, secure facility.

Traditionally, customers would create their own localized infrastructure which is costly and inefficient making colocation with TurnKey Internet the ideal solution. By colocating in our facility you are able to focus on your business and not on office networking, power or server issues that plague localized installations and office infrastructure. We provide redundant networking, power and cooling to ensure your services remain online and accessible at all time.

Our facility is redundantly networked with several TIER-1 peers allowing us to offer several connectivity options allowing our customers to reach theirs as quickly as possible and without worry of network downtime, which is completely SLA protected.

All colocation customers have 24/7 hour access to their equipment and also receive network reboots per-port or per-strip at no additional charge. Whether you purchase a single U, multiple racks or an entire cold containment POD, we include rebootable PDU’s or PDU ports with EVERY colocation purchase.

At TurnKey Internet we are available 24/7 to assist you with all your needs.

 

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Written by David Maurer on January 24th, 2017

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How Colocation Can Benefit Your Business   no comments

Posted at Oct 6, 2016 @ 9:27am colocation

Colocation-Benefits

Modern office workers find it increasingly difficult to imagine the era that existed before computers began to invade almost every business function, but older organizational habits die slowly. Many businesses tend to treat their computers and networking equipment as just one more set of machines to be maintained by the same support personnel who repair copying machines, fix broken drill presses and replace burned-out light bulbs.

 

Both Power and Fragility

Notwithstanding the persistence of outdated attitudes, information technology (IT) infrastructure is special. Even as computer technology affords great power to leverage core business competencies and to greatly reduce or eliminate costly manual labor, it also brings oftentimes underestimated fragility and vulnerability. While uncommon these days in most industrialized countries, sudden power failures can abruptly bring vital business processes to a grinding halt, and extended power failures can wreak havoc on critical information processes and the integrity of irreplaceable databases.

Furthermore, the majority of businesses can’t afford extensive security measures, and a stolen server might mean the loss of critical accounting records and customer databases. Limited bandwidth availability at a local office might mean sluggish internet communications, potentially driving away customers and digging into profitability.

 

Server Colocation Providers

While outsourcing non-core business functions to cloud-computing enterprises is a growing trend, many firms still prefer to keep a close eye on their most critical business functions and databases. Internet professionals such as website hosting providers and website designers are well aware of vast server farms that rent dedicated servers to website design firms, retail concerns and innumerable other commercial and non-commercial organizations, but colocation providers generally have worked quietly in the background. Still, they continue to offer invaluable services to businesses that wish to retain ownership of the computer servers that host their core business functions and intellectual property while also outsourcing hardware management and its associated concerns to industry professionals.

For many companies, offloading the care and feeding of computer servers onto trained IT professionals at a colocation provider carries multiple advantages. Indeed, colocation services have steadily expanded year after year with leading industry experts expecting the global colocation market to exceed $33 billion by 2018. An in-depth examination shows that five major considerations lie behind the decision by CIOs and other corporate officials to rely on colocation services.

 

Heightened Security

In an age of brazen corporate espionage by overseas agencies, ensuring physical data security can be a challenge. Even in the absence of foreign or domestic interest in valuable intellectual property held by a business, employee honesty and awareness of basic security precautions aren’t always guaranteed. Hard drives and other computer components sometimes have a habit of walking out the door, and allowing direct physical access to servers located inside open offices also increases the risk of malicious hacking attacks by criminal gangs through the agency of malware-laden USB sticks left lying around in company parking lots.

A well-equipped colocation provider likely will lock down its facilities with multiple security measures, including burglar-resistant, alarmed entry and exit doors; coded access procedures that track all physical access to hosted servers; strategically placed surveillance cameras; biometric scanners to prevent unauthorized access by intruders and even individually locked cages for each client’s servers. Spreading the cost of these high-security measures across hundreds or thousands of servers allows the colocation provider to efficiently offer economies of scale otherwise unavailable to the great majority of small to mid-size businesses.

 

Extreme Connectivity

Colocated servers are only as good as the internet connectivity that allows them to cram immense flows of data up and down the line, and colocation providers typically subscribe to multiple high-level broadband providers such as Level 3 Communications to establish superior bandwidth redundancy and to encourage competition that results in cost savings for both the colocation provider and server owners. Quite apart from the sheer efficiency of sharing top-tier bandwidth access across innumerable servers, the climate-controlled environment keeps servers within a consistent temperature range to ensure that sensitive network equipment and server components don’t fail from extended exposure to excessive heat.

