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24 Sep 2020
When to Use Dark Fiber? Who is Dark Fiber Best For?
When do you use dark fiber? Whos dark fiber best suited for? What are the benefits of dark fiber service? In this article, I will explain what dark fiber is and answer the questions above.Its trends like cloud, edge computing,satellite Internet,5G networks, andInternet of Things (IoT) that are exponentially increasing enterprise connectivity requirements. Interconnection between data centers, office campuses, headquarters, and even cell towers have become extremely important. Because of these trends, enterprise customers are now considering dark fiber service when comparing commercial Internet service offerings.First,what is dark fiber? Its described as an alternative to commercial internet services likeDedicated Internet Access (DIA),point-to-point, and broadband. Dark fiber, also commonly referred to as a leased line, simply refers to fiber optic cable that has been laid in the ground but is not currently in use.Whats amazing is that only 10% of the cost of a dark fiber route is the actual fiber optic cable. Most of the cost is born out of permitting, fiber route construction, equipment, and manhours. Most new fiber routes are constructed alongside new roads and highways. Major construction projects present the opportune time to lay fiber. However, its still not cheap even with existing construction and improvement projects. And given that its not cheap to create a new fiber route, dark fiber providers focus on placing as many fiber strands in the ground as possible. As many as 50% of dark fiber capacity is being used. This leaves an additional 50% available for companies to lease.With dark fiber, customers can reduce their costs, improve latency, and provide increased redundancy for disaster recovery and business continuity (DRBC).So, why would an enterprise consider leading dark fiber?1) Dark Fiber Cost-SavingsWhy would an enterprise consider dark fiber? The primary reason to consider dark fiber vs commercial internet service is cost-savings. Enterprises with a lot of data need the capabilities to move that data between locations. They have a couple of options build their own fiber network, purchase commercial internet services, or lease dark fiber from a telecom carrier or Internet Service Provider (ISP).For enterprise customers and government agencies, dark fiber will save substantial amounts of money over the above-mentioned alternatives and options. Its obviously very expensive to bring up your own dark fiber network and commercial Internet options can cost tens of thousands of dollars per month.2) Latency Improvements With Dark FiberAnother important factor impacting the decision to select dark fiber is latency. When an enterprise uses commercial Internet services from anISP like a Comcast, CenturyLink, Verizon, or ATT, that traffic gets bounced around to many different points before arriving at its destination. However, with dark fiber, enterprises can get a straight line from point A to point B, which improves performance and reduces latency.For certain applications, customers need to get data transferred really quickly from one place to another. Examples could be financial and stock trading, research, and streaming data. The best way to accomplish this is to set up your own private network without the additional stops in between.3) Dark Fiber Improves Redundancy?It may sound counterintuitive but dark fiber can help some enterprises by providing an additional layer of physical redundancy for their existing systems. Many enterprise customers have a primary and secondary Internet circuit for redundancy purposes. This deals directly with their disaster recovery and business continuity (DRBC) plan. In this case, the customer would have a carrier provided Internet connection and their own dark fiber connection. In the event of a natural or human-caused disaster, customers could lose their carrier Internet and still be up and running on the private, dark fiber network they have in place.4) Dark Fiber Upfront Costs ManagementMany CIOs and CTOs that deal with big data and have mission-critical transfer requirements typically lack trust in their Internet provider or telecom carrier. Instead, they will choose to run their own fiber links to make sure that they are getting the most physical redundancy possible.Weve mostly written about the benefits of dark fiber. However, what are the disadvantages or pitfalls of dark fiber? There are a few. The number one downside to dark fiber is the high upfront costs. In addition, enterprises should have their own internal team that knows how to manage their network. This includes network configuration, maintenance and troubleshooting should it go down. This adds a lot of unforeseen and hidden costs to the equation.What if your organization doesnt want to manage its dark fiber network? Is there an alternative? Yes, many telecom carriers and ISPs offer managed dark fiber services. There is definitely a cost associated with this managed service and it is typically included in the pricing per fiber mile. You should take the time to vet out potential providers offering managed