3 Reasons to Use Remote Hands Data Center Services
| technology | networking - Jon Welling

3 Reasons to Use Remote Hands Data Center Services

How do you manage your co-located server? The problem with co-located equipment is that the facilities that hold them aren’t exactly down the street. They’re also rather difficult to get into.

However, those data centers have a solution in the form of a service known as “remote hands.” Depending on the facility, there may also be a program called “smart hands” that can also help you navigate some of the challenges of managing co-located equipment. Understanding how these services work and how to use them to your benefit does require some background about why they’re important. Ready to learn more about using remote hands data center services? Read on for some helpful info to get you started, plus three of our top reasons that show why learning how to use remote hands is worth your time.

What Are Remote Hands Data Center Services?

Remote hands data center services are like remote freelancers for managing co-located equipment. Before AWS and Microsoft Azure, it was common for organizations — especially small businesses — to host servers in a data center that wasn’t their own. This still happens today when using cloud services isn’t the right call for an organization’s data storage needs.

Cost, location, and power requirements are all considerations that might make a co-located data center a better call than hosting a server on-prem. For one, it’s far cheaper to share the space, especially when considering how data centers are strategically built in locations that offer affordable power generation and power delivery and suitable infrastructure backbones. A shared space also means that internal IT infrastructure can also be re-used between various customers.

For businesses who cannot control local electricity costs or local infrastructure that would need to purchase extra equipment and human resources to properly manage on-premise servers, a co-located option can be the right tool to help them get the job done.

But since co-located data centers are not necessarily close, managing a co-located server remotely becomes an issue. It’s not always feasible to send techs to a data center regularly that’s far away. But remote hands data center services give you the ability to have someone on-site who can be your eyes and ears on the ground.

Remote hand data center services are techs who often work directly for co-located data centers. They offer on-site services like receiving shipments, installing hardware, diagnosing issues, and basic server management.

What Are Smart Hands Data Center Services?

When shopping for a co-located data center, you might see some facilities offering something called a smart hands service on top of the remote hands data center services. Most facilities provide a basic remote hands service for things like receiving, installation, and basic troubleshooting. Smart hands data center services are an additional product.

As the name implies, smart hands services include more advanced troubleshooting and maintenance. Data centers that offer both remote hands and smart hands services will have strict demarcation points in what each service provides.

On the other hand, data centers that do not provide smart hands services may offer more advanced help with their remote hands products or require you to hire an outside freelancer for more advanced services.

More advanced services like smart hands will cost additional money — but can be worth it if you need peace of mind that someone with advanced skills and resources will be on-hand if you need their support.

Reasons to Use Remote Hands Data Center Services

Most data centers provide remote hands services. As a new business wanting to co-locate a server, you might be worried about other people touching your equipment. Even worse, depending on which industry you do business in, you might be required to follow specific privacy laws and regulations.

But there are many good reasons to use remote hands data center services. For example, if you need to follow HITECH regulations in the United States, your server needs to be locked up tight in the data center. Only specific people should be allowed to touch it. Remote hands services can ensure that you are complying with regulatory requirements.

RELATED: How to Secure the Data Center Network

In addition to following regulations around data security, we put together a list of reasons that remote hands data center services can be a great fit.

1. You always have 24/7 support

Servers and online services have no concept of time. They don’t wait until it’s convenient for you to have a problem, which makes it seem like the IT version of Murphy’s Law says that any and all issues will occur in your IT environment in the middle of the night (and every single problem will be an emergency no matter its severity).

Thankfully, though, remote hands data center services at co-located data centers typically offer 24/7 hour support, 365 days a year. There’s typically an SLA involved that means the data center will be contractually obligated to start working on your break-fix issues within a specific amount of time.

Data centers are better equipped to handle 24/7 support. Businesses need to either create an on-call schedule or hire additional employees to offer that kind of in-house level of support. It makes more sense for organizations to utilize these remote hands services for break-fix operations.

2. Predictable support costs

Predictable costs are essential in any business, but they are even more critical in the IT world. We live in a time where a rogue Facebook or Google crawler can cost a company tens of thousands of dollars if they get stuck in a loop crawling a misconfigured website. Unfortunately, it’s been known to happen.

So, IT managers very much appreciate not having surprises on their monthly bills. Predictable billing means IT teams can budget properly. Likewise, they can streamline costs and take savings to invest in other parts of the IT infrastructure.

3. Better security

Depending on what industry your business operates in, you are most likely required to follow specific laws and regulations. And as Congress mulls new laws and regulations for the tech industry, you’ll have a lot to consider now and in the future.

Those considerations include security. The HITECH regulation, for example, says that data must be secured at all costs. That includes things like:

  • Securing and encrypting data at rest
  • Securing and encrypting data while in transit
  • Not using shared hardware or services

Securing data also means securing the hardware on which information is stored. That means locking your servers up in cages. You also need to control who has access to those cages and the facility in which they’re housed.

Using co-located data centers with remote hands services helps meet those laws and regulations. By locating servers in a remote data center, much of the challenges of meeting HITECH regulations are already taken care of. The software side would be the only thing left for you to worry about.

Should I Use Remote Hands Data Center Services?

Using remote hands data center services can be a great fit for IT pros navigating the challenges we mentioned above. But you’ll still want to do your research before you send your servers halfway across the country to install in a co-located data center. Start with these questions, and go from there:

  1. Is that facility reputable?
  2. What are their demarcations for remote hands support?
  3. Will you also need to subscribe to smart hands services as well?
  4. What kinds of costs will you incur on a regular basis? What about add-ons — would those services fit into your budget, as well?
  5. Does the facility meet the privacy standards and regulatory requirements of your industry?

Using a service like remote hands can be a great way to make sure your co-located data center stays operational and safe. Just be sure the one you choose fits all the needs you’ll have for your equipment.

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