 

Improved Scalability

As a business expands or contracts in response to unpredictable economic swings and marketplace developments, its computing needs may similarly fluctuate. Managing human resources typically represents the largest expense for the great majority of firms, and the hiring and firing process is invariably expensive and painful. Instead of suffering through unpredictable demand cycles for in-house staff to manage IT hardware resources, business customers may purchase additional servers from the colocation provider or else instruct a responsible staffer to purchase additional custom equipment to be delivered to the colocation provider for installation.

 

Financial Predictability

Maintaining in-house data management facilities typically invites unexpected capital outlays that play havoc with limited quarterly budgets. Many firms prefer the predictability of a fixed monthly outlay that covers the great majority of expenses associated with managing critical IT hardware capability across all corporate functions. Strategic planning and corporate accounting become easier with fewer surprises for the unwary.

 

Increased Stability

The impact on productivity from moving corporate offices, encountering a natural disaster or suffering through an extended interruption of electrical power can be disastrous. Even the most efficient company may experience a series of unfortunate events that repeatedly delay its return to full operational status. In the meantime, customers may be yelling about misplaced orders and bungled services, and employees may be left without real work as core business processes fail to function as expected.

More than a few CIOs and other upper-management staffers prefer instead to shield the company’s critical server operations from such potential chaos by entrusting them to an efficient colocation provider with multiple power backups and contingency plans for dealing with everything from earthquakes through cable-chewing squirrels.

 

Closing Thoughts

Only robust discussion among company principals can determine the ultimate wisdom of outsourcing IT hardware management functions to a dedicated third party. However, the cost savings, significantly improved operational stability and peace of mind offered by the colocation option have proven to be compelling value propositions for an expanding number of commercial enterprises, as well as SMBs and other organizations. For more information regarding colocation as well as the Colocation Solutions we provide here at TurnKey Internet, visit our website: https://www.turnkeyinternet.net/colocation/

 

Why Colocate With TurnKey Internet?

TurnKey Colocation is the ideal solution for companies, service providers, small businesses and IT resellers who want a stable environment in which to completely control their assets.

When utilizing our state of the art colocation facility you are able to control your hardware, software and networking to your needs without worrying about the supporting infrastructure. In doing so, you will immediately recognize tremendous savings while also getting peace of mind that your equipment is hosted in a 100% sustainable, green and SSAE16 audited, secure facility.

Traditionally, customers would create their own localized infrastructure which is costly and inefficient making colocation with TurnKey Internet the ideal solution. By colocating in our facility you are able to focus on your business and not on office networking, power or server issues that plague localized installations and office infrastructure. We provide redundant networking, power and cooling to ensure your services remain online and accessible at all time.

Our facility is redundantly networked with several TIER-1 peers allowing us to offer several connectivity options allowing our customers to reach theirs as quickly as possible and without worry of network downtime, which is completely SLA protected.

All colocation customers have 24/7 hour access to their equipment and also receive network reboots per-port or per-strip at no additional charge. Whether you purchase a single U, multiple racks or an entire cold containment POD, we include rebootable PDU’s or PDU ports with EVERY colocation purchase.

At TurnKey Internet we are available 24/7 to assist you with all your needs.

 

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Written by David Maurer on October 6th, 2016

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Ditch the Messy Server Room and Move to Colocation   no comments

Posted at Jan 5, 2016 @ 9:13am colocation

messy-server-room-wiringIn the late 80s /early 90s times where starting to change, this wonderful technology era we live in now was just beginning. Businesses now, need to be online in order to stay competitive and grow with this new age.

Like most business a Server Room was built, in a spare room or space in your office or home and today now resembles a pile of mis-colored wires that you could spend days trying to untangle. You purchased equipment that easily fit into your budget, and your team was able to configure the networking without any troubles. This setup was the same in all business across the board. In the beginning of this era, you could get away with this. There was no thought of cooling systems or ventilation. No notion of backup power systems, or any real working order was to be found in your Server Room.