services for dark fiber to ensure that you have the support needed to manage and maintain your own private network.5) Dont Let Dark Fiber Disadvantages Discourage YouThe disadvantages of dark fiber can sometimes discourage some from selecting this option for their private network and connections. Many enterprise customers that research, whether dark fiber may be the right fit for their organization, may fear the disadvantages and unknows associated with it.Need Help With Your Dark Fiber Strategy?Many enterprises and governments have implemented their dark fiber, and many would argue that its not as intimidating as it sounds. Customers have found that setting up links in a DWDM connection was not as difficult as they expected. This is especially true for those that brought in help a senior network engineer, architect, or consulting that knows the dark fiber space. An outsider can provide valuable insight, guide you through the process, and train you and your team on how to operate and manage your dark fiber connections.Since 2002, Ive focused on helping large enterprise customers and government agencies with their interconnection strategy and services. This includes helping customers determine the right Internet solutions and providers for their projects. Unlike going direct to a telecom carrier or ISP, GCG and Datacenters.com offer direct access to 300+ providers globally including ATT, Verizon, CenturyLink, Zayo, Comcast, euNetworks, BT, Telstra, Telia, and many others.Need help determining whether or not dark fiber is the right fit for your business?Contact me for a free, no-hassle consultation and information on availabletelco carriers and ISPs for your locations. I have access to fiber maps, lit building lists, and other resources to streamline the decision-making process.
23 Sep 2020
What’s the Difference Between Dedicated Server and Cloud Servers?
Theres a lot of confusion around dedicated serversvs cloud servers and its easy to see why. Which is more budget-friendly for your applications? Is one more outdated and the other cutting-edge? Do dedicated servers or cloud servers provide better performance? What are their similarities and differences? Can you compare them apples-to-apples or is it an apples-to-oranges scenario?In this article, Ill explain what a dedicated server is in comparison to cloud servers. Ill also look at the features and benefits of each. By the end of this article, you should have a clear picture of which type of infrastructure is right for your application or applications. Lets get startedWhen and Why You Need a Server?When running applications such as websites, mobile apps, or enterprise software, you need it hosted on a device somewhere, right? It could be a simple web hosting plan, servers hosted on-premise, dedicated server in a data center, or a virtualized server in the cloud. Wherever its hosted, you need four things availability, reliability, durability, and performance. It should also make sense from a cost perspective.Sure, you could always select a traditional web hosting plan from a provider like GoDaddy, Bluehost, HostGator, or others. Theyre a dime a dozen these days and plans start at just a couple dollars a month. Thats great if youre just starting out. Maybe youre running a blog or have a simple WordPress website. You might have a few hundred or even thousands of visitors. The point here is that you have a simple website that gets decent traffic. For this, a traditional web host is great!Lets say that you have a growing website, application, or mobile app that sees huge surges in visitor traffic and requires lots of computing power to handle performance demands such as load speed, graphics rendering, video, and databases. Another sign that its time for an upgrade is when your bandwidth and internet connection are slowing down performance or making your site unavailable to some users, aka the dreaded this website is not available message. Its beyond time to upgrade.So, where do you start? How do you determine whether a dedicated server or cloud server is best for your applications? There are a lot of considerations price, location, compute power, available storage, bandwidth, and management.Understanding Dedicated ServersWhat is a dedicated server? A dedicated server is a physical server, located offsite, that does not make use of virtualization technologies like hypervisors. All the compute and storage resources are based on the physical server hardware and its infrastructure. Think of this as being more like your desktop or laptop computer. Its a physical box with a motherboard, CPU, GPU, RAM, hard drive, network card, etc.Get a Quote for Dedicated Server Pricing Now!When we talk about dedicated servers, were really talking about a finite resource consisting of fixed compute and storage capabilities. This is heavily dependent on server hardware specifications. There are cheap dedicated servers that run $10-$20 a month. Theres also enterprise-grade, dedicated serverthats hundreds or even thousands of dollars per month. A lot depends on the quality, performance, manufacturer, and age of components. Is it the latest version or several versions behind?Another difference is the