Hosting Layers: Layer 1 – Infrastructure

At itelligence, we are constantly working with our customers (new and existing) to identify areas where business value can be obtained.  Believe it or not, if a company views hosting in the correct light, multiple paths will open to hidden value.  We will review the idea of finding the “hosting business value” in a later post, but for now it is very important to discuss what defines a solid, stable good hosting provider.

There are three layers to a hosted environment.  This post will discuss “Layer 1 – Infrastructure.”   When someone mentions the infrastructure team, most will immediately think about the servers/hardware associated with an environment.  While that may be true, ‘Infrastructure’ goes much deeper.  Here is a list of ‘Infrastructure’ items that should always be discussed when thinking about hosting providers:

Location:  Where is the data center located?  Is the area prone to natural disasters?  Will the provider be able to recruit/retain skilled resources?

Bricks and Mortar:  How well is the data center built?  Does the data center have windows?  Can it stand up to high winds?

Redundant/Steady Power:  To ensure a consistent flow of electricity, it is important that the data center gets fed power from separate sub-stations/grids.  This ensures that a power issue in one area does not impact the operations of the data center.

Redundant/Backup Power Supply:  Hosting providers will always prepare for the worst-case scenario.  When discussing backup power, this points to a generator.  A good hosting provider will ensure that the backup power is also redundant, meaning two generators with a proper supply of on-hand/replenishment fuel supply.

Cooling:  The days of feeling the cold blast of air when you walk into a data center are over.  A good provider will leverage environmentally friendly methods for cooling.

On-Site Security:  Protecting the data center is very important.  On-site security and biometric access are a must.

Certifications:  Most providers will maintain a SAS 70 Type II/SSAE 16 certification.  For SAP environments, companies should look for a provider with SAP Global Partner,  Hosting and SAP Global Partner, and Cloud certifications.  The SAP certifications show that the provider is committed to supporting SAP applications and is willing to have SAP review processes/procedures accordingly. 

When thinking about what makes up a good hosting provider, the items above formulate the base layer.   We welcome the opportunity to discuss itelligence hosting and how we will exceed your needs as they relates to the items above.

In the following posts, we will discuss “Layer II – Components” and “Layer III – People and Process.”  As always, additional information can be found at http://www.itelligencegroup.com/application_hosting.php .

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