Once again, the era of technology has changed. Businesses need their operations to run with super speeds, be secure, maintained, monitored, and most of all be redundant. The terms Server Room and Data Center could once be used interchangeably, no longer can they now.

A Server Room can be any room, in any building that houses servers. Whereas a Data Center, is a whole building designed to support and provide a secure, power protected, environmentally controlled space, used for accommodating servers, networking, and computer equipment.

 

Some of the key points to a Data Center, a Server Room does not have.

Security and Monitoring:

Most Server Rooms do not have a high volume of security. Besides the buildings overall security, there may be a lock on the Server Room door.

Data Centers pride themselves in the security features they offer. All entrances and exits are secured with a key coded entry system, as well as alarms. Not just alarms for entry. Alarms for temperature control, air pressure, fire / water control, ect. All Data Centers have network cameras, accessible to their staff and security team in a needed event. The cores / racks the servers are housed in are all locked. Only opened when your team needs to visit or by the Data Center staff, if needed.

Connectivity:

What good is your server if you have a fixed bandwidth rate? Most Server Rooms are capped off by their ISP as they are using a residential internet service.

Data Centers do not use any type of residential internet service and most times are able to set the bandwidth limits as they are needed by the server.

Redundancy:

If there is a power failure at your business, do you have a backup power plan? Most Server Rooms run from the same power source, as the full office. Making your sites and servers go down if there is ever a power failure.

Data Centers have a plan for any type of failure. When it comes to power failures, most Data Centers have battery backups, automatically triggered if the main power supply is not responding. When the system sees the backup batteries are being utilized, another backup power source is engaged, the generator.   At this point the battery backups turn off and all power is controlled by the generator until normal power is restored.

Affordability:

With a Server Room, you are accumulating all the costs that go along with it.  You may have had to cut advertising short or possibly even lay off good employees as the costs to maintain and house your equipment have risen. At a Data Center all those costs are tied into your package and at a much, much lower cost.

 

Environment:

Datacenters control the cooling and humidity – to a precise and perfect level to keep your equipment running as long as possible.  Storing equipment in non-conditioned environmental space like your server room or office closet will shorten the life of your equipment significantly (meaning it will cost you real money to replace broken equipment sooner).  Electronics are sensitive to things like electrical and static shock, which occur due to improper humidity (moisture) and you can even find corrosion on the electronics in some poor environmental conditions.  Its crucial if you have valuable equipment to store it in a properly humidified and cooled location like a datacenter.

 

Green (going Green):

Some modern datacenters, like TurnKey Internet’s Green Datacenter , offer one additional benefit ontop of everything above.  Your IT equipment and servers consume less energy in terms of cooling and power draw in a modern green-focused datacenter – and in TurnKey Internet’s datacenter your equipment consumes energy provided by only by the Sun (on-site solar array) and Water (Hydro power) providing zero carbon foot prints for your IT infrastructure versus having it at your office.

 

Our offices do not look anything like they did 20 years ago. Our businesses are not what they were 20 years ago. Most companies have employees living all around the world, remoting in for work. Your administrative staff is no longer dependent on white out, typewriters, and filing cabinets. You attend conferences and meetings by using a phone, tablet, or even your watch. The majority of your business is conducted over email and most of your sales are placed through your website. In order to keep up with these growing times, we now need to ditch the Server Room and head to the Data Center.

 

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Monitoring Your Dedicated Hosted or Cloud Hosted Servers   1 comment

Posted at Dec 19, 2014 @ 9:01am Ask the Expert,cloud security,colocation

server-monitoring-ny-datacenterEarlier on the blog, I wrote to you about having backup software. I compared having backup software to having car insurance. You never know you need it until you actually need it. Does that make sense? I hope that last line wasn’t too confusing. Well, I have another question for you to start this article.

 

Do you currently have any monitoring software for your server?

 

Now, depending on where you host your website or rent your server from, the host may provide a basic type of monitoring software. For example, if you purchased a dedicated server, Virtual Private Server(VPS), Cloud Server etc. from us, Turnkey Internet, your server will be automatically be setup on a basic ping monitoring software. This works off using ICMP which is a basic protocol used across the industry to monitor servers. I won’t get too off-base with this post, so you can read more about ICMP at the link below:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Control_Message_Protocol

 

Now, you may be asking, “what if I bought a reseller or basic hosting account? Is that only ping monitored?” In our system, all our reseller and hosting servers have another level of monitoring attached to them. This includes ping monitoring, memory monitoring, drive space monitoring, snmp monitoring, and bandwidth monitoring to just name a few. We also can setup content checks. That means we can setup a monitor that will look if a site contains a word or piece of text. If it doesn’t find the word, the server will alarm for us.