location. Dedicated servers are typically located in a single data center whereas cloud servers could be located in multiple data centers. Cloud data centers are known as availability zones. When you access a dedicated server, you are accessing a physical piece of hardware in a specific data center.Where are dedicated servers hosted? Most dedicated server providers host their servers in privately owned data centers or colocation facilities. When you hear the term colocation, think multi-tenant, purpose-built data center for hosting enterprise-grade servers and IT equipment. Colocation facilities contain the necessary power infrastructure, network, backup systems, and redundancy to meet the highest standards of performance, uptime, and resiliency.An important thing to note is the data center tier level which measures the number of redundant systems in place for major infrastructures such as power, backup power, and cooling. The tier level ranges from I-IV with a Tier I data center being the least redundant and Tier IV being the highest. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to select a dedicated server host within a Tier III data center. This provides 99.982% guaranteed availability.Bare Metal vs. Dedicated Servers?You may have heard the term bare metal server a lot lately. How could you not? Its a huge buzz word in the cloud computing and hosting industry and represents almost a hybrid between a dedicated server and a cloud server. Actually, public and private cloud infrastructure is made up of bare metal servers. Theyre dedicated hardware, with hypervisors, built to run numerous virtualized, cloud servers.The key benefit is that bare metal servers are single-tenant, physical servers. They offer secure, power, and stable infrastructure that is managed by a third-party. Unlike cloud servers, customers are able to gain root access. Furthermore, bare metal servers are highly customizable to the customer. Providers can optimize their server configuration based on the customers individual needs. This includes being able to select the hardware and the hypervisor.Fundamentals of Cloud ServersWhen we talk about the cloud, its a computing and storage technology that allows a physical piece of hardware to be partitioned into multiple, individual virtualized server units. The terms you should pay attention to are Instances, vCPU, Cores, and RAM. You should also pay attention to the build of the cloud server and its purpose general purpose, compute optimized, and memory-optimized.Check Out Examples of Cloud Server Configurations Now!When applications run in the cloud or are stored in the cloud, theyre actually running on a sliver of that physical server. Each sliver, or partition, has compute and storage resources allocated to it. Think of it as an apartment building with numerous tenants within the same building, sharing walls but have their own privacy within their individual apartment.One of the main benefits of cloud servers is scalability and right-sized, on-demand infrastructure. What do I mean? Since the cloud is comprised of partitioned resources, you can easily scale up and down by taking down walls within that apartment building. Since its utility-based pricing, you pay for what you use. If you only need a one-bedroom for the week, you can do that. If you need a five-bedroom for the day, you can do that. This eliminates common issues relating to right-sizing your servers for your apps.Another benefit is that virtual servers can be hosted on one or more physical servers. This increases availability and reliability in case one server fails. For example, you can have Application A running on Cloud Server A and Application B running on Cloud Server B in the same data center or different data centers within the same region or different regions. Best of all, theyre all networked which gives the appearance of running on the same server. This is often referred to as clusters and spread placement groups. Its used to bolster availability, redundancy, and durability of data and applications.I almost forgot to mention that cloud servers feature scheduled and unscheduled image backups. These serve as restore points and can be used to restore a failed instance or spin-up additional servers in new regions or for performance.Public, Private, and Hybrid CloudThere are many flavors associated with cloud computing including public cloud, private cloud, and hybrid cloud infrastructure.Get a Quote from Multiple Cloud Providers Now!Public Cloud ServerThe public cloudis much like the apartment example shared above. Its an apartment building subdivided for tenants that have access to utilities they need such as space and electricity.Private Cloud ServerA private cloud is more like a single-family home where there is just one tenant occupying the space. However, that tenant can have multiple rooms and can configure the rooms for whatever purpose they see fit. They also have more control over their environment.Hybrid Cloud ServersHybrid cloud, which is often confused with hybrid infrastructure, is where you are running both public and private cloud environments at the same time. You can run a public cloud for frontend applications and data while