Category "Security"

Deciding which data center to use can be confusing, given that the Tier System implemented by The Uptime Institute can be a bit confusing. That being said, there are serious differences and it is worthwhile to know which kind of center you need before choosing one. Specifically, the level of reliability you need from your data center can vary, and each tier will give you a subsequent increase in reliability.

Tier I Data Centers, according to Colocation America, are appropriate for small businesses and have 28.8 hours of downtime per year, resulting in a 99.671% Uptime rate. They are also not required to have any redundancy of systems.

When you get to a Tier IV data center system, you are looking at only 26.3 minutes of downtime per year, with features like 2N+1 fully redundant infrastructure and 4 full days of protection in the event of a power outage. These centers have so many fail-safes to make sure that your data is available that you are unlikely to ever experience an outage.

In between, there are incremental degrees including Tier II and Tier III, because they have some redundancy in systems like air conditioning and some protection against power outages, but not as much as Tier IV.

The tiers are also explained by the Uptime Institute, where certification can be explored in greater detail, as meeting 4 levels of standards in general: Tier I is basic capacity, with Tier II adding redundant capacity components and Tier III making the system concurrently maintainable. The final hurdle to get to Tier IV is that the system is fault tolerant, meaning “when individual equipment failures or distribution path interruptions occur, the effects of the events are stopped short of the IT operations.”

Our multi-layered approach to security begins with the physical security of your data, and is why we deploy our cloud in Tier IV Data Centers that enforce the most stringent security policies available of any data center option.

WHOA.com uses three Tier IV facility in Miami, FL providing geographically distributed enterprise level physical security built-in redundancy in one of the world’s most connected cities. To get a multi-layered approach to cloud computing solutions, contact us.

Efficiency is essential in today’s competitive business environment. This requires thorough integration of a company’s internal operations. However, many businesses achieve still greater efficiencies by integrating interactions with their supply chains. For example, it’s becoming common practice to give vendors access to inventory data. Close monitoring of your inventory gives them a heads-up on when you’ll need a resupply shipment. With careful timing, their shipment can arrive at your door when your inventory reaches its critical resupply level.

However, the benefits of allowing third-party access to your system come with a number of serious security risks. This problem blows up when granting access to multiple third parties. Relying on the honor system that your vendors and other business partners will limit their activities to accessing only the data allotted to them is inviting trouble.

You have no control over who is logging into your system. Any employee of these third parties could have access. Cyber criminals could target your vendors with spear-phishing campaigns to get their passwords for access to your system. This leaves both your sensitive data and that of your customers vulnerable to unauthorized and/or criminal access.

Another problem is these third parties could inadvertently expose your system to any malware that has infected their networks. In addition, if the networks of any of these third-parties have been hacked, then the hackers have a backdoor entrance into your system. Although you could in principle work with your vendors and business partners on improving their security, it becomes impractical when dealing with many such partners.

One solution to this dilemma is pushing out the data that your third-parties require to a web application designed for this purpose. The application would be hosted elsewhere with a third-party service that has the expertise and technology to cope with this security issue. WHOA.com’s application hosting can meet the challenge. To learn more about this service and our managed security services, please contact us.

There’s more to server care than placing them in a convenient room. Because you and possibly your customers depend on the applications running on your servers, their operation and condition affect the welfare of your business. Too many businesses fail to understand this and suffer the consequences. Here are four ways to avoid common on-site server room hazards:

Uncontrolled Humidity

Too much or too little humidity can damage your servers. Too much may cause condensation on surfaces exposed to the air. Water condensate in the wrong places cause short circuits. Hard drives and motherboards can fail catastrophically or the equipment can suffer long-term damage from corrosion, which leads to premature failure. Cold pipes can also drip condensate directly on your servers.

Too little humidity creates the danger of static discharge. The spark of a static discharge is a high voltage event that can damage sensitive server components.

Water Exposure

Besides floods and beverage spillage, there are a number of unexpected ways that servers become exposed to water. This is mostly from plumbing within and without your building. In very cold weather, plumbing between walls may freeze and crack. Or an old rusty fitting can start leaking. These could occur in the server room wall or in the room above.

Restrooms are another source of water spillage. If one is above your server room, water seepage through your ceiling that endangers your servers is a possibilty. If your server room is below ground level, any outside flooding will likely flood the room. Fiber optic installers have been known to run their lines through storm drains to access basement server rooms. This means a plugged hole separates the storm drain from the servers. Water pressure inside a filled storm drain is enough to burst open the plug.

Poor Ventilation

Air conditioning is less effective if your server arrangement doesn’t allow sufficient air circulation. Insufficient space around your servers bottle up their heat and cause overheating. Stacking multiple servers on top of each other, excessive clutter, or placement in a tight corner of the room can cause this problem.

Dust

Dust commonly builds up in out-of-sight places, including the tight spaces next to the server or even within the server. Dust is an insulator and therefore interferes with cooling, which can lead to overheating. Dust also retains condensation moisture, which causes corrosion and increases the risk of a short.

Finally, multiple servers can heat up a room quickly, and the temperature must be tightly controlled with reliable air conditioning. If you’re deciding on whether to run your important applications on in-house servers, or to use application hosting services, remember that reliable long-term server upkeep requires that you effectively create your own data center. If this diverts too much money and resources away from your core business, contact us to learn more about our application hosting.

How well your software as a service (SaaS) business thrives will depend on many factors such as your ability to market effectively. However, one factor you mustn’t overlook is the physical infrastructure that makes your SaaS function online, like quality application hosting. This includes your servers and the facilities that support them. Get this wrong, and you could lose substantial business or possibly your entire business.

Unreliable application hosting, for example, may cause lost customers due to insufficient bandwidth or downtimes during critical usage periods. On the other hand, in-house servers are subject to many risks that can cause downtimes or even complete loss of important business and customer data. Keeping your servers running and physically safe from damage is a long-term effort. The longer your servers are exposed to risk (such as water damage), the more likely the unwanted outcome will eventually occur.

However, the infrastructure and services available at the data centers that provide quality application hosting, minimize these risks and give your business competitive advantages over those that lack similar data center resources. Here are two important advantages:

High Availability

All the business plans, marketing, and application design expertise in the world won’t help if your application is frequently offline. Quality application hosting services have the infrastructure needed to protect their servers from physical damage, power interruptions, and other disruptions that can take your SaaS applications offline.

Security

In addition to protecting their servers from physical damage, application hosting providers have cyber security measures in place to prevent cyber attacks against their servers. This helps protect your customer’s sensitive data from hackers, malware, viruses, and other cyber threats. This is important because security is a primary concern among customers who rely on your SaaS applications to run their businesses.

The above are two important ways how your software as a service business can benefit from quality application hosting. For additional information or answers to your questions, contact us today.

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