 

You may be asking why? Why write an article on monitoring software? Well my friends, in slaying tickets each week, I come across many different issues across different clients. Some of these issues could have been prevented and others would have had a smaller impact if preventative measures were taken. Let me give you an example to really drive this one home.

 

Let’s say you have a website named, jeremysdomain.com and purchased it directly from Turnkey Internet with a dedicated server.  Your site will be used to as a life force for your business. You will take orders online. You place promotions online among other items. Next thing you know, you go to your site and it doesn’t load. In fact, it just times out completely.

 

You can still ping your server, but your site is fully off-line. You open a ticket with the helpdesk and they inform you that your server is overloaded due to a large spike in bandwidth. This resulted in your server running low on memory and your server crashing. The engineers fix the issue and inform you that you may want to consider some monitor software that will constantly check to see if your server is having issues other than a failed ping.  The entire process takes about an hour to get the server back online.

 

Let’s look at the situation with monitoring software. You start a promotion on your website. As your promotion gets into full swing, you receive an email notification stating that your server is alarming for multiple items. The engineers inform you that your bandwidth is beginning to max on the server which results in your server running low on memory. The engineers schedule a time with you to take the server offline and increase the memory in the server. Your site is down 15 minutes for the upgrade and back online within minutes. Your promotion never skips a beat and your customers never even notice the issue.

 

If having backup software for your server is like having insurance on your car, then monitoring software would be like having a super, upgraded alarm system in your car that checks your oil level, your tire pressure, your electrical components in your car among many other tiems

 

Do you have monitoring software? If not, go to http://turnkeymonitoring.com/ and you can see some of options available to you.

 

Until next time Turnkey Lovers…

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Written by Jeremy on December 19th, 2014

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Dedicated Hosted Servers In The Cloud – What Are The Advantages?   2 comments

Posted at Nov 4, 2014 @ 9:01am colocation,Web hosting

dell-PowerEdge_server-ny-datacenter

Frequent users of the blog know that I usually start the post off with a question, however, this week I’m going to do things a bit differently. The boss man, has asked me to write a post for you regarding dedicated servers. You see, I believe some of you may have heard of dedicated servers, but not been sure as to what they are and if you need one yourself. Well, I’m here to hopefully alleviate those questions or concerns you may have.

We shall break this down into 2 different sections:

  1. What is a dedicated server?
  2. Advantages of a dedicate server
    1. Performance
    2. Security
    3. Customization

 

Let’s start with item number one:

 

What is a dedicated server?

As most readers of this blog may know, I like to use analogies to help all readers grasp what I’m referring to. In this case, we shall compare a dedicated server to a car. More specifically, your parents car. You’ve just turned the legal driving age and what’s the first thing most new drivers want to do? They want to ask their parents to loan them their car so they can go pick up their friends and drive them around. However, your parents car comes with stipulations. No eating in the car. No playing music loudly in the car. No more than 3 people in the car at a time. You have stipulations placed on what you can do with the vehicle since you do not own it. You’re sharing the car with your parents.

So lets fast forward a bit in time here. You’ve saved up enough money to purchase your own vehicle. No more not eating in the car. In fact, the first thing you do is have a big fat juicy burger from your favorite restaurant and eat it in your back seat with the music blasting at full volume. Now that it’s your car, who is tell you what you can and can’t do within your car?

That is what having a dedicated server is like. A dedicated server is like purchasing your own vehicle. No need to share memory, hard drive space, processing power or bandwidth. Since its your dedicated server, you can do with as you please which is just one of the many advantages that having your own dedicated server provides you. Speaking of advantages…

 

Advantages of a dedicated server

Sticking with the car analogy we started in the previous section, let’s list some of the advantages of owning your own car. No longer have to ask people for rides. You set your own rules of       what is and is not permissible in your vehicle. No more waiting on public transportation. You go to an event and want to leave early? You can hop in your car and leave whenever you see fit. Now     let’s translate that into some of the advantages of dedicated server.