running private cloud environments for mission-critical data, databases, and backend applications. The mixture of the two can result in a custom environment that offers better performance, control, flexibility, and security at a lower cost.Multi-Cloud ServersTheres a movement taking place in the industry to use multi-cloud deployments in the enterprise space. A multi-cloud environment is simply using different cloud service provider infrastructure where it makes sense for your IT environment. Not all cloud providers are the best at every service and performance varies from provider to provider. In addition, there are differences in cost. The multi-cloud approach to cloud architecture uses the best-of-the-best from each provider to create an optimized environment for both performance and cost.Get a Multi-Cloud Pricing from Top Cloud Providers Now!Hypervisors and Cloud Servers?I spoke about the concept behind the cloud and virtualization. However, its important to note the role of the hypervisor in cloud computing. A hypervisor is installed to handle the partitioning of the cloud server and the size of each virtual server located within. Hypervisors manage the allocation of physical resources to each and every virtual server within the physical server. This includes the processor cores, RAM, storage, and networking capacity of each virtualized server.Difference Between Dedicated Server vs Cloud Server?At Datacenters.com, we get asked all of the time - What are the main differences between a dedicated server and a cloud server? Is there any compatibility? Just how different are they? Weve created this simple comparison table below to explain the similarities and differences between dedicated hosting and cloud infrastructure.As you can see above, the main differences between dedicated servers and cloud servers are 1) access to the root device, 2) scalability, 3) shared infrastructure, and 4)automation of planned images. Theres obviously pluses and minuses to each and the choice of which one to select really falls on the developer and IT department.Dedicated Server vs. Cloud Server Similarities?At their core, dedicated servers and cloud servers perform essentially the same actions. Both are capable of storing information, receiving requests for information, processing information, returning information to users. In fact, the current generation of cloud and dedicated servers can support nearly any service or application. Theyre actually managed using similar backend tools and both can run comparable software. The only difference is performance. However, you can right-size both a dedicated server and a cloud server to meet your performance and budget.Dedicated Server vs. Cloud Server Differences?Differences in dedicated servers and cloud servers can be seen when comparing performance, scalability, migration, administration, operations, and pricing.Dedicated vs. Cloud PerformanceFrom a performance perspective, dedicated servers are often the most desirable for a customer that is searching for fast processing and retrieval of information. Why? This is because dedicated servers process data locally and they do not experience a great deal of lag when performing functions. This is especially important for customers where speed is particularly important.With cloud servers, the processing must go through the SAN to access data which can slow down performance. In addition, the request must also route through the hypervisor. This excess processing can add a certain level of latency that cannot be reduced.Furthermore, processors within dedicated servers are completed devoted to the host website or application. Unless all of the processing power is used at once which is highly unlikely, dedicated servers do not need to queue requests. This makes dedicated servers ideal for CPU intensive workloads. Compared to dedicated servers, the cloud processors or cores require management to keep performance from degrading. And the current generation of hypervisors cannot manage requests without an added level of latency.Dedicated servers are entirely tied to the host site or application which prevents throttling on the environment. This is amazingly simple when compared to a cloud server environment. Think about it. The sharing of physical network incurs a significant risk of throttling bandwidth. If one or more tenant is using the same network simultaneously, both tenants may experience negative effects. For that reason, many cloud customers upgrade to a network interface card (NIC). This is a great option for customers that are bumping up against their maximum available bandwidth on the network.Cloud Server ScalabilityDedicated servers scale differently compared to cloud servers. The physical hardware is limited to the arrays or drive bays it has available on the server. A dedicated server may have the ability to add a drive to an open bay through an underlying logic volume manager (LVM filesystem or RAID controller. However, it is somewhat more challenging to perform a hot-swap to scale. Dedicated servers also require more time and resources to change processors without maintenance and downtime.This is where the cloud shines. Cloud servers are easily