Some things you just can’t cut corners on

Written by:
Date Posted:
14 December 2017

Running a managed hosting company isn’t cheap. And there are some things you just can’t cut corners on.

Everything is about choices. Sure, you can buy cheaper SANs, but the I/O will suffer. Yes, you can buy cheaper servers, but they won’t be so reliable. And you can save a fortune if you build your own data centre, but it comes with a risk.

Redundant power is a Must Have. If someone accidentally chops through your power supply with a pickaxe, you’ll be OK with back up power generators. Or will you? Back up generators are only good if they are regularly checked, and indeed if they have fuel in them. So what are your options? You bite the bullet and pay the hundreds and thousands a year it costs to be in a proper, grown-up data centre. Why? Redundancy. That’s why.

That means that there is not just one cable into the facility with power, but there are two. So if an errant pickaxe hits one, you’re still good. And then, unlikely as it seems, if a digger pulls up your spare power supply.

Is that cheap? Nope. But if you’re serious about making sure your customers’ websites stay up, it’s what you need to do.

Seems a bit like overkill? Not really. Ponemon Institute published a research paper called Study On Data Centre Outages. They interviewed 584 people in America who are responsible for data centre ops from the techies up to the CTO level. A whopping 85% said their companies had a loss of primary power in the last 24 months. 91% of that 85% said that led to an unplanned outage. And the average downtime? 91 minutes.

It doesn’t matter if it’s weather or a pickaxe that causes it. If you’re a hosting company, there’s no excuse for letting your customers down. It will cost your clients money if they’re down. Amazon, for example, would lose an estimated £1,104 per second of downtime. - Damian Jennings, Head of Marketing

So what? Well, it means being down matters. A lot. So you need to do everything in your power not to go down. And that means multiple redundancies. And that costs. But, it’s not really about if you can afford to have your hosting in a serious data centre. It’s more about can you afford not to have your hosting in a serious data centre.

Hyve actually goes further than the redundancies GS2 provide. They have 2 national grid lines coming in, generators and a UPS. We decided to go the extra mile and place our own UPS in our suite. This means that even if all the redundancies at the facility go down, Hyve won’t.

Is it cheap? No.

Is it the right thing to do if you are serious about hosting? Definitely.

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