 

2a. Performance

This is one of the main benefits of having a dedicated server. Since you’re not sharing any resources with any other client, your performance will be greatly enhanced. Do you want to allocate more memory to your web server so that your site will load faster? Go right ahead. Want to limit the amount of connections people can make to your website? No one will stop you. Have a large spike of traffic due to a promotion you have running on your website? No worries about having to share bandwidth with any other client. You see, with a dedicated server, you control the environment which invariably leads to better performance as all your resources can be dedicated to just your site and no one elses. This alone will allow you to see VAST performance improvements over a shared hosting plan. Have someone who is attempting to break into your server and you need to increase your security? Well read on to the next section…

 

2b. Security

You wake up one morning, have your coffee and check your email. Upon checking your email you notice that you have hundreds of notifications about a brute force attack on your server. You immediately login to your server and blacklist the offending IP address. Upon further investigation, you find that one of your sites has been the target. Hackers are attempting to access the site to upload exploited code to your website. You reach out to your senior security engineer and have them give the website a thorough looking over. Your not engineer informs you that he needs to perform a security audit on the entire server. He shuts down password authentication to your server and makes it so that users need to have a key to access your server. The engineer then adjusts the limits for how quickly an IP will be blocked after failed login attempts. A malware scan is placed on the server and set to run every day. As you can see from this example, security is another large advantage of having a dedicated server. You can tighten the reins or loosen them on your server at your own discretion. You can customize your server to fit your needs which brings us to my last point.

 

2c. Customization

Continuing with the example from the security section, you have the ability to customize your server. Whether this be your firewall or installing new software onto your server. You can install backup software. You can reformat the server and install a different operating system. You can change your control panel to anything that you may like e.g. cPanel, Plesk, DirectAdmin. Taking this further back up to the performance section of having your own car, you can customize the car to fit your needs the same as you can do with a dedicated server.

 

Hopefully now based off the sections above, you feel a little bit more at ease about dedicated servers. In fact, if you’re looking to purchase a dedicated server, you should head over to http://turnkeyinternet.net/dedicated-servers/ and check out our new dedicated servers that just came in. Currently, our new hexacore servers have proven to be 2.5 times faster than our normal QuadCore based servers. You can do a whole lot more with that improved processing speed.

Until next time…

 

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Written by Jeremy on November 4th, 2014

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PCI DSS Compliance in the Cloud for Web Sites, Servers, And Colocation   no comments

pci-dss compliant datacenter

pci-dss compliant datacenter

Active readers of the blog will know that I tend to write articles that you can apply to your everyday hosting. In the past, I’ve written you articles on backing up your software, determining if you need a dedicated server, what exactly is DNS and the list goes on. The one common thread these articles have is that each article assumes you have some type of hosting or possible server. In fact, these articles assume that you’re selling or possibly interested in selling products online. When you branch to selling your products online, you need to be aware of some type of mysterious item called Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard or PCI DSS. This will be the focus of our post today so let’s jump right into it.

 

What is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)?

 

The payment card industry data security standard is a set of requirements designed to ensure that ALL companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment for their customers. PCI DSS compliance is there to ensure that cardholder data is not stolen and shared around the globe. As a store owner, whether this be a website or a physical store, it’s your responsibility to ensure your customers data is protected and secure. PCI  DSS compliance is a standard set by the PCI Security Standards Council(PCI SSC). You can read about the standards here:

 

https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/

 

PCI compliance against common belief isn’t actually a federal law in the United States, however, some U.S. states refer directly to the PCI DSS. For example, in 2007, Minnesota enacted a law that prohibits the retention of payment card data. In the 2009, Nevada followed suit. In the state of Nevada, merchants  are now required to comply with the PCI DSS standard. This allows those merchants to be shielded from liability should a breach in security occur. The following year, in 2010, Washington state incorporated standard into law. However, merchants are not required to abide by the PCI Compliance, but those are who, are shielded from liability. You can read more about this here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Payment_Card_Industry_Data_Security_Standard#Mandated_compliance

 

 

Now that we’ve covered what exactly PCI DSS compliance is, let’s see if this currently applies to your situation.