scalable because its a virtual environment and the server is partitioned. That means that as your environment grows, you can scale by adding additional compute and storage resources. There are two types of scaling. Scaling out and scaling up. You can add additional instances or add additional resources. Thats all in the cloud architecture of your environment.Dedicated Server Cloud MigrationWhen it comes to migration, both dedicated and cloud servers can achieve seamless migration. However, migration with a dedicated server environment requires more planning. Dedicated server planning should focus on both the current and future growth of your requirements. You should have a full-scale plan on how this should be created and executed over time.When it comes to cloud migration, it gets a little bit trickier. Are your applications ready for the cloud? Are they even compatible? Do you have enterprise licensing that could be impacted by a multi-tenant environment versus a single-tenant dedicated server? This is a big deal.In any case, its important to focus on running your new and old servers concurrently until the new server infrastructure is completely ready for flipping the switch. You should also make sure to maintain backups and maybe even a backup of the backup until the new environment up and running and it has been fully stress-tested.Operations Server ManagementWith a dedicated server, its important to realize that you are responsible for monitoring and managing your server. You should understand that a dedicated server may require more IT resources for these tasks. This includes updates and patches and load balancing. Luckily, some dedicated server providers offer fully managed, managed services, and monitor for your dedicated server environment. This is especially important during scaling, upgrades, and maintenance windows.On the flip side, cloud servers are much easier to maintain and monitor. Cloud service providers have created multiple dashboards and tools where customers can set up alerts and alarms for the performance of individual components such as compute, memory, and network. In addition, cloud servers are much easier to scale and it doesnt necessarily require an engineer or architect to spin up new servers or add storage to an instance.Server Cost ComparisonWhat is less expensive a cloud server or a dedicated server? Generally speaking, cloud servers have a lower entry cost than dedicated servers. This is due in part to the utility pricing involved with the cloud computing model where the customer pays for what they use. This could be on-demand pricing with charges equaling just a few cents per hour.However, cloud servers tend to lose their cost-savings advantage as time goes on. Think about it this way. As you take more pictures and videos on your phone, you see that your storage continues to fill up to the point where it is full. This is the same with cloud resources except you can keep adding files and using compute resources to infinity. The only problem is that it gets more expensive as you go. You reach a point where the cost benefits of the cloud are no longer applicable the dedicated server is the better choice from a cost perspective.One last point on the cost of cloud servers. We mentioned the relatively low cost of entry for the cloud. This is true of public cloud servers. However, a private cloud can be quite expensive.Which is Better? Cloud Servers vs Dedicated ServersCan I still say it depends? Im not trying to get out of answering the question, but it really does depend on the customer and business case. Is a hybrid IT infrastructure approach the right strategy? Probably.Cloud is still the cool thing to do, right? Everything is moving to the cloud and cloud servers? Physical is out I wouldnt go that far. At Datacenters.com, were seeing some fantastic deals on dedicated and bare metal servers from high-quality providers like ZenLayer, Rackspace, QuadraNet, Packet.com, PhoenixNAP, INAP, and Expedient. I would think twice about jumping right into a cloud environment, especially with the high-performance, enterprise-grade dedicated servers that are available today.What am I talking about? The cloud is where its at. Its cheap, scalable, flexible, resilient, and customizable. You can right-size your environment on-demand and pay for what you use. If you need greater performance and dedicated cloud infrastructure, you can do that too! It will just cost a bit extra. Heres another important point. Cloud environments open you up to so many more technologies and services than with a dedicated server. You can connect to numerous services - analytics and data warehouses, artificial intelligence (Ai) and machine learning (ML), internet of things (IoT), cloud databases, and so much more.Need Help with Dedicated Servers or Cloud Servers?We hope you enjoyed the article. Need help comparing your solution and provider options? Thats exactly what we do We represent over 300 service providers including dedicated server and bare metal providers, cloud service providers, colocation providers, ISPs, MSPs, telecom carriers, and network service providers. Let me know how I can help? Click here to contact me. Thank you!