 

Do I need to be PCI DSS compliant?

 

To answer this question, I must first ask you one back. Are you currently taking online payments from your customers? If so, yes, I would HIGHLY recommend becoming PCI DSS compliant especially if you’re based in the United States or the UK.  To take this either further, yes, you’ve setup your ecommerce site and you’ve begun taking payments. At this point, you need to decide between two options

 

  1. Allowing a 3rd party website known as hosted payment gateway to process payments
  2. Taking payments directly from your website

 

Each method has its pros and cons. Using a 3rd party or a hosted payment gateway is the safer route. The hosted payment gateway will store, process and transmit the account data. You will then use the 3rd party’s Merchant ID to collect the money and greatly simplify your PCI DSS compliance. Of course, there are different type of hosted payment gateways which we won’t get into for this article but they are listed below:

 

  1. Redirect method that sends your customer to a different site to process payment and then return them back to your site once payment is completed
  2. Iframe method places a payment form that’s fully hosted by your payment provider into your website. The customer stays on your site and is never redirected
  3. Direct post method sends the data directly to the payment service provider

 

If you decide to take payments directly on your website, you will be storing, processing and transmitting account data to your server. You will have to sign up for your own merchant account and comply with the highest level of the PCI DSS standards. As you can see from above, if you’re taking online payments, you will need some PCI compliance to provide your customers with a safe state of mind when providing payments to services off your website.

 

Now that you know what PCI DSS compliance is and know that if you’re running an ecommerce site, what are the steps that you need to take to achieve the PCI DSS compliance

 

Steps to PCI DSS compliance

 

Listed below are steps to PCI DSS compliance. You can go to https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/security_standards/documents.php?category=saqs to get a further in depth guide to the steps you would need. These steps below should be taken as a general guide

 

  1. Build an maintain a secure network
    1. Install and maintain a firewall configuration to protect cardholder data
    2. Do no use vendor-supplied defaults for system passwords and other security parameters
    3. Protect cardholder data
      1. Protect stored cardholder data
      2. Encrypt transmission of cardholder data across, open public networks
      3. Main a vulnerability management program
        1. Use and regularly update anti-virus software or programs
        2. Develop and maintain secure systems and applications
        3. Implementing strong access control measures
          1. Restrict access to cardholder data by business need to know
          2. Assign a unique ID to each person with computer access
          3. Restrict physical access to cardholder data
          4. Regularly monitor and test networks
            1. Track and monitor all access to network resources and cardholder data
            2. Regurarly test security systems and processes
            3. Maintain an information security policy
              1. Main a policy that addresses information security for all personnel

 

Following those general steps whether you’re processing payments directly on your website or using a 3rd party payment gateway, will help to ensure that your customers account data is protected and secure. It will also help to ensure you’re complying with PCI DSS standards and while PCI DSS standards aren’t federal law in the United States, complying merchants will greatly reduce the risk they could suffer from liabilities from a data breach

 

Currently, here at Turnkey Internet, we’re 100% PCI DSS compliant. All of our payments are secure and consistently monitored and updated to ensure that all customer data is secure. Being PCI DSS compliant at Turnkey Internet allows us to offer our customers a piece of mind that non PCI DSS compliant merchants can’t offer. Personally, if a company isn’t compliant it makes me wonder if I can truly trust the merchant with my secure account data.

 

Hopefully this article will help guide you to a PCI DSS compliant ecommerce website that will ofer the same piece of mind that Turnkey Internet offers all of our customers.

 

Listed below are some references that will provide you greater details on the process of becoming PCI DSS compliant

 

Until next time

 

https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/index.php

https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/smb/

https://www.pcisecuritystandards.org/security_standards/documents.php?category=saqs

 

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Written by Jeremy on October 28th, 2014

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Colocation : Leveraging the Benefits of The Cloud With the Security of Owning The Infrastructure   no comments

Posted at Oct 14, 2014 @ 9:02am colocation,turnkey cloud

turnkey-internet-datacenter-pod-technology-colocationJeremy here again and this week we will be covering one topic: Colocation.