18 Sep 2020
Top Benefits of Remote Work for Employers and Employees
Although a contributing factor, the2020 pandemic wasnt the only driving force behind the rise of remote work. It may seem like a relatively new fad, but the concept of remote work actually dates back to 1972. Thats right. Jack Nilles coined the phrase telecommuting while working on a complex NASA communications system. Its something that has picked up speed over the years.COVID-19 accelerated the need for digital transformation technologies like unified communications (UC), contact center as a service (CCaaS), and cloud infrastructure. It also caused the share prices of video conferencing and collaboration platforms likeZoom,Microsoft Teams, andSlack to skyrocket.Keeping businesses connected even during times of social distancing, work from home, and economic uncertainty ultimately became the priority of the day. Not only was it a mantra, but it was also a necessity. Many businesses accelerated network modernization, cybersecurity stance, and cloud infrastructure to meet the demands of a virtual workforce.But what was the impact on the employer and employee?In this article, I will be looking at the lessons learned from COVID-19 including the benefits of remote work for employers and employees. I will also look at how the pandemic has altered the business landscape forever.1) Work-Life Balance ProductivityWork-life balance, its a buzzword that gets circulated in recruitment and brand messaging but what exactly does it mean? Work-life balance can be summed up by the word flexibility. That flexibility occurs when employees are able to work around the demands of their life.Think about it this way A traditional setting may require employees to be in-office from 8:00 AM-5:00 PM, Monday through Friday. By the way, most jobs are no longer 8-5ers. Theyre more like 7:00 AM-7:00 PM. With a flexible schedule, employees can work throughout the day, in between errands, exercise, and kid duties. Employees can work early morning, late nights, weekends, and whenever it works for them.As long as the work gets done, the traditional 8-5 job really is no longer relevant. With a remote workforce, employees are happier and less stressed when managing school schedules, medical appointments, errands, workouts, and home projects. The result is that employees feel more accomplished and have more time to spend with family and loved ones.2) Less Commuting More FocusHow many of you like commuting to an office in rush hour traffic? If you answered yes, I want to know how you do it. Think about this Theaverage commuter spends 225 hours per year commuting back and forth to work. Thats over nine calendar days spent going back and forth to the office.Studies have shown that commuting has a significant human and financial toll on employees. It causes considerable stress on employees who sit for hours in stop-and-go traffic. Not to mention anxiety caused by road rage, seeing and being involved in accidents. The side effects of commuting include fear, anger, and stress. This leads to lower energy levels, motivation, and morale. It also leads to the following medical conditions high cholesterol, high blood pressure, depression, and increased anxiety.The question for employers is would your employees be more or less motivated and productive if they didnt have to spend unpaid hours a day in their car? Would this lead to or detract from employee productivity and longevity? Would you retain your best employees longer?3) Larger Talent Pool More OpportunityFor employers, remote work expands your reach when it comes to accessing a larger talent pool. Quick question how many candidates ignore your job posts for employment due to where you are located? Maybe youre not able to tap into the local talent you need. Remote work is amajor selling point towards attracting highly-qualified candidates from markets outside your own.For employees, remote work means better opportunities and increased chances for career growth. Cities like San Francisco, New York City, and Los Angeles may offer great jobs in technology and financial industries, but the cost of living drives many applicants to look elsewhere. They may even settle for a job that they are overqualified for or not interested in within a different market.For both employers and employees, remote work represents an opportunity on a global scale. Its a concept thats both exciting and intimidating at the same time. Instead of competing on a regional level for job opportunities and work, employees must now compete with candidates all over the world and at much lower compensation levels. For employers, this can also be a risky proposition. You never know what you are going to get when hiring employees abroad.4) Promoting Diversity in the WorkplaceThis is a huge topic of discussion today diversity in the workplace. Remote work can make it easier to hire employees from diverse socioeconomic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds. Major changes are taking place employers are quickly realizing the benefits of environments that promote diversity and inclusivity.Remote work also makes it easier to expand into new markets whether regionally, domestically, or even internationally. It automatically encourages a diverse and inclusive environment. Imagine opening a new Asia-Pacific market and hiring a remote workforce in Singapore. Hiring locally can help your business align with cultural and language barriers that would have otherwise hindered operations and put market expansion success at risk. The hiring of a remote workforce could be the answer.5) Employee Employer Cost-SavingsThis is a big one. You may not realize it but there are significant cost-savings associated with remote work and were not just talking about employer costs. A study showed that employees that work from home saved