 

Have you ever heard of collocation? Did you know it is a GREAT way to grow your business whether a small or large business. You get the benefits of the Cloud, along with the performance and security of having your own servers, vpn devices, firewalls and infrastructure.  Before we delve too far into this topic, lets first define what collocation actually is. Directly from our friends over at Wikipedia:

 

colocation centre or colocation center (also spelled co-locationcollocationcolo, or coloc) is a type of data centre where equipment, space, and bandwidth are available for rental to retail customers. Colocation facilities provide space, power, cooling, and physical security for the server, storage, and networking equipment of other firms—and connect them to a variety of telecommunications and network service providers—with a minimum of cost and complexity.

 

You can read the full article at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colocation_centre. To sum up colocation for you, collocation is when you use a datacenter to house your servers. This could be one server all the way up to a full rack of servers. Here at Turnkey Internet, we have several clients who lease several racks from us that house their entire IT(Information technology) department. Now, you may be wondering, how will this help me to grow my business? I feel the best way to answer that question is to list some of the benefits of collocation. I will then delve into a few of the benefits to show you would reap rewards from colocation

 

  • A predictable and operation expenditure model
  • Better access to space and power
  • Integrated, advanced components
  • Cutting-edge security system including lockable racks
  • Network connectivity
  • Cooling
  • Real-time live monitoring
  • 24/7 monitoring by engineers

 

Now that we’ve listed some of benefits, lets delve a bit deeper into a few of the benefits beginning with:

 

A predictable and operation expenditure model

 

When you have a small to medium size business chances are, you can’t afford to spend large quantities of money on your IT infrastructure. This could be everything from hiring a full-time IT engineer to setting up your own network infrastructure. The prices you would pay could exceed what you have budgeted for your business. For example, one of the most expensive items with owning a datacenter or housing your IT department will be the power. The power that each server uses. The power to keep the servers running 24×7. The power needed to run a generator or battery backup in case your office encounters a power failure. Power is just one example to use, but I used power to show that you may not know the amount per month you will be spending on just power alone. Factor in setting up redundant network, bandwidth pricing or the amount you have to pay your IT engineer to keep it running and your business could be looking at well over 6 figures.

 

This is where a major benefit of collocation stems from. You can sign up for a collocation contract at Turnkey Internet and receive one flat rate for all of those items. Your bill per month would be predictable as you would know each month how much you’re going to be paying to run your IT department. Colocation takes a lot of the variability out of the equation

 

Better access to space and power

 

Quick, does your office or business currently have enough space within it to run your IT department? Keep in mind that you will need ample space for the servers themselves. You will also need ample room to bring power into your business to run the server. Don’t forgot about cooling, batteries and a plethora of other options you will need to run your IT department. Do you currently have enough space in your business for those services? If not, collocation could be a great option as all you would need to is send your server into the datacenter. They will take care of spacing and power needs. You wouldn’t have to worry about your office overheating from 20 servers running and not enough room to disperse the heat. You could also include this under cooling.

 

Network connectivity

 

One of the biggest costs in running your IT department in house are the costs associated with keeping your network at 100%. This may seem like common sense since you’re running a business on the internet, but are you aware of how often your network can lose connectivity? This can be caused from a faulty network cable all the way to a full scale DDOS attack. Please see previous blog posts to learn about DDOS attacks. When an attack or faulty cable goes down, you entire business can become crippled. How will you send email? Is your site still online? Can you communicate with your customers? Most people only worry about these type of things when they can no longer use them, however, as a business owner, you do not have that luxury. You have to stay on top of your network to ensure that you’re able to connect with your customers and vice versa. While yes, you could do this yourself, but what if you’re not a fully qualified network engineer? Will you know all of the items you will need to keep your network secure and stable? This is where collocation comes into play. Since you’re paying a fee to collocate your server, network connectivity is taken care for you. Highly qualified network engineers will constantly monitor your network for any connectivity issues and remedy them should the need arise providing you with peace of mind

 

Listed above are just 3 GREAT reasons that collocation may be an option for your business. It will help streamline your business and provide you with piece of mind that your IT department is being handled by professionals. You can see our current collocation offers at: http://turnkeyinternet.net/colocation/ While this is by no means an all inclusive list of the benefits of collocation, it should at least provide you with a starting point to determine if collocation is right for your business

 

Until next time…

 

 

 

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Written by Jeremy on October 14th, 2014

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