an estimated $2,000 to $6,500 dollars per year. This includes common costs such as fuel, vehicle maintenance, transportation, parking, and meals.Are you ready for this? Another study showed that businesses were able to save an average of $11,000 per employee annually. What costs were included in the figure above? Office and real estate costs, office supply costs, transportation subsidies, and operational and personnel costs. This makes a lot of sense, right?And when you scale it, the savings go parabolic. Its estimated thatUS businesses saved $30 billion per day by allowing their employees to work remotely.6) Environment Corporate ResponsibilityIn addition to cultural diversity and inclusion trends, environmental impact is right there at the top of the list for corporate responsibility initiatives. Reducing the impacts of operations is a huge positive in todays world. Most businesses are focused on making a difference by recycling, increasing renewable energy usage, and reducing their carbon footprint.How does remote work fit into the picture? A recent study showed that by allowing 3.9 million employees to work from home at least half of the time, it reduced greenhouse gases by the equivalent of removing 600,000 cars from the road for an entire year. It was equal to a reduction of 7.8 billion miles and three million tons of greenhouse gases.Think about this The above statistics represent only one aspect of the environmental impact which is commuting. Remote work has also shown to reduce paper consumption, air conditioning, heating, and lighting use. Another study showed that the potential environmental impact of remote work could be the same as planting 91 million new trees.7) Increased Employee ProductivityI spoke earlier about flexible schedules and work-life balance. The major lesson learned from the 2020 pandemic is that the work from home concept actually increased productivity. A study showed that65% of employees think they would be more productive working from home than in a traditional office setting. 49% of respondents said that they rely on their home office when they need to focus and get work done. It makes sense, right?Think about it How much time do you spend in non-essential meetings and fraternizing with other employees, and carrying on non-work-related conversations? All of those minutes add up to hours and even days of wasted time throughout the year.8) Accelerated Digital TransformationYou could say that the pandemic caused many businesses to advance their digital transformation initiatives by a few months or even years. COVID-19 many businesses by surprise and as a result, many were caught off guard for how to equip their employees to work from home.If anything, COVID-19 has advanced or pulled the demand forward for new technologies and especially those that enable remote workforces. Its no wonder an entire set of publicly-traded companies in the United States saw their stock prices surge by 100%, 200%, or higher as a result of increased demand for their products and services. It was called the COVID trade.Thats not all. Cybersecurity also became a major area of concern for both businesses and IT departments as remote workers operated outside the comfort of their confines. Unsecured communications and access to systems, networks, and files became a major target for hackers. Bring Your Own Device, also known as BYOD, was also another target.However, there was a silver lining for many businesses They learned to prioritize and harden their IT infrastructure and adapt to a world where remote workers need access to systems and files outside of the enterprise network. Many businesses invested in and implemented new security practices that were needed regardless of the pandemic or not.9) Happier Healthier EmployeesHeres the bottom-line point. Remote workers tend to happier and more loyal employees. Why? Part of it is trust. Some of it is flexibility. However, it all comes down to the end result. Having time to balance work and life results in an improvement in life. Employees that have time for personal errands, hobbies and interests, and workouts have less stress and are healthier.Why is employee health important? Employees that are healthy have the ability to reduce health insurance costs for the entire organization. In addition, healthier employees are sick less, recovery from illness quicker and have less of a chance of being injured on the job.Conclusion: Remote Work is Here to StayIts easy to see the benefits of remote work from the employer and employee perspective. Some may say that the benefits are directly related to talent recruiting, employee productivity, happiness, and health. For others, its about corporate responsibility and the environment, diversity, and inclusion. Yet, others may focus on the financial rewards, bottom line, and cost savings.I believe that remote work is here to stay and its a major turning point in how we all do business. We will see a huge shift in demand for commercial real estate and office space. In fact, were already starting to see it with the cancelation of large-scale office leases and the sale of newly constructed headquarters even before companies move in.What are your thoughts? Will remote work adoption continue to accelerate in the post-pandemic, COVID-19 world?Need Help with Your Digital Transformation?Do you need help with your information technology and digital transformation initiatives? Were here to help! We offer the largest selection of Video Conferencing and Collaboration, UCaaS, CCaaS, IaaS, and SaaS solutions available in the market. When you work with GCG + Datacenters.com, you have direct access to all of the top cloud providers, telecom carriers, ISPs, and network service providers.Contact me to learn more about what we can do for your business. Its free and theres no obligation.
10 Sep 2020
Datacenters.com Launches Network Services on the IGNITE Project Platform®
Datacenters.com, the leading technology platform and marketplace for colocation, cloud and connectivity, announces the launch of network services to the Datacenters.com IGNITE Project Platform.Many businesses today are focused on wide area network (WAN) technologies as the need for reliable, secure, and scalable network infrastructure demand accelerates with digital transformation. Cloud services, Internet of things (IoT), and edge computing are fueling demand for network modernization. These technologies, paired with large, global IP backbones are enabling greater resource management, employee empowerment, customer experience and insights, and speed to market for products and services for businesses worldwide.With IGNITE Network Projects, IT professionals can design their networks and view available providers that match their requirements. Users can access powerful network configurators for software defined WAN (SD-WAN), multi-protocol label switching (MPLS), and private line networks. Based on the users location and technology requirements, Datacenters.com intelligently matches users with the right network service providers. Network proposals are uploaded directly by providers to the IGNITE Project Platform making it easy for users to compare all of their options.Datacenters.com has added 31 of the top network providers including ATT, Verizon, CenturyLink, Aryaka, CATO Networks, Zayo, Cloudgenix, China Telecom, and Colt Technology Services with the launch of IGNITE Network Projects. All of the providers have been on-boarded and trained on this platform.Key Features:- First digital RFP for enterprise network services- Users can design their SD-WAN, MPLS, and private line technologies online- Proprietary algorithm provides intelligent matching based on network requirements- Users can select all or specific network services providers to participate in their RFP- 31 top network service providers have been on-boarded and trained on the platform- Proposals and pricing for networking solutions are delivered directly through the platformQuotes:High-performance networks like SD-WAN and MPLS are critical for todays digital enterprise, said Michael Allen, VP of Solutions Engineering at Datacenters.com. These solutions represent a core solution offering for us and were excited to launch the first fully automated, intelligent digital RFP tool to help users architect their network infrastructure.Its amazing to think that we have onboarded and trained 184 providers on the IGNITE Project Platform in 2020, said Heidi Humphreys, President of Datacenters.com. Theres a lot of excitement around the launch of the IGNITE Network Projects both internally and from our partners that were an integral part of this launch.This is just the beginning for the IGNITE Project Platform, said Michael Price, VP of Software Engineering at Datacenters.com. We are continuously adding data and upgrading the platform to improve our intelligent matching algorithm and provide a better experience for Datacenters.com users and providers.###About Datacenters.comDatacenters.com is the #1 technology platform and marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of colocation, cloud, connectivity, managed services, and related IT services. We are dedicated to one thing helping IT professionals research, purchase, and manage their technologies across a diverse range of solutions, providers and vendors.Since 2014, Datacenters.com has attracted more than 1.6 million visitors. The platform provides detailed information on 335 providers,2,937 data center facilities, and 173 marketplace products globally.Datacenters.com is the sister company of Global Consulting Group, Inc. (GCG), a leading technology services distributor and IT consulting company headquartered in Englewood, Colorado.Learn more at Datacenters.com and follow us on LinkedIn.